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  • From: Devin Smith <>
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  • Subject: Re: [nafex] Pomegranates for cold places
  • Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2023 13:09:58 +0000 (UTC)

Thanks, Lee. That real world experience is just what I was looking for. I was
looking at Sverkhranniy myself, as it seems to be one of the earliest around.
I’d love a stick or two if you’d spare it. Too bad that it hasn’t really
shaped up in terms of quality. I’ve trialed lots of different subtropical and
non-hardy fruits here in SE Vermont. Now that we have a high tunnel (30x48
and covered in Solawrap) I have some more options for stretching the season
on some of this stuff. I’d really like a heated space so that I can grow
things in the ground, but that’s not in the cards for the time being. A lot
of things haven’t done well because the phenology is just not there. I grew
out some Loquat seed and grafted named varieties onto them some years back.
They flowered in early-mid winter and there just wasn’t enough sunlight to
size the fruit up much or give them sweetness. Lots of things I tried have 
thrived in warm weather but resented the abrupt shift to months long cold and
dark in my well lit basement. I’ve also tried carambola, guava, strawberry
guava, pineapple guava (Feijoa), Chilean guava (Ugni), and a couple different
Annona species. Most died or failed to thrive. Probably others I’m
forgetting. The things I’ve stuck with are Citrus and Fortunella (and their
hybrids), figs (modestly successful, need to try in the ground), and tree
tomatoes (Cyphomandra), which are probably the most productive for me. All
seem to do just fine with extended dormancy and flower /fruit at times where
the weather is reasonably copacetic. Most importantly, they actually taste

-Devin SmithRockingham, Vermont
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Here in Houston, pomegranates routinely take mid-teen temperatures when they
are dormant, but freeze back badly when they aren’t. But we very rarely get
anything below 25˚F. Ours two years ago survived with dieback a late freeze
at 15˚F. If you can keep them above 20˚F, you shouldn’t have a problem on
that end. Also of course, they root easily from cuttings so you can always
hedge your bets.

They really like hot dry weather for production. Whether you can get ripe
fruit that far north with so much darkness late in the fall is another
question. Lights?

Bob Randall, Ph.D.

> On Jan 23, 2023, at 8:18 PM, Devin Smith via nafex
> <> wrote:
> Lucky mentioned rooting pomegranates. As it happens, I’m hunting around for
> a pomegranate or two that would be viable in my high tunnel here in VT. I’m
> generally of the thinking that ripening time is going to be the crucial
> thing, not so much hardiness. I’m not sure if I’ll actually be able to
> winter it over in the ground or if I’ll need to dig it each year. We have
> been duly impressed by the difference floating row cover has made though,
> often 5-6 degrees. Also, it’s pretty remarkable how differently plants
> respond to cold in the high tunnel. We registered 27 or 28 degrees several
> times inside with no sign of frost on tender things like cucumbers, summer
> squash, and tomatoes. We have an indoor/outdoor thermometer with one right
> at ground level and the other at chest height, so temp stratification can’t
> explain it. All of this makes me think that wrapping may be an option.
> Those of you growing pomegranates at the margins, what is your experience
> like? How do you protect or overwinter them? What varieties would you
> suggest?
> Thanks!
> -Devin SmithRockingham, Vermont
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