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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Increasing the Size of Pomegranate Fruits

Q. We have a pomegranate tree which grows fruit but not to the size of those that sell in stores or larger, they are very small.  This tree is growing on a slight hill and gets watered for about 20 to 30 minutes a day, plus my wife gives it an additional 2 gallons of water almost every day during the summer months.  What can I do to get larger fruit and more of it?

A. Increasing the size of your pomegranatefruits is more about pruning, watering and fertilizing than anything else.  Larger fruit will be produced on older wood so pruning a pomegranate to be more like a tree than a shrub will help. 

            During fruit formation it is very important to make sure pomegranate receives adequate water.  Water shortages during fruit development will result in smaller fruit at maturity or split fruit before the fruit matures.  Irrigations should not be daily but they should be applied in larger quantities but less often.
One fruit has already formed. The flowers arising from
the same point of attachment are removed to cause
the remaining fruit to get larger.
            Fertilize pomegranates lightly or in moderate amounts in February.  More fertilizer does not translate to more fruit or larger fruit.  But adequate amounts of fertilizer will.  Mulching with organic mulch around the tree will help.

We do some thinning of the trees when the fruits are about the size of walnuts. The only thinning done is when the fruits are arising from the same point of attachment. Then they are thinned to just one fruit. This has to be done all through the flower and fruit development period and not just thinning once but several times.


  1. I looked at 5 other sites prior to yours. All say simmilar how ever only yours states larger fruit grows on older wood. All others say fruit only grows from new wood. Please explain. thx

    1. I read the same thing many years ago and I was also confused until I started to work with pomegranates and prune them. Some varieties of pomegranates will produce fruit when they are younger than others. I have had pomegranate varieties produce fruit as early as the second year after planting. And as far as I can remember, I don't think I've ever had a pomegranate variety that did not produce by the fourth year it was in the ground.All pomegranates produce flowers and fruit on current season growth. This means that there must be growth in the spring before flowers are produced. And these flowers are produced only on this new growth. So technically, flowers and fruit are produced only on new growth. This new growth that produces flowers can originate from two-year-old wood or wood that is older than this depending on the variety. I have had a variety that produced fruit the second year after was planted. I have had others that produced to fruit in the third and fourth year after planting. In all cases the flowers and fruit are only produced on soft succulent growth that originates from stems that are at least two years old. I think there has been a lot of repetition by people about the term "old wood". Since the term "old wood" was never defined, it just got repeated and repeated without a good understanding of what it meant.