Pomegranate successful in Albuquerque?

fabaceae_nativeNovember 9, 2007

Hi all,

With the amount of zone pushing that folks are into (I'm thinking of all the "palms in Alb" threads) I thought I might get some information about pomegranate hardiness and success in zones 6 and 7 here in NM. Specifically...

Anyone out there who regularly gets a harvest from their pomegranates?

What is the true hardiness of the species, and what about so-called hardy varieties?

If figs are successful in an area, wrapped or not in winter, would it be safe to assume the same for pomegranate, given similar treatment?

I was encouraged by reports of certain varieties of pomegranate such as "plantation sweet" being hardy to zone 6 and even 5 (TyTy nursery), but then read a posting on a different forum in which even zone 8 gardeners had experienced difficulties!

Any input would be greatly appreciated...

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adp_abq(7b NM)

Iv'e seen mature pomegranite shrubs in albuquerque. In fact, there is a row of them at the bikes plus parking lot on coors and eagle ranch rd nw.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 2:24PM
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wineandlobos

i seen a house a few years back with fairly large pomegrante tree with lots of fruit.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 7:37PM
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fabaceae_native

Thanks for the responses!

I checked out the Bike World pomegranates, and sure enough they seem to be thriving (as medium-sized shrubs) and producing fruit. I found the dried rinds and whole fruits strewn about, and a store employee told me that one guy partakes of them in season about once a day!

Anyway, it was exciting to see something in the flesh, a great starting point.

If anyone else has some input, feel free to share.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 4:25PM
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simmonds(z8a TX)

I am thinking of starting an orchard in texas and have found that any one can get free cuttings from the USDA research center, http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=12856 . They grow many varieties from russia and other former USSR republics that are more cold hardy and produce good fruit. Agat is a medium sized yellow fruit on short plant high yielding, very cold hardy. I have not really searched for cold hardy but I am sure that with a little google searching you would find others. at the bottom of this site is a table with a lot of info about pomegranaates, http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/x0270e/x0270e04.htm
Good luck Tim

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 9:34AM
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frdnicholas(Albuquerque NM)

My friends across the street in Albuquerque have several trees. This season they had a bumper crop thanks to all the snow in the winter and rain in the spring. The season before was much drier and the crop didn't do nearly as well.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 1:57PM
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quercus_abq(USDA7/Sunset10)

fROM fabaceae_native NM zone6 (My Page) on Fri, Nov 9, 07 at 10:29
Hi all,
With the amount of zone pushing that folks are into (I'm thinking of all the "palms in Alb" threads)...
ME: Punica granatum is hardly pushing any zones in ABQ, unlike many fan palms, oleanders or pittosporum. The hardiest of palms growing OK in ABQ is far less of the "amount" of "pushing" by trying to grow aspens or nandina / photinia, etc. (Abq too arid, wet, and/or warm, soils are too alkaline, etc.)

BTW, many hardy palms are from semi-arid areas of higher elevation, so not too far out when used in an oasis in ABQ compared to 9000'+ along streams or SE Asia and trying to replicate that here...neither would be Punica granatum.

as I thought I might get some information about pomegranate hardiness and success in zones 6 and 7 here in NM. Specifically...
ME: Pomegranates, some over 15' tall, are QUITE common in Abq, but mostly in older neighborhoods and in rear / side yards. Regrettably, like many landscapes here, pomegranates are poorly maintained, if at all. They were once more fashionable to grow, like big shrubs in general once were; now, other plant species are more popular. I have never seen freeze damage anywhere in town; but they flower fine and do like regular irrigation in ABQ.

I am even told that pomegranates have grown fine in central China for centuries with little to no protection, where it is colder than here most winters substantially, though like here, winter is short and summers are hotter than even Las Vegas / Tucson.

Anyone out there who regularly gets a harvest from their pomegranates?
ME: I see ripe fruit on plants throughout Abq, though on plants I know of, I do not see them eaten...they just dry up on the plants. Maybe people here are not into them like in Cal...not part of the culture's fruit preference?

What is the true hardiness of the species, and what about so-called hardy varieties?
ME: I think standard pomegranates are hardy into USDA Z 6 (so, I would expect them to grow fine to at least as cold as Espanola - Velarde, warmer parts of Santa Fe, Grand Jct CO, Amarillo, Wichita KS, etc) It seems the dwarf pomegranates are a little less cold hardy, though they have been grown without a problem in ABQ for many, many years.

BTW, on USDA cold zones, only the valley areas of AQ / Central NM have experienced much USDA Z 6 long-term; most of Abq and central NM is USDA 7a-b, with quite a few spots of USDA 8a in thermal belt areas of NE Hts and West Mesa, based on NUMEROUS experiences and temperature reports I see. Only the East Mountain areas (E of the Sandia-MAnzano chain) have lots of USDA Z 6 and even some sizeable USDA Z 5 in the basin cold air drainages.

If figs are successful in an area, wrapped or not in winter, would it be safe to assume the same for pomegranate, given similar treatment?
ME: Figs seem a little more cold-tender than pomegranates, though many figs are unprotected throughout Abq and are fine. Surely, there are some hardier and less hardy varieties, so those may be the exceptions.

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:52PM
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flattie

I agree with the comments in the post above aside from the part about the aspens. There are plenty of places in Albq. that these do well (usually in sheltered locations similar to where one would grow Japanese Maples). I have an aspen in full sun that is thriving in the NE Heights and there are plenty in sheltered canyons in the Sandia Foothills. (see Juan Tabo Canyon in the North Sandia foothills for NATIVE aspens growing at 7000 ft. not far from opuntia - one just needs to explore a bit to find these trees.)

Back to the post Pomegranates grow in places like Iran which really don't differ all that much from this part of the world climatically. They should definitely be planted here more.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 12:01AM
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fabaceae_native

Thanks so much for the additional info quercus!

I now feel much more confident about growing pomegranate outside here in NM. I've got some cuttings from a mature plant in Socorro that have outgrown their pots and flowered several times in less than a year. They're just waiting to be put in the ground.

I was thinking the same as you and flattie, namely that pomegranate should be fairly hardy, especially based on where it is grown in the Middle East and Central Asia. I was actually looking at a map of Afghanistan, and noting the similar latitude and high elevations as here. In a stable time over there it sure would be neat to go on a plant exploring trip.

Anyway, thanks again for the help...

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 10:58AM
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