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All About the Dwarf Pomegranate

Trying to choose the right plant for your landscaping comes with deciding the color, size, and themes that give your landscape the look that you want. Because of these different characteristics, many decide to go with a dwarf pomegranate shrub.

A dwarf pomegranate shrub with blossoms and fruit developing.

A dwarf pomegranate changes with the seasons and is ideal where bright and warm color tones are welcome in the garden. It makes a wonderfully vibrant addition to any garden. Smaller than other varieties of pomegranate, dwarf pomegranates are good choices to use for hedges and container specimens for patios or indoor gardening.

If you think a dwarf pomegranate is right for your landscaping or garden oasis, make sure you know what to expect and how to care for it around the year. 

What are Dwarf Pomegranates?

While pomegranates come in a variety of sizes, the Nana variety is considered to be the dwarf pomegranate. Growing to a mature height between 3 and 4 feet, it’s ideal for use in landscape hedges, containers, and even bonsai gardening.

A burst of orange and red blossoms through the summer and then a golden yellow in the fall is what you can expect from a dwarf pomegranate shrub. They do produce pomegranates, but the fruit is smaller and has a different taste. Since this pomegranate does not get to be as large as other pomegranate trees, the amount and size of fruit are also impacted.

Closeup of dwarf pomegranate fruit in person's palm.

Container Size

Since a dwarf pomegranate is used for ornamental purposes and only grows a few feet tall, it is ideal for pots and containers. While it may start out in a quart-size pot, you may end with having the shrub in a 3 or 5-gallon container by the time it reaches maturity.

The size of the container you need depends on the stage of growth the pomegranate is in when you purchase it. As it grows, it is essential for it to be repotted in a new, bigger pot until it is fully grown.  

A dwarf pomegranate planted in a container.

Where Should My Dwarf Pomegranate Be Placed

During the months when it is warm and hot, you want your dwarf pomegranate to have direct access to the sun. Pomegranates are native to areas that are dry and very warm, so they thrive in a similar environment. While they can stand a certain level of humidity, their ability to produce few, if any, fruit at all may be impacted. Since these shrubs are used for ornamental purposes, they are still an ideal option even when the environment is pretty humid. 

In the winter months, bring your pomegranate inside so that it can be safe from the chilling wind and ice. Winter elements are harsh on a pomegranate, and they need to be protected during this time.

Dwarf pomegranates will start to go dormant and lose their leaves after the fall season, so they need a darker area during the winter to rest and prepare for the spring to bloom. You do not have to put the shrub in complete darkness, but tucking it away in a corner is ideal. 

Watering My Dwarf Pomegranate

When your dwarf pomegranate is outside for the warm and hot months, you need to make sure that it is getting enough water twice a week. Watering it at the root, if your pomegranate is inside a pot, you want to make sure the water can drain efficiently during watering. Once you take the pomegranate in for the winter, you can water it once a week, making sure the soil is wet without soaking it. 

You do not want to give your pomegranate too much water. This could open up an environment for fungus and blossom rot on the flowers and fruit that are growing. 

Pruning My Dwarf Pomegranate

When you are pruning your dwarf pomegranate, make sure you do so in spring after the danger of frost has passed and before the first frost comes in the fall. These shrubs are pretty resilient to disease and damage, but you do not want to make the pomegranate vulnerable and impact its health. Also, since the fruit on these pomegranates is sour and hard to eat, you may want to prune the fruit off through the summer season so that the shrub can put its energy into growing. 

This is an important step if you are using your dwarf pomegranate as a bonsai tree. While your pomegranate grows, it needs to be able to direct its energy in the right place. With bonsai trees, you need to shape them so that they take on that bonsai form of multi-trunks or a think trunk. Without fruit growing on the tree, it can redirect that energy to the trunk and allow it to grow. 

A dwarf pomegranate trained as a bonsai plant.

Fertilizing My Dwarf Pomegranate

Like watering and getting new pots, the type of fertilizer you use and how often you do it is vital to the health of your dwarf pomegranate. While they can grow in alkaline soil, your pomegranate will truly thrive in soil that is acidic.

You should have a soil test done on the soil to see what pH level it is at before you plant your pomegranate. The fertilizer you add should be more acidic size so that it can shift the overall balance of the soil and make it a more inclusive environment for pomegranates. Nitrogen is very important to the soil and the overall health of the shrub. 

You should not fertilize your pomegranate when it has just been planted. Too much fertilizer for a newly planted shrub can be a shock. Once a pomegranate goes into shock, it could take extra time to come back and overcome the trauma.

Once they are in the second year of being planted, you want to add some of the acidic fertilizer to your dwarf pomegranates so that they can restore the nutrients they are using and need to continue growing. 

Conclusion

Closeup of dwarf pomegranate fruit.

While dwarf pomegranates aren’t grown for edible fruit like larger pomegranate varieties, they still make lovely specimens for your garden. Because their small size makes them ideal for containers and indoor gardening, they may even allow you to grow ornamental pomegranates in hardiness zones not suitable for planting pomegranates in the ground.

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Want to know more about pomegranates? Visit this link to read our other pomegranate-related blog articles (including recipes).