Punica granatum is one of two species that makes up the genus Punica. Native to the Mediterranean and Asia, they are however suitable for cultivation in the UK and cooler climates. Pomegranates are deciduous tree with brittle branches. They have opposite, narrowly oblong, shiny leaves and showy funnel shaped flowers available in a variety of colours. The flowers are followed by yellow leather-skinned fruits that are flushed with red. Pomegranates require Autumn temperatures of 13-16°C for fruit to ripen and can be a rare occurrence in cooler climates.
The “Neji-kan” variety of P. granatum develops the infamous spiralling trunk and branches with age.
BONSAI CULTIVATION NOTES
POSITION: Outside in full sun during the growing season. Though slightly frost hardy as trees in the ground, it can be wise to give some frost protection when temperatures drop below 0°C in the Autumn, preferably after leaf-fall. When kept outdoors during the Winter, place in a greenhouse, garage or similar cool position to encourage earlier growth during the following Spring
FEEDING: For flowers and fruiting feed fortnightly with low nitrogen, high phosphorous and high potassium fertilisers from Spring to Autumn. For trees requiring maximum growth remove flowers and feed high nitrogen fertiliser.
REPOTTING: Every two-four years as buds extend in Spring. Very old specimens can be left longer and repotted as necessary.
PRUNING: Prune back to one or two sets of leaves. For flowers, allow growth to extend unpruned from midsummer until after flowering.
WIRING: Anytime. Care should be taken with older branches as they become brittle.
PROPAGATION: Sow seed at 13-18°C in Spring. Root semi-ripe cuttings in Summer. Air-layer after Spring growth hardens.
PESRS AND DISEASES: Aphids, scale insects and mites. Occasionally mildew in very damp, humid weather.
STYLING: Most commonly seen as informal uprights in all sizes though should suit the size of the fruit.