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Pomegranates in North Texas Print E-mail

Question: 1) Does Pomegranate grow well in Dallas, Texas?
2) I would like to grow the "big" fruit of Pomegranate, which type of Pomegranate do you recommend?  I saw on your web site and there are several of them?
3) Which nurseries are your vendors?
Thank you very much for your time.

Tho - Dallas Texas

Answer:Not really, in my opinion.  I do not recommend them for your area.  There are several issues of concern - any of which could cause disappointment.

First is winter cold.  Most pomegranates, when fully dormant will survive your normal winter cold.  Notice I said "fully dormant" and "normal" winter cold.   I have seen the most damage to a pomegranate when spring is starting, the pomegranate softens, buds swell or even start to leaf and then a frost comes in to do the damage.  In our climate, this is rare, but in your climate, it happens much more often.  It is for this reason I do not recommend our great Angel Red® Pomegranate since I have seen it have more problems with late frosts than others.  Most dormant pomegranates can withstand winter cold to around 10 degrees F.  On given years, you can get colder and for longer than normal (like last winter).  Those years may cause plant loss.

Second is length of season.  Most pomegranates ripen in October in hot desert like conditions where spring starts in late February and March and really begins to get cold in October or late September.  Your season is much shorter.  I noticed that Texas A&M's Agricultural Extension Service in Tarrant County recommends pomegranates as an ornamental shrub (with occasional fruit)(Recommended Plants for North Texas) but does not have a fruiting pomegranate on their recommended fruit tree list (Tarrant County Fruits, Nuts and Berries). Is this because of a season too short for the fruit? I do not live in Dallas so do not have personal experience here.

Third is fungal diseases brought on by humid weather.  The further east, the wetter and larger the problem.  And pomegranates will split apart if it gets rain late in the season as the fruit is maturing.  You can still make juice from it but doesn't look very attractive.

Fourth is well drained soils.  Pomegranates are desert loving, drought tolerant plants.  They absolutely will not like being planted in overly wet, poorly drained soils.

So, I do not recommend pomegranates in your area.   If you are willing to plant a pomegranate with the understanding that your climate has issues that can disappoint you, you might try Wonderful (large and best known), Austin (Syrian pomegranate which has worked well in Austin, TX and places further northwest), Grenada (month earlier for shorter season but smaller than Wonderful) and Utah Sweet (pale pink from Southern Utah area - being slightly more cold tolerant).

I do not have any nurseries immediately in your areas carrying the pomegranates because of the reasons above.  Closest by car would be Temple, Georgetown, Austin or areas further south or mail order.

Good luck.

Ron L.


 

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ken said:

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I have 2 pomegranate in my back yard and they are very fruitful and I live east of Dallas in West Tawakoni. I, to-date, have done noting to them to encourage growth, sorta developed a survive it you can attitude. Last year I did have a problem with splinting of fruit which I attributed to hot Texas summer sun, but; after reading several web sites I suspect I may have a problem with fungus or perhaps I over watered.
Wednesday June 5, 2013

RonLudekens said:

RonLudekens
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Ken, I would suspect that if you are watering them late in the season after the fruit has started to harden, then that would be the cause of splitting.
Friday June 7, 2013

Ted said:

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We have seven different varieties of fruiting pomegranates growing outside our house in Dallas, all planted in the last 7 years. One is a "Wonderful" that we bought from a local nursery as a tall, well-established plant (the same variety which is the source of those grapefruit-sized fruits from California in the supermarkets). It has proved a big disappointment so far, never producing much healthy, decent-sized fruit, not growing much at all and not been especially pest resistant. Our best is a "Russian pomegranate" bought on eBay as a 2' single-stem sapling 6-7 years ago. Almost right next to the "Wonderful" variety tree, it has grown steadily in our black clayey soil to a height of 8-9 feet and has dense canes that we we have thinned out at least twice - this year was a sort of bumper crop year for all our trees, but this one produced the largest, healthiest and tastiest fruits. As if to show how much more cold-adapted it was than other varieties, it held onto almost all its green leaves during the recent freeze long after all the others had dropped theirs. We fertilize with rabbit manure and apply copper [oxide?] to boost fruit production, on the one hand, and combat wheel bugs and other rot-causing pests, on the other.
Tuesday December 24, 2013

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