You probably have reasonable expectations about what you can grow inside your home. You’re used to the basics: succulents, easy perennials such as spider plants, and so on.
So, fruit trees? In your living room?
Yes, way! You can grow a pomegranate tree in your very own home. You can even produce some edible superfood snacks from the fruit, depending on the variety you select.
Think how amazed your friends and family will be when you have a pretty little tree as the centerpiece in your living room.
An indoor pomegranate tree offers tasty snacks, pretty green foliage, improves air quality, and makes a great conversation starter.
Why Should I Grow Pomegranates?
Pomegranate trees are a popular houseplant because they’re bright and attractive and relatively easy to grow.
When pruned for indoor use, they appear as deciduous, fruit-bearing shrubs. Outdoors, they grow up to between five and ten meters tall.
The fruits are widely recognized for providing health benefits because they’re loaded with critical nutrients. They’re sweet and juicy and packed with antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
The edible parts of a pomegranate are the arils, the bright red coatings around the seeds. You can eat the entire aril, including the seed. Or you can chew the seeds to release the juices, then spit them out.
Pomegranate arils are eaten raw or used in juices, salad dressings, and marinades.
While you’re unlikely to get a great deal of edible production from indoor fruit trees, you can get a small yield.
Or, you might use your indoor shrubs as starters. In the appropriate climates, you can transplant the trees outdoors as they grow. Once outside, you’ll get more edible fruit production.
Another option for certain climates is to keep the tree outdoors in warm weather and move it inside in the winter.
However, you don’t need to plan on ever moving your plant outdoors if you don’t want to.
Pomegranate trees make great houseplants. You can select a dwarf variety, which is an appropriate indoor tree size.
Or, you can do a small or bonsai version of a regular pomegranate tree.
What Do I Need to Grow a Pomegranate Tree Indoors?
Here’s everything you’ll need for growing your indoor pomegranate tree:
- Dwarf pomegranate shrub variety seed or starter
- Perfect indoor spot with enough airflow, lighting, and space
- Container — terra cotta is a good choice
- Organic potting soil
- Peat moss
- Pruning shears
- Quart container for mixing fertilizer
- Fertilizer with a 10-10-10 blend
- Optional accessory – a grow light
Step by Step Instructions for Growing an Indoor Pomegranate Tree
Step One: Find the Perfect Variety of Pomegranate Tree
The first step is to find the right pomegranate tree.
Outdoor pomegranate trees can grow up to a height of 10 meters, or 30 feet. However, a dwarf pomegranate tree only reaches about three feet in height. So, it’s perfect for growing indoors.
You could also grow a regular pomegranate tree indoors and then transplant it outdoors. For your tree to succeed outside, you’ll need to be in plant hardiness zones eight through eleven. Find your zone here.
The Nana Dwarf Variety of pomegranate tree bears edible fruit. However, the seeds are rather sour, so dwarf pomegranate trees are more often treated as an ornamental plant.
Step Two: Mix Your Soil
Use a 10-gallon container or a similar size. That will provide enough room for the roots.
Now it’s time to fill up your container with your growing mix. Here’s an ideal blend:
- Two parts sand
- One part potting soil
- One part peat moss
This mix is perfect for creating a well-drained growing system.
Place the root ball in the container and fill in the soil around the roots. Fill the soil to the top of the container but don’t cover the trunk.
Water the plant and gently pat down the soil to remove air pockets.
Step Three: Place Your Container
You’ll want to find a location in your home with good sun exposure. The plant needs about four to six hours of full sun per day. The more sunlight, the better. This tree isn’t happy with partially shaded areas.
Don’t have any areas in your home that receive a lot of sunlight? Consider supplementing with a grow light. This could make the difference between a plant that struggles or thrives.
Step Four: Control the Temperature
You’ll need to exercise some temperature control in the room that houses your plant.
In the winter, the nighttime temperature should be between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. After you see new growth in the spring, the nighttime temperature should be between 50 and 60 degrees.
Not only can pomegranates survive relatively low temperatures, but they actually need a good chill to produce fruit.
Watch the short video below for some key info on managing temperature and getting pomegranate trees to bear fruit:
Step Five: Water
Pomegranate trees are a little tricky in that they need just enough water to allow them to survive. It’s a balancing act, to be sure. You’ll want to get the soil just barely moist during the growing season.
When August arrives, you can reduce how often you water the tree.
Wait to water the soil until it’s dry throughout the top two to three inches. Then, remove any water that flows through to the tray under the pot to prevent it from being taken back up into the soil.
Step Six: Fertilize
Use a 10-10-10 fertilizer.
The numbers 10-10-10 in fertilizer refer to its percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This balance makes for a good all-purpose fertilizer that’s suitable for your pomegranate tree.
Dilute the fertilizer in water to make a liquid fertilizer. Be sure to follow the packaging instructions for doing so.
Then, use this mixture to water the tree. You should apply this fertilizer mixture every two weeks, starting in the spring and ending in the fall. During the colder months when you’re keeping the soil drier, you’ll want to eschew any fertilizing.
Step Seven: Prune
You can prune your pomegranate plant to shape its appearance. Also, prune to remove any dead plant material that lingers during the spring.
Keep in mind, the flowers that turn into fruits will be setting on new growth branches. So, removing too much new growth will limit the amount of fruit you’ll see on your tree.
The Best Plants to Grow in Indoor Containers
Pomegranate trees are a great choice for gaining experience with larger indoor houseplants.
If you’re looking for more ideas, here’s our list of the 13 easiest houseplants that anyone can grow. Black thumbs welcome!
For more advice and tips on how to garden, indoors and outdoors, head on over to the Gardening Channel.
Did you enjoy this tutorial? Please be sure to comment below and let us know if you’ve had any luck with growing your own pomegranate tree.