Growing Pomegranates in Houston
Many varieties of pomegranates can be grown in the Houston, Texas, area. They can either be grown as a bush, or trained as a small tree. Pomegranates were initially cultivated in southern Asia in antiquity. The fruit was brought into this country by Spanish missionaries during the sixteenth century. Most species’ seeds are edible and the juice is known for its sweetness; the juice can also be reduced to form a syrup. A few pomegranate species suitable for Houston are:
Cloud. This is one of the best tasting pomegranates. It has a medium sized fruit with a red-greenish color.
Eversweet. This variety is name because the fruit is very sweet; even immature fruit. It is nearly seedless, with red skin and clear non-staining juice.
Garnet Sash. This tree yields big crops of large red fruit with deep-red, partially edible sweet-tart seeds. Can be grown as a shrub or tree and kept any height by summer pruning.
Desertnyi. This is a hybrid developed by Gregory Levin. The name translates into English as ‘dessert’. It has a light orange-colored rind and dark red arils. At maturity is has a sweet citrus flavor.
Tips on Pomegranate care:
- Plant the pomegranate more than 6 feet from the nearest tree. Dig a hole larger than the container and break up the soil at the sides of the hole. Place the tree into the hole, in the container, to the depth of the container. Tamp the loosened soil.
- The tree may produce fruit in its second year; it is best to pick the fruit immediately and let the tree put its energy into growth. If a young tree drops its flowers before fruition, then the tree is too young to fruit.
- Pomegranates ripen in late summer to early fall, from late August through September. To tell if the fruit is ripe, open one. If the seeds are colorful and the fruit has juice, it is ripe.