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Punica - Growing Guide
Growing Punica granatum
Commonly known as ‘Pomegranate’ Punica has been grown in the south of Europa and North Africa at least since Roman times. In the UK the tree has been grown for around 400 years but has very seldom produced edible fruits. In recent years, and perhaps because of climate change, this plant has suddenly grown in popularity not for the prospect of an ‘apple with grain like seeds’ (granatum) but for its spectacular late season scarlet or orange flowers.
Forms have been developed with double flowers which are what we now also offer. Punica may grow to small spiny trees in the Mediterranean but we must regard them as fairly small growing shrubs. The double flowered varieties which we offer are dwarfish shrubs growing only to about 3ft.
Pomegranate enjoy a well drained position in full sun and this, together with an exceptionally warm late summer and autumn, is necessary to have any chance of fruit even forming. The dwarf forms make good edging plants to a border or as a low hedge.
With us the flowers appear in August and September but they are then one of the spectacles of autumn. The flowers normally appear singly and, in P. granatum, they have five petals at the end of a scarlet orange tube which can be 1½in across. The double forms have chubby tubes of bulging carnation-like flowers which are orange or orange red. They appear much larger than you might expect from a dwarfish growing plant.
In the greenhouse they need a large container and full light. These plants are late into leaf and do not need feeding with a liquid feed until the new growth is established.
Semi-ripe root cuttings taken in summer need bottom heat to root properly.
This is really a plant with edible fruit which is actually becoming widely grown for its exceptional late season flowers when little else is producing any sort of show. The late autumn yellow colouring can be a good show too!