Most pomegranate trees found in the home landscape started as bare-root, balled-and-burlapped or container-grown specimens, or they grew from stem cuttings. Stem cuttings reliably reproduce a pomegranate plant without the hassle of growing from seeds, which rarely grow true, and develop the desirable qualities of the donor plant. Pomegranate trees grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, and have an affinity for fertile, deep, well-draining loam or sandy loam with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. Although a relatively low-maintenance plant, poms require diligent pruning, regular watering and optimal fertilization to grow from a cutting to a healthy, hardy tree capable of producing vigorously for 15 years or more.
Take 8- to 10-inch-long cuttings from 1/4- to 1/2-inch-wide shoots or suckers from last year’s growth using pruning shears. Harvest and plant the cuttings in late winter just before the threat of frost passes. Wipe the blades of the pruning shears with a cloth moistened with isopropyl alcohol between cuts.
2.Plant the cuttings in well-draining loam or sandy loam in an area that gets full sun, making sure the top node sticks above the soil line. Plant cuttings 3 to 9 feet apart if growing to shrub form and at least 18 feet apart in all directions if growing to tree form.
3.Water the soil you planted the pomegranate cuttings in every seven to 10 days with 2 gallons of water per square foot during normal periods of rainfall. Keep the top 2 inches of soil perpetually moist near the end of the growing season in late summer and before the threat of frost in fall. Poms can tolerate a bit of flooding, so don’t worry about keeping the soil too moist.
4.Top dress the soil with 1 to 1 1/4 pounds of 8-8-8 fertilizer just before the first frost in late fall and just after the threat of frost passes in early spring during the first two years of growth.
5.Top dress the soil with 2 to 3 1/2 pounds of 8-8-8 fertilizer each year just before the first frost in late fall and just after the threat of frost passes in early spring after the first two years of growth.
6.Prune back all the large stems with lopping shears except the strongest one during the first year’s dormant period to develop a central leader if you want to grow a tree-type pom. Pinch back the new shoots except three to five that grow symmetrically during the first year to serve as the tree’s scaffold branches.
7.Grasp suckers and twist them while pulling to remove them from the roots as soon as you see them; use pliers to grasp and twist suckers too dense to twist off by hand. Twisting the suckers off instead of cutting closes the wound and helps prevent them from growing back.
8.Top the pom off to 2 or 2 1/2 feet tall during the first two years of growth to grow a shrub-type pom. The lowest branch on a shrub-type pom should be no lower than 8 to 10 inches above the ground.
9.Trim back all the branches to three-fifths of their length and prune back any branches that come in contact with other growth during the first dormant period after planting. Remove old, over-ripe fruit from the poms when you prune, as well as any fruit lying on the ground. Pull weeds growing around the pom when you see them.