Punica granatum, Pomegranate
Zone
8/7b
Pollination
self-fertile
Ripens
5 - 6 months (hot climate)
Chill Hours
0 - 200
pH
5.5 - 7.2 (preferred), 4.5 - 8.2 (acceptable)
Yield
2 - 4 years (clone), 3 - 4 years (seedling)
Tolerant
saline soil (semi-tolerant)

Pomegranates are native to Iran and the drier half of south Asia, and they have been extensively cultivated in Caucasia, other parts of the Middle East, and the mediterranean basin. Rainfall within their native region is near 0" for 4 months (in the middle of the grow season) and 1" to 1.5" per month during the rest of the year. While established plants can tolerate severe drought and extreme heat, irrigation is necessary if you wish to get a good crop. High humidity early in the season will cause blossom damage and disease, but a few fruits are sometimes spared. Heavy irrigation when the fruit is mature or after a dry spell will encourage the fruit to split.

Many cultivars are hardy down to 12F (-11.1C), but the most cold hardy can survive temperatures down to 7F (-13.9C). Young trees may be more sensitive to winter cold, and temperatures around 28F (-2.2C) will often kill pomegranate trees if they are awake from dormancy. Since they are propagated through cuttings rather than graftings, you'll retain the same cultivar, but they may not fruit again for a few years.

"Hard seeds" may not be edible, but "medium hard seeds" should be (assuming the label is accurate). Sometimes soft and hard seeds are the only two labels used. In this case, medium soft (like "Wonderful") to medium hard are often placed in the hard seed label, so this creates some confusion.

Pomegranates can be stored for roughly 2 - 3 months if the temperature is around 45F (7.2C) with a relative humidity between 85 - 95%. Temperatures below 41F (5C) will eventually cause chilling injury to the fruit. Regardless, people still freeze the arils, so this injury is likely insignificant outside of decreasing its ability to sell. Pomegranates do not ripen off the tree.

The fruit come in many different shades, but to keep things simple, color descriptions will be limited to dark purple, burgundy, red, orange, pink, and yellow. Red and burgundy are the hardest for me to distinguish, and some descriptions may be based on the fruit when it's not completely ripe.




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Pomegranate
Punica granatum

AC Sweet

buy
developed in Beaver Dam, Arizona
Zone
:
8a?
Color
:
red skin, pink arils

A few nurseries list AC Sweet as being hardy down to zone 6, but I highly doubt it. can it survive zone 7b? no other soft seeded is that cold hardy. no one talks about this variety. sweet, soft seeds

Afganski

buy
Zone
:
7b

sweet-tart? (tart), medium seeds? (hard seeds), seedy

Agat

buy
developed in southern Russia
Color
:
red skin

sweet-tart, soft seeds, dwarf/spreading, very productive

Al Sirin Nar

buy
originated in Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan
Zone
:
7b
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart, hard seeds, very productive

Ambrosia

buy
developed in California
Zone
:
8b
Size
:
large fruit
Color
:
pink skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart, medium seeds

Angel Red

buy
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
early
Color
:
red skin, red arils

sweet? soft seeds

Ariana

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Zone
:
8
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart/tart, soft seeds

Austin

buy
originated in Syria
Zone
:
7b? (8)
Size
:
large fruit (1 lb or more)
Color
:
red skin, red arils

Azadi

buy
originated in Persia
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Color
:
orange skin, pink arils

sweet, slightly astringent, soft seeds

Bala Miursal

buy
originated in Azerbaijan
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

One nursery claims "Bala Miursal" and "Cranberry" are the same varieties, but I'm not sure if this is correct. Perhaps two different varieties were referred to as Cranberry at some point. sweet-tart, medium hard seeds, very productive

Balegal

buy
selected in San Diego, California
Zone
:
8b
Color
:
pink skin

sweet

Cana

buy
originated in Palestine

sweet

Chernaya Roza

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Color
:
dark purple skin

Chernaya Roza is Russian for "Black Rose". tart, medium hard seeds

Cranberry

buy
developed in California
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
late
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

tart? hard seeds? very productive

Daru

buy
originated in the western Himalayas
Size
:
small fruit
Color
:
red/green skin

