• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • Growing Pomegranate Trees in Australia

Growing Pomegranate Trees in Australia

The pomegranate gets its name from the Latin word “pomum”, meaning apple, and “granatus,” meaning seeded, with the present-day spelling most likely evolving from the French word for the fruit, “pomme-grenade.” 


Benefits of Pomegranate

The ancient fruit has been cultivated for centuries, and is referenced both in the Homeric Hymns and in the Old Testament. Today, a growing awareness of the nutritional value of the pomegranate, high in antioxidants as well as vitamins B5 and C, is increasing demand for this already popular fruit. 

How to Grow Pomegranate in Australia

While pomegranates tolerate a variety of conditions, such as poor soil, drought and light frosts, poor conditions can affect fruit production. Pomegranates do best when regularly irrigated and protected from frost. In cooler zones, fruit can be encouraged by placing plants against a sunny wall. 

Growing a Pomegranate Tree

Propagating Pomegranates 

Commercially, pomegranates are propagated through softwood and hardwood cuttings to avoid genetic seedling variation. However, pomegranates can be started quite easily from seeds, although plants grown from seed may not retain the qualities of the parent cultivar.

Pomegranates don’t require cross-pollination to produce fruit. Plants may take 1 to 5 years to consistently bear fruit.

Growing Pomegranate Tree from Seeds

While pomegranate seeds, also called arils, can germinate even when merely tossed upon the surface of loose soil, a few tips can ensure more uniform germination. First, clean the seeds, then allow them to dry for an hour or two.

Fill a seed starter tray with loose, moist soil, place the seeds on top, 2 to 3 centimetres apart, and lightly cover with loose soil. Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm (38°C to 53°C) until germination. Germination can take anywhere from 10 to 30 days.

Growing Pomegranate Seedlings

Pomegranate seeds need good light to grow well. If grown indoors, providing fluorescent lighting will help them flourish. Pomegranate root growth is vigorous, so plants need to be “potted up” (moved to slightly larger containers) whenever root growth begins to crowd the container. Do not fertilise pomegranate seedlings.

Pruning Pomegranates

While pomegranates can be successfully grown in containers, plants will fruit sooner and more plentifully when planted directly in the garden after the first year. Space pomegranate plants about 4 metres apart.

As pomegranates grow naturally bushy, they require some careful pruning to mature into a fruit-bearing tree. Begin by cutting back the plant to 60-75 centimetres in height. Allow the plant to branch out, then prune back to the strongest stem.

Pomegranates produce numerous suckers that grow from the root and crown area, which need to be removed. Pomegranate fruit only grows at the tips of new growth, so for the first three years, lightly prune all the branches to encourage new shoots all around the plant.

Fertilising Pomegranates

Pomegranates need not be fertilised at all the first year. Over-fertilising pomegranates can cause fruit drop, especially during the first 3 to 5 years.

Use an 8-8-8 fertiliser (containing 8 percent nitrogen, 8 percent phosphoric acid and 8 percent potash) beginning the second year, applied at the end of the harvesting season and again at the first sign of flowering.

Harvesting Pomegranate Fruit

Harvesting Pomegranate Fruit

Depending on the variety, fruits ripen about 6 months after flowering. Harvest the fruit when ripe, as pomegranates cannot be ripened off the tree. Ripe pomegranates will make a metallic sound when tapped.

For those who enjoy seeing the entire growth cycle of a plant, from seed to harvest, pomegranates are an enjoyable and delicious fruit to cultivate.

Common Pomegranate Pests

Pomegranate trees are susceptible to invasion by Virachola isocrates, also known as the pomegranate butterfly. The butterfly lays eggs on the flowers and calyx. Hatched caterpillars bore their way into the fruit. In India, developing fruits are covered with paper or plastic bags to protect them from borers, birds and rodents.

Last Updated on February 20, 2024

Related Posts

Syzygium oleosum flowers

Syzygium oleosum (Blue Lilly Pilly) Bush Tucker Guide

An esteemed bush tucker and one of my favourite garden ...

Native Wisteria (Hardenbergia comptoniana) Growing Guide

Native Wisteria (Hardenbergia comptoniana) Growing Guide

Native Australian wisteria is a beautiful ornamental climber with twining ...

How to Grow Red Creeping Thyme in Australia

How to Grow Red Creeping Thyme in Australia

Creeping thyme is a broad collection of species including wild ...

Native Thyme (Prostanthera incisa) Growing Guide

Native Thyme (Prostanthera incisa) Growing Guide

Prostanthera incisa is commonly named as the cut-leaf mint bush, ...

About the author 

Nathan Schwartz

Hey, I'm Nathan Schwartz, team member at Aussie Green Thumb since 2020. I have a passion for edible plants and Australian native plants, both in the garden and in the Aussie bush.

As an avid traveller and camper, I love seeing the different landscapes and flora that Australia has to offer, and try to incorporate this into my own daily living.

Whether I am living on the road, in an apartment or have a big backyard working with practical and usable gardens in small spaces is my specialty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Stay Up To Date With Aussie Gardening Tips

Join our newsletter to receive helpful gardening tips specific to Australian gardens.


  • Seasonal gardening tips
  • Monthly gardening tasks for each Australian climate
  • Native plant of the month
  • A curated selection of helpful gardening articles
  • Exclusive promotions for Australian gardeners

Stay in the loop for valuable insights for a flourishing garden.

We promise to only send you helpful gardening emails and nothing more.