Pomegranates are native to central Asia and Persia. They spread along the trade routes throughout Europe and Asia and have been cultivated since ancient times. Pomegranates have a high water content in their juicy aril sacs and were carried by ancient traders throughout the Middle East as a source of liquid and nutrition. They are well adapted to hot, arid, and nutritionally poor soils conditions. They were brought into California in the 1500’s and into Florida in the 1700’s by the Spanish. There are many new varieties grown from USDA zones 10 to 6, with some varieties being cold hardy to 7 degrees F. The pomegranate grows like a large shrub to a height of 15’-20’. Pomegranates are self-pollinating and are an attractive dooryard tree with multi-colored blossoms and fruit ranging from pale pinks and yellows to deep burgundy reds. Pomegranates require full sun for optimum fruit production and can be grown throughout the southern United States and north to zone 7. They are fast growers and will begin to bear in 2-3 years.
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