Video: Indoor Pomegranate
A capricious southerner ripens on the windowsills
Who has never tasted at least once a wonderful, sunny, southern-hot fruit - pomegranate? The fact that such exoticism can be admired every day did not even occur to me until one plant lover sent seeds of indoor pomegranate several years ago.
And now I am pleased with a pretty tree 70 cm high on the window, strewn with bright orange-red double flowers in spring and summer, and sunny fruits with grainy and juicy pulp in autumn and winter. Constantly being in front of my eyes, it awakened in me a desire to learn as much as possible about this plant, and this is what I found while digging in reference books.
Botanical name of
common pomegranate- Punica granatum. It comes from the Latin words punicus - Punic or to Arphagenian (historical names of modern Tunisia), from where the pomegranate penetrated into Europe, and granatus - granular - along the numerous seeds inside the fruit, surrounded by a juicy cover. At present, pomegranate groves are preserved in the wild on the territory of the countries of Anterior, Asia Minor and Central Asia, in Afghanistan. This valuable plant has long been cultivated by humans - scientists believe that at least four thousand years ago. Now pomegranate is cultivated in almost all countries of the subtropical zone and in some countries of the tropical belt of the globe.
What is a pomegranate tree? Its height is 5-6 meters; the crown is oval, dense; branches are thin, curving. Pomegranate leaves are glossy, oval, 3 cm long and 1 cm wide; double flowers with a diameter of 3 cm, bright, orange-red; fruits - spherical with a leathery shell and a mass of juicy seeds inside.
The root system of the pomegranate is superficial, well-branched, widely spreading to the sides. This plant is light-requiring, little demanding on soils, resistant to dry soil and air, painlessly tolerates frosts down to -12 ° C.
More than 100 varieties of pomegranate are now known. Some dwarf varieties are suitable for indoor cultivation. I have a Nana variet
(Punica granatum Nana). It is distinguished by very early fruiting - already on the 3-4th month, plants grown from seeds bloom, and up to a dozen fruits ripen on two-year-old plants. In addition, unlike most other varieties, it practically does not shed its leaves for the winter. Pomegranate's good tolerance to dry air in urban apartments makes it an ideal indoor plant.
As I said, I grew my pomegranate from seeds. In February I received freshly harvested seeds. I must say that after flowering, pomegranate fruits ripen for about 6 months. I sowed it in 0.5-liter boxes with ordinary garden soil, prepared for seedlings of peppers, to which I added sand, and put it in a warm place - on a wide window sill, away from the window, closer to the radiator. Out of five seeds, three sprouted, the first in ten days, the second in a couple of weeks, and the last in another week. As I later found out, this is normal: the germination rate of pomegranate seeds is about 50%, and their germination time is extended. The first two leaves of a pomegranate differ from its characteristic elongated ones, they are wide with a notch in the middle. At first, one stalk with opposite leaves grew, and when it reached a height of 15 cm, lateral branches began to grow. In July, the stem began to grow woody, and the first flowers appeared, which I removed so as not to weaken the young plants. By October, the leaves began to wither and fall off, but half of them remained on the branches. The pomegranate's rest time has come, which lasts until February-March. During this period, the plants must be removed from the window, watering should be minimized so that only the soil does not dry out completely.
At the end of February, when fresh leaves began to appear, I transferred the plants to 1 liter pots with fertile soil and put them on the south window. I began to water more often: 1-2 times a week. After a month and a half, flowers began to appear at the ends of the growing branches. It is necessary to say especially about the pomegranate bloom - it deserves it. I would grow pomegranate just for its flowering! It is very abundant, lasts all spring and summer, flowers are large, bright, orange-red, bell-shaped, double with long fluffy stamens. An indescribable sight!
There are hundreds of flowers, but only 2% of them will set fruit - this is how nature should. They form constantly during the summer and mature for about 6 months. So the first ones ripen in September, and the last ones in January. Ripe pomegranates with a diameter of 4 cm with a brown color. If they are not removed in time, they crack, exposing the grains. In indoor pomegranate, they are just as tasty and healthy as in purchased ones. In addition, I dry the "skins" (leathery pericarp) and fruit partitions and add them to herbal teas - they give an astringent taste and have a firming effect on indigestion.
Gennady Anisimov, experienced gardener