Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pomegranate Trees for Edible Landscaping

Pomegranate Transplant
We have several groupings of shrubs and hedges in our yard landscaping that were installed by the builder when our home was constructed. The hedges are fine, but do require quite a bit of maintenance. There's something about an untrimmed hedges and shrubs that aggravate me. It's one of my pet peeves.

As my interest in sustainable living has increased during the past few months, I've been exploring several options for replacing the shrubs and hedges with some edible landscaping. 

My yard is small, so a large tree won't really work well.  I live in Florida, so there already plenty of orange, grapefruit, nectarines, and lemon trees to go around.  I ruled out apples, pears, and peaches due to the climate. 

I explored the possibilities of the lychee tree after seeing some videos from Bill Mee in South Florida who has a whole grove of them. 

This tree is roughly 3 years old
Lychees are evergreen trees that are native to China. An evergreen appleals to me for landscaping, since the trees would have green foliage year round.  I recently made a trip to Jene's Tropicals in St. Petersburg to learn more about them.

While there, I discovered the pomegranate tree.  Jene's had a grafted Vietnamese Pomegranate that produces a pink fruit and a Wonderful Pomegranate that produces the more traditional red colored fruit that I am more familar with.  For no other real reason, except that I think red will look better as part of our landscaping than pink, we purchased a 3 year old tree in a 3 gallon container and planted it in our backyard the next daytoward the rear of our property line.

It's my understanding that the tree can be pruned to 6 - 7 feet tall and still produce quite a bit of fruit, if done correctly. Or, left to it's own devices the tree is capable of growing to 18 - 20 feet.  I'm not quite sure how I would harvest a 20 foot tree with my modest step ladder, so my plan is keep things tamed down with some careful periodic pruning.

I've since learned that pomegranate trees are frequently and successfully grown in containers reaching a natural height of 8 - 9 feet (or maybe a little more).  Containers would have been a nice option for us, since it also includes the possibility of relocating the tree later if needed. 

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Just came upon your Site, looking for some ideas for edible gardening, I also have a pomegranate tree, actually two. I had planted one on each side of our house. Had to transplant them to the front yard since they were to close to the house, they have gotten big but have not produced yet. Looking forward to see them produce their beautiful fruit. I live in Southern CA.
    Thanks for sharing,