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Pomegranate bush

Posted by Dawn 
Pomegranate bush
January 06, 2016 01:16AM
All last summer's pomegranate flowers fell off my bush, but this year I have so far counted 5 which have pollinated successfully. I'm keeping my fingers crossed hard in the hopes that I can get them to the edible state and that they are early enough in the season to get to a ripening stage. Lorna, I remember you mentioned your fruit didn't reach maturity, not sure whether that was last year or the year before. Just wondering if anyone is having, or has had success and if so what part of NZ are you having success?
Regards,
Dawn.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2016 03:13AM by Dawn.
Re: Pomegranate bush
January 06, 2016 04:04PM
Dawn, I had flowers on my pomegranate bush 3 years in a row, more and more each year. As the pollination rate seemed to be quite low, I hand pollinated many of the last year's flowers with a small paintbrush, resulting in about 12 flower producing fruit. None of them ever got to the stage of ripening. Then last winter the bush split and I had to cut off about 1/3. Six or eight weeks later it happened again and the bush didn't look at all healthy so I cut it down and dug out the stump.

In my research about growing pomegranates in NZ, it seems as if it's very difficult to get them to produce mature fruit. Maybe that's why all the pomegranates in the shops are imported!
Re: Pomegranate bush
January 06, 2016 07:54PM
Oh, that's a shame Lorna, although I can understand your perseverance had probably run out once the tree split and of course as you say it looked unhealthy!

In my bit of research I have read:

"During its first three years, a young, newly planted tree is unlikely to bear usable fruit, although it may have small fruits that drop before they reach maturity. As the tree matures, it will begin to produce fruit that matures on the tree; generally, fruit needs about six or seven months on the tree to be ready for picking". Source: [homeguides.sfgate.com].

I must not get my hopes up now, because maybe my tree isn't yet mature enough to succeed in holding on to the fruit long enough to reach maturity, ho hum! Hope I don't lose interest too soon. Six or seven months to maturity is a long period of time given our climate. If it hangs on long enough my first fruit would mature in May if this is so. It's no wonder there may not be any/many commercially grown trees in NZ.

Wish me luck!
Regards,
Dawn.
Re: Pomegranate bush
January 07, 2016 04:14PM
My bush (rather than a tree) was 11 years old, grown from a seed of a pomegranate that we had eaten and I found the seed lying on the floor. I know how old it was because I was temporarily living with my son while I was building my new house, in 2003. I'd bought the pomegranate to show his little daughters and let them taste something exotic.

It first bloomed in the summer of 2012 after three house moves. I had originally planted the seed in a little pot at my son's house knowing I would be moving 'up the hill' when my house was finished. That was the first move.

Second was when I sold the house on the hill in 2009; I again transplanted it into a pot while I moved into rental accommodation before finding the house I wanted to buy, which took exactly a year. The final move was to the house I am in now and it had been planted here in 2010. So I'm picking all the moves and being confined to a pot for a year would not have helped it mature. Once it was in the ground and left alone, it grew and matured quickly.
Re: Pomegranate bush
January 18, 2016 07:12PM
Lorna, I am not going to hold my breath, but I have huge hopes now that I might get at least one to last the distance, even if it doesn't taste very good!! I've attached a photo of the largest one of about 6 on my tree at the moment. It is about the size of a ping pong ball. From my observation over time, most of the flowers on my tree have been male with a lot less female.

Your 'bush' that was, certainly had a history of moves attached to it. Pretty hardy plants I reckon!
Regards,
Dawn.
PS will have another go at attaching a photo.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2016 07:16PM by Dawn.
Re: Pomegranate bush
January 18, 2016 07:14PM
Success this time I hope!
Attachments:
open | download - P1100369.JPG (4.83 MB)
Re: Pomegranate bush
January 19, 2016 07:32PM
wow Dawn, let's hope it comes to fruition. We have a plant, but it has never flowered at all. Keep us posted please
Re: Pomegranate bush
January 19, 2016 09:12PM
Shall do Irene. I am very excited with my baby pomegranate! hot smiley Keeping fingers crossed.
Regards,
Dawn.
Re: Pomegranate bush
January 20, 2016 06:02PM
The best of luck be with you, Dawn. I used to get so excited when I saw one more flower that had set fruit and so disappointed when that fruit never grew very big nor ripen. Do keep us up-to-date with any events of note.
Re: Pomegranate bush
March 27, 2016 04:46AM
Irene and Lorna - an update on my pomegranate bush. I am feeling so pleased that at least 3 pomegranate managed to hang in there, but not so sure that the other two fruit will ever reach maturity before the depths of our winter turn their toes up. But the first one I photographed in January is going well and of course much bigger in both size and colouring. Since I photographed this one about 2 weeks ago it has further deepened in colour and filled out and I guess recent rain has helped. You can see one of the two other smaller fruits on the bush in one of the photos starting to colour, but not nearly big enough to mature in time unless we have a warm winter (and a miracle!) which I doubt very much.

