This easy-to-grow fruit tree is a nutritional dynamo.


Pomegranates come in a range of colors including red, orange, apricot, yellow and pink.

Pomegranates come in a range of colors including red, orange, apricot, yellow and pink.

Throughout history, the pomegranate has been revered as a symbol of fertility, health and rebirth.

"The pomegranate has been in cultivation for roughly 3,000 years. It was a staple for the Egyptians and Babylonians," says pomegranate enthusiast Ed Laivo. "It was also carried throughout the world by sailors, who used it as a staple for sea travel because it keeps so well."

The pom is experiencing a renaissance of its own: The fruit is a nutritional dynamo. Pomegranates are very high in Vitamin C, calcium and antioxidants, specifically lycopene.

Seedless varieties



At the National Clonal Germaplasm Repository, ancient species of pomegranate are collected from their native lands, including Iran, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

"Hybridizers can use them for developing new and exciting varieties — selections of poms that can be more adapted to drier climates, larger fruit, seedless fruit and better fruit for juicing," Ed says.

Seedless varieties have been developed because all the juice comes from the aril. "The aril is a seed sack that has fluid in it, and that surrounds the seed. So, no seed means more room for juice," he says.



Pomegranates vary in color, from soft pink such as 'Ambrosia' to red, orange and yellow. And even people who aren't fans of eating pomegranates can claim a variety. 'Nana' is a dwarf pomegranate that's purely ornamental; the plant has great spring flowers.

Tips for eating pomegranates



How can you tell when a pomegranate is ripe? Take a look at the bottom of the fruit, Ed advises. "If the calyx at the bottom of the pom is brown and the flowers are all dried, that's a good indication it's ready to eat."

Cutting into a pomegranate can be messy. A trick for avoiding the mess is to first cut off the calyx, score the sides of the fruit, then put it into a bucket of water and break it up — nice and clean. The choice to spit or swallow the seeds is purely personal. The seeds are harmless.

Growing your own

"Pomegranates for the home gardener are actually wonderful because they're maintenance-free, relatively pest-free, and have low water requirements," Ed says.

And the trees themselves stay a manageable size. In fact, pomegranates grow on the end of new wood, so pruning branches where there's no fruit controls the size of the tree.

Plant your pom in a pot that has good drainage (holes in the bottom). Start with a good basic potting mix and plant as you would any tree or shrub. After you remove the stake, cut the plant off at about a foot. To keep the plant under even tighter control, you can maintain it as a bush for its entire life.

Next Up

How to Select Fruit Trees

Learn how to select and grow your fruit trees with these expert tips.

Tips and Tools for Harvesting Fruit

From big sheets and a few friends to fruit-picker baskets and pole pruners, these tips and tools will make the job easier.

Fringetree, Chinese

The Chinese fringetree, akin to the white fringetree, can reach up to 25 feet tall.

Low-Maintenance Apple Trees

Disease-resistant varieties cut down on the amount of spraying.

How to Care for a Cactus

Cacti are easy to grow as long as you play by their rules.

Citrus Trees for Indoors

You don't have to live in the Deep South or California to grow great citrus.

Drought- and Heat-Tolerant Annuals

Stock your garden with drought-tolerant annuals that come into their own just as summer starts to sizzle.

How to Plant and Grow a Persimmon Tree

Experts share why persimmon trees are good to grow and offer tips on persimmon types and how to care for them.

Growing Dwarf Fruit Trees

Turn your backyard into a miniature orchard—these gorgeous fruit trees are perfect for pots.

Q&A: Potted Orange Tree Sheds Fruit

Find out why the fruit may be falling off early.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.