Somehow I consider all the plants in my garden jewels – providing fresh, healthy food and much pleasure. But pomegranates with their glistening seeds provide a special sparkle. The plants are attractive even before you cut the fruit open to get to the seeds, with shiny coppery young foliage in spring, orange-red flowers in summer and glowing red fruit in autumn. If you don’t pick the fruit till Christmas in the northern hemisphere, they’d make beautiful self-decorating Christmas trees.
Pomegranates are well worth growing just as ornamentals but they’re also great in the kitchen. Their special sweet to sweet-sour taste and their high nutrient level can satisfy both your culinary and nutrition goals.
In my online course “Grow Your Own Superfoods” I introduce you to their many uses, including natural colouring, syrups, fermented products and more, and present inspiring recipes and tips on coaxing the seeds out of the fruit. The course also provides exact step-by-step instructions for growing and pruning these multi-stemmed plants. Rest assured pomegranates are easy-to-grow, undemanding plants. Almost all you need to do, apart from harvesting, is to add fertiliser (details are covered in the crop guide of the online course).
But pomegranates do need heat for the fruit to ripen, so plant them in a warm spot. There may be a few cool, rainy summers when the fruit won’t ripen, but in hot, sunny summers you can expect a bumper crop. You can also plant them in a large pot and move them around, following the sun and heat if necessary. In the garden they can easily reach up to 2.7 m (9 ft). In pots, where they probably won’t grow as large as in open ground, they’ll produce less. If you want more fruit, plant pomegranates in two or three pots. Placed next to each other they’ll create an instant hedge or screen.