When I look at the bush from my view inside the house, the maturing pomegranate fruit is so bright and beautiful wavering around in the breeze......................I have imaginations of the tree being covered in bright and beautiful fruit all wavering around - what a sight that must be - I think of Chinese Lanterns!

Next, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating and it's juiciness and sweetness. And I have no idea when I will pick it or can even tell when it's ready. I don't think it is quite right at this moment.
Regards,
Dawn.
Attachments:
open | download - P1100460.JPG (5.37 MB)
open | download - P1100453.JPG (5.47 MB)
Re: Pomegranate bush
March 27, 2016 11:49PM
I'm green with envy, Dawn. Congratulations on bringing a couple of fruit to almost maturity, I hope the weather stays kind long enough for them to be fully ripe. They don't look far off, do they! It was pomegranate season when I was in Morocco last October and they were so delicious. They were, of course, used in many recipes in restaurants, either cooked or raw . However, my favourite way to eat them was straight from the fridge, the seeds placed in bowls with their juice and a light sprinkling of caster sugar. The eight of us were presented with a huge, deep bowl of the ruby-red jewels when we had lunch at a private home and it didn't take us long to polish off the whole bowlful.
Re: Pomegranate bush
March 28, 2016 04:56AM
Thanks Lorna - I will update when it's picked. I too would enjoy pomegranate the way you have described in Morocco - but alas I don't think I'll do that here in NZ!!
Regards,
Dawn.
Re: Pomegranate bush
March 28, 2016 08:44PM
Dawn they look wonderful. Let's hope this warm Autumn continues
Re: Pomegranate bush
March 29, 2016 04:00PM
So what do you plan to do with them when you pick them, Dawn? They make a salad sparkle and they make great juice but they're 'lost' in a casserole-type meal, I think. I've never had them cooked in any way other than the bottle of pomegranate molasses I bought a while back.
Re: Pomegranate bush
April 11, 2016 07:53PM
Following on with my pomegranate story.............. having come home from 10 days holiday I've been out to have a look at my pomegranate and I was aghast to find it had begun to split around it's top but hadn't split enough to show any flesh so I decided it had to be picked. However I felt better when I Googled to find out how to tell when they are ripe, and found this response from Virgil on Foodlovers way back in 2004 in which he posted :

"They should be shiny, red-blushed and firm, but you will be able to feel the juice capsules bursting when you squeeze hard. Alternatively you can protect the tree with bird net and wait for the fruit to split open at peak ripeness. Act quickly though, once they split they can ferment very fast on the tree."

Mine was all of that although I was not too sure I could feel the juice capsules bursting when I squeezed as the fruit was firm. When I cut it open a small amount of juice flowed, abut alas when I sampled a couple of 'jewels' the pip in the centre was white and hard - too hard to enjoy eating the jewels as you do from a bought pomegranate. So I have ended up just trying to crush the fruit and suck out the juice which wasn't as sweet as the bought ones, but quite passable. So my dream of having my own pomegranate sprinkled over a salad was dashed!

The other two fruit still on the tree I doubt will come to maturity before winter bites but I'll leave them and just see what happens. Meanwhile I'll be hoping that my tree will flower even earlier this year and set some fruit which will give them an even better lead-in to maturity providing we have the wonderful spring, summer and autumn we've had this season. Here are some more pics.
Regards,
Dawn.
Attachments:
open | download - P1110093.JPG (2.38 MB)
open | download - P1110096.JPG (2.8 MB)
Re: Pomegranate bush
April 11, 2016 08:51PM
Wonderful pics Dawn!! Fingers crossed for the remaining two
Re: Pomegranate bush
April 12, 2016 07:00PM
Thanks Irene! But I don't think the other two are going to even get as far as the first one did!
D.
Re: Pomegranate bush
April 13, 2016 03:48PM
How lovely that Virgil is still giving us advice.smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2016 03:48PM by Stephanie D.
MKL
Re: Pomegranate bush
April 15, 2016 12:31AM
Hi just new to this website and am very interested in your pomegranate story. I am in Ashburton and planted a small pomegranate three years ago I espaliered it and its now about 2 metres tall it has always flowered a lot but never fruited until last week I noticed that it is flowering for the second time this season (as is several of my fruit trees) and there is finally fruit forming. I am delighted but I think it is too late in the season. I did read somewhere that they take about 3-5 years before they bear fruit. Are you in the North or South Island. Looking forward to hearing from you

cheers Maree
Re: Pomegranate bush
April 15, 2016 12:43AM
I live in Auckland and my pomegranate is taking over my garden! last year it was 1 year old and I got one fruit, this year I have 5 ! one is definitely larger than the others though. I haven't picked any yet, I always thought they had to remain on the tree till the leaves fell off, but that may have been incorrect advice I was given.smiling smiley
Re: Pomegranate bush
April 19, 2016 01:11AM
Hello Maree and Elemental - it's nice to hear of others growing pomegranates and know how successful they are with fruiting. Maree it is strange that your tree has started flowering again. I wonder if the season is warmer than usual at this time of the year and the tree is confused and thinks it's Spring coming? Being espaliered, is it against a nice warm wall as that may have helped it to decide to go into flower again. It would certainly be very attractive espaliered.

