As flaming red petals drop to the ground beneath my pomegranate bush, I’m not hopeful. Sure, the flowers are beautiful, but the plant is here to give me fruit.
To survive winters here in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley (Zone 5), my plant’s home is in a large flowerpot which I cart into cold storage in late December and back outdoors or into the greenhouse in late winter or early spring. Even my cold-hardy variety, Salatavski, from western Asia, would die to ground level if planted outdoors. The roots would survive that much cold because of moderated below ground temperatures, but new stems that would rise from ground level would need to be more than a year old before flowering.
Growing in a pot, my pomegranate (and other potted fruit plants) need regular pruning and repotting. To prune the pomegranate, I snip off young suckers growing from …