Pomegranates in Cold(er) Climates

peachymomo(Ca 8)December 24, 2010

Correct me if I'm wrong but I've heard that Pomegranates need a lot of summer heat in order for the fruit to get sweet enough to be tasty. They will grow, flower, and fruit in colder climates but will not produce sweet and delicious fruits. Lately I've seen so many Pomegranate trees growing and being sold in climates too cold for them to produce quality fruit, I wonder if my info was wrong or are people just planting them for their decorative value?

I grew up eating the most delicious tree ripened pomegranates at my grandmother's house in Bakersfield, Ca, I just can't stand it when they are pale and flavorless.

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My cold climate experience was limited to my one attempt to grow a 'Wonderful' pomegranate in a pot. It made the first winter in great shape buried pot and all into about 18" of dry straw and oak leaves. It then grew profusely the next summer. I started off with a large bareroot mail order plant probably about 2 feet tall, and it was close to 4 1/2 feet by the end of the second growing season. It didn't bloom the second season, but sure grew well.

It didn't make the second winter buried in the mulch. It became a tasty snack for rodents.

I think a lot of new varieties mainly of Russian origin have come onto the market in the past few years, and many of them are specifically said to be good for cooler climates, with both better winter hardiness and less summer heat needed to ripen them

Check out the offerings of places like Raintree Nursery, One Green World, Edible Landscaping, Just Fruits and Exotics Nursery, Burnt Ridge Nursery to see what they have that may work better in cooler climates.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 11:30AM
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If pomegranates can make it zone 6. I'll take em.
I have some growing in Greece in alkaline soil....they are thriving. Anyone know if the ph should be adjusted?
they look good.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 11:49AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Hmm... I was hoping for something a little more helpful.

I'll try again - I know pomegranates can grow in cold climates, I doubt they can produce quality fruit. Is there anyone who has ever gotten a fully ripened and sweet pomegranate off of a tree grown in a cool summer climate? From what I've heard they will be tart and inedible.

Here is a quote from the Raintree website about their Wonderful Pomegranate: "a beautiful ornamental which grows to 10 feet tall. Hot summers are needed to fully ripen the large fruit."

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 10:16AM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

The only home grown pomegranates I've eaten were grown in Bakersfield. I know that people grow them elsewhere with success.

I had pomegranate bushes in San Diego County, but they never set any fruit.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 3:54PM
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My mother grew up in N.Texas and she brought an heirloom variety to Corpus Christi where they thrived in the summer heat. When I moved to the upper Texas coast area I tried to grow them and failed. Our summer days are mid to hi 90's and that isnt hi enough for that variety which I assumed was of Middle Easten origin. "Wonderful" doesnt grow well here either.

If you can get a Russian variety I would try that.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 1:52AM
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They grow well in nor cal. Seen a lot of them around. Planning on getting one myself.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 9:12PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Yes they grow well in northern California and bloom beautifully, if you are in the inland valley you should also get fruit. If not, you may be disappointed with trees that consistently drop their flowers without setting fruit. I am now growing a new variety from UC Davis that is reported to do better than Wonderful. Al

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 9:18AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Yes, they grow well, but they won't produce edible fruit.

I actually wasn't planning on planting one myself because I already checked into it and learned that I couldn't get a pomegranate of the same quality that my grandma got in Bakersfield.

I brought the question up because I've seen so many pomegranates growing around my area where I know they shouldn't produce good fruit, and I've heard of and seen people from even colder climates planting them because they know they will 'grow' without realizing that they won't 'fruit.' I was wondering if there was someone out there who could prove my wrong by saying from personal experience: 'I have a tree in a climate cooler than yours and it produces sweet and delicious fruit.' But that doesn't seem to be the case.

Although I hadn't known that there were Russian cultivars, if any would be more able to ripen in cooler weather it would definitely be them. But I'm sticking to trees that are proven producers in my climate, I'll admire the pomegranate flowers I see everywhere but it would just frustrate me to have one that didn't produce good fruit.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 9:24AM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

My "sweet" poms taste good a month before they're totally ripe; unlike my wonderful, parfianka, & russian (edible landscape)which are sour before completely ripened

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 12:40PM
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