Elemental, your tree has done well considering it's a young tree! I would think in New Zealand's climate it would pay to leave the fruit on the tree until it begins to split to give it as long as possible to come to proper maturity and if the fruit is keeping well on the tree, then I think it would be fine to leave it there until the leaves fall. Yours sounds like a very boisterous tree - have you ever given it a trim?

I am North of Auckland. I too have heard it takes at least 3 years to bear fruit and 6 months on the tree for the fruit to fully mature. My tree would be about 5 years old and this is it's second season of flowering, the first season all the flowers fell off. I have to admit that, this year, I did try to transfer pollen (with the tip of my little finger of all things) from male to female - as long as I got some pollen onto my finger tip I was happy to try to transfer. Sometimes I was too late in getting the pollen from some of the flowers too! The male and female flowers are very distinctive in their early age, the male being slender at the base of the flower, the female being noticeably more rounded. I have read that they are self pollinating, but the success rate is much higher if a second pomegranate is planted. I have only one. I feel that if my first pomegranate fruit (in the photos) could have stayed on the tree until late May, early June, it may have been a roaring success. Now I am going to give my tree a light prune as advised on the internet because they fruit on new wood and I've not pruned the tree in the past.

It would be good to get an update from you both further down the growing track to see what happens with your flowers Maree and your fruit Elemental. Good luck!
Regards,
Dawn.
MKL
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 03, 2016 07:40PM
Hi Dawn
Unfortunately my pomegranate fruit grew to the size of a golf ball then fell off. Oh well will try again next year. Almost overnight the leaves turned yellow. The season here is indeed warm and many fruit trees are in blossom and fruiting for the second time. We had a bumper crop of almost all types of fruit this summer so will be interesting to see what the next season will bring. Hopefully something good
cheers
Maree
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 27, 2016 10:54PM
Final update (don't want to bore you) but I checked out my 2nd pomegranate a couple of days ago and it had split well and truly around the top, so in this wet weather it's just as well I checked and picked it. It is quite sweet and the jewels can actually be eaten this time, much to my delight. The pips inside each jewel are a bit chewy, but in comparison to the first pomegranate I picked it is edible.

The 3rd fruit on the tree has quite a way to go to ripen so I doubt it will as winter has finally arrived. Here's a picture of the second pomegranate. You can see the brown colouring on the edges of the skin - that's where it has split.
Regards,
Dawn.
Maree I certainly hope next year brings you better luck too!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/27/2016 10:56PM by Dawn.
Attachments:
open | download - P1110129(1).jpg (2.61 MB)
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 27, 2016 11:29PM
Definitely not boring Dawn. That is amazing. Just a thought re the final fruit. Would it be worth experimenting and putting a plastic bag over it secured with a twist tie/rubber band etc. I wouldn't recommend that for a whole tree smiling smiley But I just wonder if it will be like a mini hot house and help it to ripen?
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 28, 2016 02:05AM
Wonderful idea thank you Irene I'll do that. It will be a good experiment because it isn't going to ripen naturally. I'll wait until it's a fine day and the fruit is dry. I wonder if a small hole or two should be made on the under side of the bag to allow air circulation do you think - just wondering if it would rot if I didn't give some ventilaton?
Thanks for the idea!thumbs up
Regards,
Dawn.
Oh......just realised making holes in the plastic is going to take away the hot house effect?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2016 02:06AM by Dawn.
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 28, 2016 02:20AM
I think you will need to give it some ventilation, or it will just get wet and rot. Make sure what ever you use doesn't touch the fruit too.
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 28, 2016 03:39AM
I vaguely remembered reading or seeing this somewhere. I just went a-googling and apparently it's a fairly common practice in Japan for apple trees. Here is one link [gordosoft.com]. This blogger uses ziplock bags!!
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 28, 2016 06:44PM
Griz, thanks for your suggestion - that's exactly what I thought but I was wondering how to keep the bag away from the fruit, that's why I thought I'd need to make sure the fruit was completely dry before putting anything around it. However, I've now decided to take the path shown by Irene!

Irene, thanks for your link, I found it really interesting and helpful and I've decided to do exactly as they have shown, but will wait for a sunny dry day before I attach the bag. This is quite exciting and I will have to report the results at a later date!

Thanks to you both,
Regards,
Dawn.
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 31, 2016 08:02PM
Dawn are you on facebook? There is a conversation about this at present with Nalini from Lot 8 olive oil. I can point you to it or cut and paste the relevant bits here.
Re: Pomegranate bush
May 31, 2016 08:39PM
No, sorry I don't belong to facebook. I'd love to see it though Helen, if you've got time to cut and paste to here. Many thanks!
Regards,
Dawn.
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