Daru is used to make the spice anardana. tart

Desertnyi

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Zone
:
8
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Color
:
orange/pink skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart, soft seeds, recommended

Early Wonderful

buy
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
early-mid? 2 weeks earlier than Wonderful
Color
:
red skin

sweet-tart

Elf

buy
developed in California
Color
:
yellow/green/orange skin, pink arils

Elf is also known as Garnet Sash. hard seeds? semi-dwarf? (dwarf), sweet-tart? (sweet), very productive

Eve

buy
developed in California
Zone
:
7b? (8)
Ripens
:
late
Color
:
red skin, pink arils

Eversweet

buy
developed in California
Zone
:
8b
Size
:
8-10ft in height
Color
:
red skin, yellow arils

develops a sweet flavor before maturity, soft seeds

Fleishmann

buy
selected in Fallbrook, San Diego County, California. discovered in the 1950's.
Zone
:
8b
Color
:
pink skin, pink arils

sweet, soft seeds

Gissarskii Rozovyi

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Zone
:
8
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Color
:
pink/yellow skin, red arils

sweet-tart, soft seeds, recommended

Golden Globe

buy
developed in California
Zone
:
8b
Size
:
large fruit (up to 2 pounds)
Color
:
yellow skin, pink/red arils

sweet

Grenada

buy
Zone
:
8a
Ripens
:
early? (very early)
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

Grenada is a less tart, earlier ripening bud mutation of Wonderful. sweet-tart? (sweet)

Haku Botan

buy
originated in Japan
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
mid-late/late
Color
:
yellow skin, yellow arils

Haku Botan produces double white to slightly yellow flowers. tart, medium hard seeds

Hotuni Zigar

buy
Size
:
up to 5" fruit
Color
:
pink skin

sweet-tart

Hyrdanar x Goulosha

buy
Ripens
:
mid-late?
Size
:
3-5ft in height

Ink

buy
Zone
:
8b
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart, medium seeds

Kaim Anor

buy
originated in Azerbaidzhan
Ripens
:
early
Color
:
pink skin, red arils
Afflictions
:
supposedly resistant to disease (no specifics mentioned)

The arils of Kaim Anor come out easier than most other cultivars. sweet-tart? (sweet), hard seeds

Kaj Acik Anor

buy
originated in the Uzbek-Tadzhik region
Zone
:
7b
Size
:
large plant

sweet-tart, hard seeds

Kara Bala Miursal

buy
originated in Azerbaijan
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

Kara Bala Miursal is a bud sport of Bala Miursal. sweet-tart, medium hard seeds, very productive

Kara Gul

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Color
:
burgundy skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart, medium hard seeds

Kazake

buy
originated in Uzbekistan
Zone
:
7b
Color
:
yellow/pink/green skin, red arils
Afflictions
:
resistant to splitting

sweet-tart, hard seeds, stores longer than usual

Ki zakuro

buy
originated in Japan
Zone
:
8b

Ki Zokura produces double pink-orange flowers with white edges.

Kolobok

buy
Color
:
pink skin, red arils

sweet, soft seeds

Favorite

buy
originated in southern Russia
Zone
:
7b

Favorite is also known as Lyubimy or Lubimi.

Mae

buy
developed in California
Zone
:
8b
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart

Medovyi Vahsha

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Zone
:
8
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet, slightly bitter, soft seeds

Molla Nepes

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Zone
:
8
Ripens
:
mid-late?
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart, soft seeds

Myagkosemyannyi Rosovyi

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Zone
:
8
Color
:
pink/yellow skin, pink/yellow arils

Myagkosemyannyi Rosovyi is also known as Soft Seeded Pink. sweet-tart, soft seeds, recommended

Myatadzhy

buy
Zone
:
8
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet, soft seeds, nutty seed flavor

Nana

buy
originated in Japan?
Zone
:
7?
Size
:
3-4 feet in height, small 2" fruit
Color
:
red skin

dense and bushy

Nititski Ranni

buy
Zone
:
7b
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Color
:
red/pink skin, burgundy/red arils
Afflictions
:
resistant to splitting

