relatively cold hardy pomegranates

cousinfloydJanuary 25, 2012

I could use advice on whether to order Burnt Ridge's "sunbar pomegranate" or not. They say it is "among the hardiest of all pomegranates, having survived 7F." However, they also say it's soft seeded, and I've read elsewhere that the hard seeded types are hardier. I have the "Russian pomegranate" from Edible Landscaping already -- just planted it this year -- and I've got one more good protected spot where I'd like to put a second variety. Is the sunbar pomegranate the one to go for? Is there a better cultivar for cold hardiness? What would you all advise me here in zone 7a?



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Not sure where you are and what your climate is like...

You might also do a search on this and other forums for cold hardy pomegranates. This topic has popped up quite a bit, with loads of information and long lists of varieties being presented.

I don't know about the whole soft vs hard seeded thing, but I'm quite sure that 7 degrees would be conservative for a so-called hardy variety. In your zone, with a good microclimate and some extra care you should be able to grow pretty much any variety. If you can get 'Wonderful' cheaply and easily where you live, it might not be worth the extra effort and cost to track down one of the more obscure 'hardy' varieties.

Then again, ripening time might be a concern, depending on your frost free season and the number of growing degree days. Early ripening might be just as important as cold hardiness... after all, you can always throw a blanket over the plant when real arctic air invades, but you won't want to eat unripe fruit frozen on the bush.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 11:09AM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

E.L. Russian is prob Salevatski i heard so you should be good there...

E.L. has Austin new for this year I believe to try out and large sizes (googling it maybe somewhat hard-seeded? "Seed is medium in hardness, chewy.").

Rolling River has a few of the other Russian/Turk cold-hardy varieties this year to try out (Kaj-acik-anor, Surh-anor, Al-sirin-nor, Kaim-anor, Sumbar... think they might update their inventory stock in Spring they said with newer but smaller cuttings if they sold out).

Sumbar was the only soft seeded one to survive Texas weather i think i read. I'll test one out this year.

Heard some Florida nurseries are getting like a bunch of UC Davis russian/turk/iranian varieties if you don't want to do cuttings yourself, like 15+ varieties it looks like. Kinda expensive though, prob $30 a plant plus possible 'inspection fee'? they told me depending on state.
Here's one:

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:03PM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

P.S. Kazake one of most cold hardy, maybe the most based on least cold damage reported on these forums it seems?
Not sure why nurseries still not selling it yet.
Getting some cuttings prob of it.
Anyone on east coast get their Kazake's to fruit yet?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:07PM
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My kazake fruited for the first time in 2011 as did surh anor and salavatski. All 3 were exceptional in flavor. Kazake was the sweetest of the 3 and the darkest blood red arils compared to the other 2. Its fruits were not quite as large as the other 2. Surh anor was more pink red in aril color and had an underlying yellow to its skin with a bright pink blush. Salavatski flavor reminded me of blood orange. All three of these would make exceptional juice which is mainly what I planted them for. I have others planted but they have not fruited yet.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 3:16PM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

Cool!, thanks for the update Shane. You still a zone 7a based on USDA new zone map ( Curious since Philadelphia is now a 7a, guessing you got bumped up.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 4:11PM
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I live in Winston-Salem and we are now listed 7b. Our average 1st frost is near the end of Oct and last is around mid April. BTW I ate the last kazake fruit day before yesterday and although its skin had dried some the inside was still as good as when I harvested in mid Oct. I am very pleased with this variety and the others that I mentioned having fruited. I also have kaj acik anor, favorite (from One Green World), and al sirin nar planted but these have not fruited for me yet.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 4:28PM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

Here in Texas, sumbar is the cats meow. I just planted one myself, and most Texas reports are for 7b and warmer, but sumbar might be a good bet. It's one of the relatively new offerings from dr levin's Russian orchard.

For some reason poms are marginal here on Dallas, but our new Mexican friends have success with similar climates. 7a will be marginal. The el Russian at my house is good for juicing with a little sugar, but not for fresh eating. Wonderfull is bitter in my very akaline soil, but people 50 miles south seem to like it.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 7:43PM
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Shane, I'm just over a half hour drive west of you. (I have a Yadkinville address.) Any chance you'd be willing to show off your pomegranates the next time I'm in Winston? I'd love to see your set-up and learn a few things from you.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 7:57AM
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You can send me an email and let me know when you want to visit. Spring or summer would be best for me.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Getting back to the original question, according to RIchard Ashton's book Sumbar is not a particularly hardy variety, but if your temps are not going below 7F it should be OK I expect.

Shane, thats good news on the taste of Kazake. My bush is now about 6' tall and I hope to get some fruits this coming year.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:13PM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

Not sure how he arrived at hardyness for some varieties esp those not at the old Byron, GA orchard.

I contacted Richard through email on his website few weeks ago about how he arrived at putting 'DK from Shevlan' variety in the 'most hardy' category in his book. I was curious about it as its from Turkmenistan. I stupidly asked why it was cold hardy as its from Turkmenistan and and not Russia (thought at the time Turkmenistan region was warmer than any Russian area), and also where he saw it growing to arrive at that conclusion (like was there a place in Texas trying it out, or did Levin mention it somewhere). He pointed out in his email that Turkmenistan was part of Russia/USSR at some point and didn't answer 2nd question. Sent a followup email apologizing forgetting my history, and re-asked about 'DK from Shevlan' but didn't get an answer back. Wondering if anyone knows about that variety (tried asking PomWorldwide forums few months ago and no one answered back)?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 3:29PM
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I have 'DK from Shevlon' growing and it has had no winter damage the last 2 winters. However a gentleman who seems to know a great deal about poms that lives in NC told me that this variety does not fruit. He had removed his upon finding this out. Mine bloomed this past year but did not set any fruit so this is likely the case. I am not sure how he knew this information but I do know that he has talked some with Richard Ashton in TX. I am assuming Richard told him.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 3:46PM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

Did you noticed if you had both the male V shaped and 'hermaphroditic' bowl flowers on the DK from Shevlan? Pomegranates need at least the bowl 'hermaphroditic' shaped ones to get pollinated to set fruit (from other males or 'hermaphroditic' ), right [forget myself]?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 4:12PM
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I am sorry but did not notice. I did note they were single blooms. I will let you know what happens this year.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 4:15PM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

We all seem to reference Richard Ashton, & for good reason. Richard turned me on to the sumbar, saying its the hardiest of the soft seeded varieties. The most cold hardy one he knows, at least as of a couple months ago, is "Texas red", a levin variety which he named as it only had a number. I believe Richard has planted a lot of those, but I haven't seen it available commercially yet--but I wouldn't be surprised if womacks offered it soon, they've talked about it in their email newsletter.

Btw, Ashton introduced the Austin variety; but he told me it wasn't nearly hardy enough for Dallas.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:35PM
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