Type your question here!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pomegranate Yellowing and Leaf Drop

Q. A combination of overwatering and this heat caused my 9-year-old dwarf pomegranate leaves to yellow and drop on about 1/3 of the plant.  I turned off the water and hand watering it with small amounts of water. The only thing I did differently was give the plants a small dose of MiracleGro in the spring. Any suggestions? 
This pomegranate does not look all that healthy. The leaves should be much darker green. Probably watering too often caused it and the dieback. Use more water and apply it less often. Let those roots breathe!

A. This is not your common ordinary disease problem. It is humanitis! And the fertilizer did not cause it either.

Pomegranate is remarkably resilient in our climate if it’s not watered too often. Avoid watering these plants daily. Give it plenty of water when you irrigate and then hold off until the next irrigation. I water newly planted trees this spring every other day when temperatures are above 110° F.
Here's a pomegranate yellowing. Why? Because it was planted in a lawn that needs watering every day.

Watering once a week is enough in early spring and late fall. As it gets warmer, water more often. You should never have to water more than once every other day in the hottest weather!
            Leaf yellowing and drop can be a temporary problem with many fruit trees regarding water issues. Give the plant some time to respond if these branches are still supple and bend easily. 
            If these branches have dried and appeared dead, cut them off just above healthy growth. I have removed damaged parts during the summer months and the plant re-grew without problems.
            Use wood chip mulch on the soil surface to help preserve soil moisture during the heat. This gives me one extra day between waterings. I am giving new plants about 5 gallons, 3-year-old trees about 10 gallons, 5-year-old trees about 15 gallons and trees over 8 years old from 20 to 30 gallons depending on their size. A dwarf, 9-year-old tree is going to be in the range of 10 to 15 gallons each time you water.
            I have had no problems with loss of leaves during the summer but some of the 20+ varieties I have grown had winter cold damage. Some varieties of pomegranates, particularly those with Russian names, showed some winter cold damage. Older, common varieties sold for many years in the American market sailed through cold winters down to 10° F.


  1. Respectfully, au contraire, Mr. Morris.
    I rescued my beautiful, full-grown pomegranate several years ago from certain death by daily watering, continuing to date.

    1. Yours is a rare exception. It depends on the soil and its drainage and how much is applied. Pomegranate is a drought tolerant fruit tree compared to most other fruit trees. You can search any posting on irrigation and pomegranate and all posts from knowledgeable growers will say the same. I would hate to tell people who to irrigate pomegranate based upon one persons success. I know of one person who would agree with you on daily watering but his pomegranates are planted on Bullhead City, Az,sand.

  2. Thank You for providing the information. It is nice to find information on how to care and maintain desert trees and plants