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Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

Posted by HighlanderNorth North DE (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 4, 12 at 16:26

I mentioned recently that I have a 6-7 year old pomegranate bush in a large pot that I grew from a seed out of a fantastic fruit I had eaten. It was one of the best poms I'd ever had, and they are a bit of a crapshoot when bought at the grocery store.

So I pruned it back to about 16" this year in March.

But it either will never fruit or it will take 50 years, so I want to buy at least 1-2 good potted poms soon.

So I was looking around and noticed that there are many varieties available. The important traits to me are: Early initial fruit production, as I dont want to wait another 7 years! Also, shorter, bushier habit would be nice. The fruit dont have to be huge or anything, I just want good flavor, sweet and slightly tart. Toughness would be important too. A good looking plant would be nice too.

I will be growing it in a pot for at least several years so I can move it inside in winter and back outside in spring/summer/fall.

How big should I order them? 1 gallon, 2 gallons, 3-5 gallons? Is there an advantage to getting older plants aside from sooner fruiting? Who seems to have the best plants?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

If you in Delaware, the most important thing should also be cold-hardyness if you going to plant it in ground.

Edible Landscaping has largest pom plants I've ordered from... They are 3-5gallon 'Russian' pomegranates that are potted and cold-hardy.
http://www.ediblelandscaping.com/products/shrubs/Pomegranates/RussianPomegranate.php
Austin is another variety they have but needs a lil' more protection it seems.


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

Last year, I bought one of the Russian pomegranates you from the same company you mentioned, armyofda12mnkeys. I planted it at the end of March, and it got down to nearly freezing the next day. That seemed to "zap" the plant, which looked lifeless for about a month. Then it started growing back again. Last fall, once it started freezing, the bush looked dead again, even though we had a mild winter. Even toward the end of March, it still looked dead, so I thought perhaps it was. But then just a few days ago, it started growing back again!

Is that normal behavior for a "cold hardy" pomegranate bush? If not, then perhaps HighlanderNorth migth want to try another variety.


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

That's one of the hardiest (probably Salevatski variety i heard, but they will genetically test theirs at some point to confirm), but my friend said his didn't make it (his looked small though, maybe more established larger plant will make it). He has another plant thats definately a Salevatski though that is large and has fruited. He is in zone 6a (used to be zone 5b? i think but we all got upgraded this year :) ).

Kazake is pretty hardy i heard.

I got my 3gallon from EL last year plus some others. All my russian pom's survived the outdoor shed this winter so planting them in-ground this year (some are about 4ft+ high in pots). I took them out of shed mid-March and they are about to leaf out, they seem to be very slow leafing out with my E.L. and the Salevatski the fastest so far to almost leaf out (at a 'green tip' phase while others are still in a 'red tip').

>Last fall, once it started freezing, the bush looked dead again
All pomegranates should start losing their leaves when cold weather starts coming. Mine probably had no leaves by Thanksgiving.
Is that what you mean that it 'looked dead'? might just be normal behavior. Those russian varieties many survived a -6F and 0F freeze in GA so they are known to be hardy.


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

As I mentioned in the OP, I will be potting whatever poms I buy, and bringing them inside in late October before any frosts. Then I will not bring them out til after frost is over.

However, I moved recently, and even though it was inside our greenhouse from late Oct. - early March, I was forced to leave it out during 1 slight frost(31 degrees F) about 3 weeks ago, and it got zapped, and all leaves turned brown, then I took that opportunity to prune it way back, and now its got new growth stating up again all over it. Si I know exactly what neptune24 is talking about when mentioning poms getting "zapped" by cold weather.

We've had 2-3 more slight frosts, but I covered the whole plant in a 3 mil thick trash bag, and that protected it.

So cold hardiness in poms is questionable, plus its not important, because I will go back to bringing it inside during winter.


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

If you're growing pomegranates in pots, you should not have to worry about cold hardiness (they are all hardy down to at least 15F when dormant), but you will have to be watch the weather to know when to move them outside in spring (I sometimes have to put mine back inside every night for a period of time), and back inside in the fall.

I would just go with Wonderful. It's the pomegranate that everyone is familiar with, large, nice color, and good flavor, even from small pot-grown plants. You should be able to find some 5-gallon Wonderful plants at your local Lowes or HD for a good deal, that will fruit next year.

By the way, you can let the plants go dormant naturally in the fall, then store them in your garage or other cool place since they are leafless anyway. That way you will save your greenhouse space, and the plants will be coming out of dormancy around your last frost time anyway. Pomegranates do require some chilling (maybe 300 hours?) with temps below 45 each winter.


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

armyofda12mnkeys:

All pomegranates should start losing their leaves when cold weather starts coming. Mine probably had no leaves by Thanksgiving. Is that what you mean that it 'looked dead'? might just be normal behavior.

No, actually I mean "everything above the ground, including branches, completely died and had no green left." I ended up snapping all the branches off because they were clearly dead. Is the entire aboveground part of the plant supposed to die, as if it were a perennial herb?


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

Neptune, it sounds like you got unlucky with the weather. I have that same EL hardy pom in z7 and its done fine, never died back. Cold snaps right at planting can be very bad so I'm not surprised your pom died back when you transplanted it.

Thats about as good a variety as you can get, don't get a Wonderful since its not nearly as hardy. Kazake is even more hardy than EL hardy. Some nurseries are now selling many of these hardy varieties, I forget the nursery but if you Google for Kazake etc it may show up.

