Pomegranate is a small, fruit-bearing bush that can live in the garden for centuries, with a flower similar to that of myrtle. In the garden, it can be propagated most successfully using rooted cuttings.

Every gardener’s dream is to be able to grow southern fruits in their garden. Of course, what you call a southern fruit is quite relative, because a few centuries ago almonds, chestnuts, walnuts and hazelnuts were also viewed as southern fruits.

Now, let’s focus on a southern fruit that can be grown relatively safely.

The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is native to East and South Asia, but is also an important fruit in Afghanistan and Iran, and also widespread in America and China.

In gardens, in a sunny, sheltered place facing south, it grows into a large bush. It can also be kept as a potted plant, but in winter it should be kept indoors at 2-6 °C, in a bright or dark room. When you bring the plant indoors, it is advisable to cut back its branches.

Its scarlet flowers bloom from mid-July to the end of August. The double-flowered varieties are incapable of producing fruit, but the single-flowered ones ripen into multi-seeded berries, in which there are many seeds embedded in garnet-red flesh.

Pomegranate is a plant that can be propagated easily: the rooted cuttings can be separated from the mother plant in autumn and planted in a sheltered, sunny place. The young plant is still sensitive to the harsh cold, so it is necessary to protect its base with fallen leaves and mowed grass. It can also be easily propagated by cuttings in the middle of summer.

The basic variety grows into a 2-3 meter tall bush, while the dwarf one (Punica granatum Nana) does not grow higher than 50-80 cm, and its leaves and fruit are also smaller. Unlike the “plain” pomegranate, the fruit of the dwarf variety is not edible.

How to Eat Pomegranate?

When buying pomegranates, choose fruit with a hard, shiny skin. Soft, dented fruits are already overripe. Use a sharp knife to cut a slice off the top of the pomegranate. Cut into the fruit at the membranes that hold the seeds, then submerge it under water for 4-5 minutes so that the seeds surrounded by precious flesh can be extracted intact. Carefully squeeze out the seeds, which sink to the bottom of the water, while the membrane remains on top of the water, from where it can be easily thrown away. Strain it and it’s ready to eat.

You can eat the pomegranate raw or drink the squeezed juice; you can also add it to yogurt or muesli. You can also use it as a decoration for roasted meats, fish, or in rice side dishes. Don’t cook the pomegranate, just sprinkle it on the prepared food as the last step.