Why dont Pomegranates grown from seed seem to fruit?

HighlanderNorthApril 2, 2012

This really doesnt make sense if you think about it. If the seeds dropped from a pomegranate fruit dont end up producing new plants that produce fruit themselves, then pomegranates shouldve been an evolutionary dead end that went extinct millions of years ago.

How else would they have reproduced and spread if their seeds dont grow new plants that will themselves grow fruit with their own seeds?

So anyway, I wasnt aware of this phenomenon 6 years ago when I decided to try and grow a pomegranate from seed I spit out after eating a pomegranate I bought at the grocery store.

That plant is now 6 years old, but doesnt fruit.

Why? Can anything be done to stat it fruiting, and why dont these seeds produce plants that grow fruit?

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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

With trees grown from fruit seeds not all of the seeds will take on the characteristics of its parent tree. Hit and miss I guess. Most trees are grown from cuttings. Scions and root stock.

Maybe your tree needs a pollinator? Im sure a more detailed explanation is in the works but I think Im not far off.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 3:49PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


Have no fear it will fruit. One of the reasons that plants are grown from cuttings is it cuts out the in some cases long juvenile stage when some fruiting trees/bushes don't fruit. If you take a twig from a 10 year old bush even if that twig is just 4 inches long it still thinks it is 10 years old so will fruit sooner. Seed grown plants of some types (including poms) can take 10 years to produce.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Yes, when you are looking at a tree that can live for over a century, 6 years isn't really that long of a time.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 4:08PM
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It could also be that the pomegraates of today are hybrids (as in humans may have messed with them) rather than natural crosses or cultivars. Kind of like how, in many cases, avocado grown from seed will not produce fruit.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 4:21PM
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What the rabbit said - they'll fruit, eventually.
All named varieties of pomegranates(and virtually all fruits, for that matter) were just seedlings at some point in time. They just grew through their juvenile period and reached fruiting age before someone selected them for their fruit quality.
Most pomegranate varieties are propagated from cuttings - it's a form of...cloning(gasp!) that's been practiced for thousands of years.
Hybrids? No, so far as I'm aware, they're all the same species, Punica granatum. Just because someone might cross pollenate, say, Wonderful with Parfianka, the resulting seedlings are NOT hybrids - just seedlings with two named-variety parents. Will all of the resulting seedlings produce top quality fruits? No, but some will have a 'genetic advantage' in that arena and may express desirable traits inherited from both parents.
Human involvement in plant breeding and selection is not inherently 'evil'.

wizzard, seed-grown avocados WILL fruit - if you provide them the proper growing conditions and allow sufficient time for them to reach fruiting age; fruit quality(as with most seed-grown fruit) will largely be unpredictable.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 5:12PM
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I was reading about the pomegranates sometime back and the hybridizing process was quite trying--this fruit is extremely variable about fruiting when grown from seed.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 11:51PM
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It's a patience thing.... If you plant seeds... they will eventually fruit.... It's how long do you want to wait for "Eventually"..... Pears can take 25+ years from seed...

Avocados were mentioned... The ones I planted down in South Florida eventually fruited - but it took a solid 10 years... The fruit was more or less the same as what came out of the store... and it was a GIANT tree! 40' tall!

Anyway... Planting seed can be really fun... You never really know what you are going to get... With some fruit that self pollinates - like peaches and some plums and some pomegranates - you can get fruit that is fairly close to the same as the fruit it came from... Other stuff like Apples and pears are notoriously variable...


    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:12AM
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and maybe if you were growing your seedling in the exact environment where the tree originated things would be different. We move things around and we manipulate and manage the plants - sometimes fruiting or fruit quality improves and sometimes it doesn't. I've always heard that citrus can be locked in a juvenile stage when grown from seed (can be, but not always) but when I've been in foreign countries where citrus grow wild they seem to sprout from seed and produce fruit like weeds.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Fruiting pomegranates are growing and flowering all around the country, yet rarely bearing any fruit. If the growing conditions are not right they simply drop the flowers. I have a Wonderful that bore fruit while still in the container. Planted here where sun and summer temperatures are not sufficient in twenty years I have less than 5 pomegranates. Al

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:07AM
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Al and John make a good point.
I had pomegranates in east-central Alabama - presumably Wonderful, but who knows - grown from cuttings I took from a neighbor's fruiting trees, when I was 8 yrs old.
Planted them at my grandparents' farmstead. Not knowing any better, they were planted 15 & 30 ft from a black walnut tree, and languished there for nearly 30 years without fruiting - they grew OK, just no flowers or fruit, until it became necessary to run a new septic line, and in the process, a trench was dug between the walnut and the pomegranates - almost killing the walnut. The pomegranates began fruiting heavily and have never stopped, for the next 20 years. I don't know if it was merely a factor of interrupting juglone toxicity, reduced shading from dieback of the overtopping BW, or both.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:25AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

In my area sunset 22 we have poms all over the place! The people in my area seem to love them!! As do I. From my back yard I can see at least 3 different trees. We get fruit on them all the time in summer. Nothing like when I was a kid though.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 4:28PM
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