Nititski Ranni may also be Crimson Sky. sweet-tart, medium hard seeds

Nochi Shibori

buy
originated in Japan
Zone
:
7?
Size
:
up to 10ft in height

Nochi Shibori produces double red flowers. fruitless

Parfianka

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
mid-late/late
Color
:
red/burgundy skin, burgundy arils

Parfianka is highly recommended, but only in a hot, dry climate with a very long grow season where it can properly develop its deep flavors. slightly astringent? sweet-tart, soft seeds, highly productive

Phil's Sweet

buy
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Color
:
pink/yellow skin

sweet, soft seeds

Phoenicia

buy
developed in California

Most descriptions say Phoenicia is sweet with a little tartness and red/green skin, but one report from a Wolfskill taste test said it's very tart and yellow/pink in color. This article implies that it's sweet-tart and shows that it is primarily yellow in color as well. GRIN claims it's red/green and semi-tart, but then says it's best used for jelly and syrups, which implies it's more on the tart side. I have not seen any images of it being primarily red.

medium hard seeds?

Pink Satin

buy
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
mid/mid-late
Color
:
red/pink skin, pink/yellow arils

Pink Satin is also known as Pink Ice and Sin Pepe. sweet, fruity, soft seeds, recommended

Purple Heart

buy
developed in Camarillo, California
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
late
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils
Afflictions
:
resistant to splitting?

Purple Heart is also known as Sharp Velvet. sweet-tart/sweet, medium seeds

Red Silk

buy
Zone
:
8b
Size
:
6-8ft in height
Color
:
red skin, red arils

sweet-tart, soft seeds

Sakerdze

buy
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart/tart, hard seeds

Salavatski

buy
Zone
:
7b
Color
:
pink/orange skin, red arils
Afflictions
:
resistant to splitting

sweet-tart, medium hard seeds

Sirenevyi

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Zone
:
8
Ripens
:
late
Color
:
red/pink/orange skin, burgundy arils

sweet, complex, soft seeds, highly recommended

Sogdiana

buy
Color
:
red skin, red arils

sweet/sweet-tart, slightly bitter and astringent, complex, soft seeds, recommended

Sumbar

buy
originated in Turkmenistan, from the Sumbar river valley.
Zone
:
7b? (8)
Ripens
:
early
Color
:
red skin

Sumbar may be the same as Sumbarskii. Both appear to be sweet, soft seeded, and originated in Turkmenistan, but I don't know much else about them. is sumbarskii early ripening too? GRIN claims both were donated on the same day, implying they are different.

Surh Anor

buy
originated in Afganistan
Zone
:
7b
Color
:
pink/yellow skin, yellow/pink arils

Surh Anor is the most productive hardy pomegranate available in the US. sweet-tart, hard seeds

Sverkhranniy

buy
originated in Turkmenistan
Ripens
:
very early -- early August in southern California.

sweet, soft seeds

Sweet

buy
Zone
:
8b
Color
:
pink skin, pink arils

develops a sweet flavor before maturity

Syunt

buy
Color
:
red skin? yellow arils

sweet, soft seeds

Toryu Shibori

buy
originated in Japan
Zone
:
8b

Toryu Shibori produces double apricot colored flowers.

Utah's Sweet

buy
Ripens
:
early?
Color
:
pink/red skin, pink/red arils, pink/orange flowers

sweet, soft seeds

Vina

buy
Color
:
pink skin, yellow arils
Afflictions
:
originally from the Trappist Monastery in Vina, California

sweet, soft seeds, papershell

Vkusnyi

buy
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

sweet-tart, complex, thin skin (papershell?), soft seeds, small seeds

White Flower

buy
originated in Albania
Color
:
yellow/green skin

double white flowers, hard seeds

Wonderful

buy
selected in Porterville, CA 1896. cutting originated in Florida.
Zone
:
8b
Ripens
:
mid
Size
:
10-12ft in height, up to 5" fruit
Color
:
red skin, burgundy arils

Wonderful is the most commercially cultivated variety in the US. sweet-tart, slightly astringent, medium soft seeds