Tropical Style

What Can Pomegranate Trees Be Used For?

December 1, 2020

Originally from Iran and northern India, pomegranates (Punica granatum) look in Egyptian mythology, the Old Testament and in the Babylonian Talmud. The tree grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7a through 11. Pomegranates are not particular about their dirt, but they don’t require whole sun and regular water — once weekly or even more during exceptionally hot weather.

Fruit and Juice

You probably grow pomegranates for their fruit, which includes sacs or seeds full of bright red, lemon juice. Pomegranates require extra heat to fruit in USDA zones 7a, 7b and 9b, in which they thrive against a south or west wall. Obtaining hte pomegranate seeds out is simple as soon as you learn the correct technique of scoring the fruit into quarters and pulling the segments under water to get at the seeds. A house juicer will extract the juice in halved pomegranates, but also the juice stains, so take extra care.

Ornamental Uses

A pomegranate tree works in a mixed flower border or standing alone as a specimen plant. Both fruiting and nonfruiting varieties produce attractive flowers in white or red and provide bright yellow fall colour. The red fruit on the trees adds visual interest in fall, with the fruit on fruiting varieties about 5 inches wide and the inedible fruit on non-fruiting varieties about 2 1/2 inches wide. Pomegranates form bushy, rounded shrubs and can also be pruned into tree shapes. They climb from 12 to 30 feet tall but are also easily pruned to be kept smaller.

Short Hedges

When most pomegranates are deciduous, dropping their leaves in the fall, “Nana,” a dwarf cultivar, is nearly evergreen in areas with mild winters. “Nana” is a nonfruiting selection and rises 3 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide. Because it has dense leaves and frequently forms suckers at the base, it would work well as brief hedge separating a part of the lawn from another or flanking a drive.

Other Uses

In Morocco, the bark of the pomegranate tree, using its high tannin level, was traditionally used for treating leather. In Japan, the bark is used as an insecticide. Both the rind and the flowers from pomegranates can be used for creating dyes for material. And while creation is restricted, some producers make walking sticks and small timber applies from the tricky pomegranate timber.

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