Anyone growing pomegranates? I just ordered and received 3 and I'm concerned that it's a bit early yet to plant; however, don't have much choice.
Interested in others experience.
I tried one 'Wonderful' pomegranate in zone 8 and it was killed after it had leafed out too soon and was hit by frost. I gave it two months to return from the roots, but it never did. I hope yours do splendidly. I suggest giving them a pot for the first 6 months, then planting them out in fall; this will give them more time to adapt after a stressful move. I hope this helps.
I would think this is hard time of year to plant them since you have no idea where they were grown before you bought them. We could still have a killing freeze before things warm up for good. I would also grow them in a pot until mid May and then plant them in the ground. There are varieties that do fine in zone 7 but you can still lose them due to cold wet soil. If you have to plant them I would be prepared to protect them with plastic sheeting when the nights get really cold. An easy way to do this is to drive two long T-posts into the ground on either side of them, about a foot away from the main trunk. If the trees are tall you'll need to extend the posts with something rigid that will be taller than the tree. When they call for really cold weather, simply wrap cheap plastic sheeting around each tree a couple of layers deep and fold it over on the top to encapsulate the tree in plastic. Unwrap when the sun is shining. If the daytime temps are below freezing I would allow the heat to escape but not completely unwrap the tree.
This also works for early planted tomatoes.
I received my three plants from a GA supplier. They were bare root and dormant with no green buds or visible signs of leaves, etc. The root-balls were wrapped with damp soil containing crystals. Following the enclosed directions I planted and watered them right away. There was a light frost the first night, however; the following week has been in the mid 60's with nights in the 40's. I think they might have been shipped a bit early; however, all the info I have seen is plant them now. I perhaps should have potted them until May. . . will keep my fingers crossed.
You will need to protect them if it gets even close to frost- you don't know what conditions they were grown in and they could be stressed. Once poms are well situated they are pretty hardy for this area- once in 10 yrs or so you may get a freeze that takes them back to the ground, so you wouldn't get fruit that year, but they'll still be alive. However, it may take a year or 2 before they are fully hardy for a cold year so do protect them the first few years. Some cultivars are more frost tender than others- if you selected one that is prone to cold damage you may find you don't get fruit because while it can flower fruit on new growth, the fruit doesn't have time to fully ripen on any but the first blooms of the season from the old wood. I made that mistake with my first pom- out of 10+ years i've only gotten any fruit that ripened 2 years. It was good, but not worth all that. There's a guy in Tx who specialized in poms & some other fruit and he has varieties from all over that can do well for your situ. It may be too late to get in touch with him for the year- typically it's rooted from dormant cuttings in winter. I don't have his info in front of me, but if you do a search for pomegranate info, or specialty pomegranate grower you should find him. He was very patient and helpful with me and my many questions.
Mine's happy in the ground in its second year and showing life already...I even forgot to mulch it heavily in the fall. I wrapped it when we had the one night it got down to 5oF or so, but otherwise it survived on its own. I think poms are much hardier than people give them credit for. Mine is a 'Sweet.' I think Tammy's right...not worth the trouble for the fruit. But they are good ornamental trees too.
Two of my three plants ae putting out tiny leaves. The third has redish buds. . . will keep my fingers crossed.
I've recently planted a bare root pomegranate. It's in a good location and good soil, but I've no idea how long it was bare rooted for. It looked healthy when I planted it, although it had zero signs of life. It still looks the same and I don't know if it's alive. Any suggestions for helping it? If I pruned it? I'm in a temperate area and we are in the middle of a very warm spring (I'm in the southern hemisphere).