Scott


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

This shows why the old adage to plant new shrubs that are dormant in winter or non dormant plants after your last chance of frost is so wise. Transplanting is a shock to the plant and then to hit it with cold is just asking for it. On the plus side they regrow strong and you should be good for next winter.

Currently I grow...

Afganski
Azadi
Desertnyi
Gissarskii Rozovyi
Grenada
Nikitski ranni
Parfyanka
Sakerdze
Salavatski
Shirin Zigar
Sin-Pepe
Vkusnyi
Wonderful
Russian #8
11 Vietnam (Big yellow)

All are doing well except the Vietnam which is a evergreen and gets pummeled even in my zone 9 location. Sadly I think they will have to be replaced by the deciduous poms as they take no winter damage at all due to dormancy.


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

Hey bamboo rabbit: Couldnt you have taken the time to list a few more? LOL

Thanks, thats more varieties than I thought were even available as plants.

Hey fabeacea native: I wish they sold Wonderfuls at Lowes around here, but they dont. Also, I thought that since they are native to deserts and such, they didnt need colder weather cooling in winter, so I've brought it inside every year for 6 winters, and it doesnt go under 55-65 degrees inside, ever! But somehow its still alive. But thats good to know for next year.


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

scottfsmith wrote:

Neptune, it sounds like you got unlucky with the weather. I have that same EL hardy pom in z7 and its done fine, never died back. Cold snaps right at planting can be very bad so I'm not surprised your pom died back when you transplanted it.

Scott, but the initial dieback happened last March. By about the beginning of last May, it grew back again. The pomegranate bush was fine the entire summer and through early fall, but then it "died" again. Could my initial bad experience have affected that? Maybe, but I'm not sure how. Anyway, it's growing back again, so maybe this fall it will actually plan to behave. :) I figured maybe that's the way small plants react, and then they get tougher as they get older.

Kazake is even more hardy than EL hardy. Some nurseries are now selling many of these hardy varieties, I forget the nursery but if you Google for Kazake etc it may show up.

OK, thanks for the info.
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bamboo_rabbit wrote:

This shows why the old adage to plant new shrubs that are dormant in winter or non dormant plants after your last chance of frost is so wise. Transplanting is a shock to the plant and then to hit it with cold is just asking for it.

That's true. Actually, I blame EL for either sending out the plant too soon, or not spelling that out in their instructions.

On the plus side they regrow strong and you should be good for next winter.

Hope so--thanks. :) But either way, the plant has proved that it will keep coming back regardless. LOL.


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

Neptune, I had forgotten I covered my poms their first two years. The smaller plants are in general more prone to dieback. Anyway I think you will do fine with that variety.

Scott


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

OK, thanks, Scott. That makes more sense now. :)


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

This is kind of funny. My "cold hardy" pomegranate, which had completely died back to the ground, was starting to grow back recently. The last time I checked, it was about 8 inches tall. Last night, however, it got down to 39 degrees, and guess what? That zapped the 8-inch tall growth. There's still growth way at the bottom (about an inch high) that seems okay, but not the taller growth. For a "cold hardy" pomegranate bush, it sure seems like a total wimp. ;)


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

I have currently :

Salevatski
Alk Pust Ghermez Saveh
Agat
"Russian" E.L. (probably Salevatski)
Kaj-acik-anor
Lyubimyi
Bala Miursal
Entekhabi Saveh
Sumbar

and they all survived past couple weeks outside (took them in garage one day it was the 28F in late March but they all still leafing out fine with temps reaching 36,33,34 3 days in a row in April outside).

I'll probably adding this year through cuttings, etc:
Afganski
Al-Sirin-Nar
Apseronski krasnyj
Kazake
Sakerzdi
Surh-Anor

and not sure but maybe:
Kaim-anor
Knuduzski
Mejhos 6269
Saartuzski(Yalta)

E.L. is a good nursery but I wonder if they mislabled the variety?


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

Neptune, hardiness is for when its dormant only. The shoots are always tender. I have been lucky this year, only a couple kiwis got toasted. My poms have barely leafed out.

Monkeys make sure you tell us how all those varieties work, I am out of room for trying more varieties.

Scott


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

Thanks, armyofda12mnkeys. Assuming that E.L. didn't mislabel mine, maybe yours are doing better because they're bigger? We got down into the 30s last May, and I don't remember that zapping the bush, because it was larger back then.

OK, thanks, Scott. i wish I knew a way to keep my pomegranate artificially dormant until the middle of April! :)


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

I have grown several varieties of Pomegranates in the ground here in zone 6. So far the only two varieties that survived are Salavatski and Kazake, the Russian dies down every year.
Here's the Salavatski pomegranates from my tree.

Here's some more info on my website.

Bass

Here is a link that might be useful: Pomegranates in cold climate


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

bass, when did you harvested the salavatski fruit? were they ripe before the first frosts?
how old or tall were your poms when they started bearing?
two weeks ago I planted a salavatski and kazake in my garden, both about 30cm tall.

thanks!


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RE: Which varieties of Pomegranates would you suggest?

The Salavatski start to ripen in late September for me. I usually pick a couple early and leave the others on the tree through October. They are usually okay with a light frost if you leave them on, but I usually pick them before hard freeze.

They start bearing when they're about 4' tall.

Bass


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