Indoor garnet: how to care. Pomegranate Houseplant: Cultivation, Reproduction
It is no exaggeration to say that almost every apartment or house in our country is decorated with potted flowers. Most often, their range is not particularly varied, but there are exceptions. How do you like a pomegranate, for example?
Pomegranate (Punica) feels quite comfortable at home. However, in this case, not the nutritional properties of its fruits, but the decorative qualities of the flowers of the plant come to the fore. Important! In indoor conditions, it is still better to grow a dwarf variety of pomegranate (Punicanana). However, many scientists and gardeners believe that the pomegranate houseplant is just a separate form of the parent plant. Judging by the appearance and characteristics of the vegetative process, it is so.
Brief historical background
Oddly enough, but the pomegranate is known as a houseplant for a long time. This circumstance is mainly connected with the surprising unpretentiousness of this plant. In the subtropics and the tropics, it is grown everywhere in the open field, and in our conditions it is preferable to use ordinary pots on window sills or even room greenhouses. By the way, for the excellent decorative qualities of pomegranate flowers, it has long been awarded the Honorary Diploma of the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain.
Ancient legends say that this fruit was once known as the “Punic Apple.” In the legends, pomegranate was a symbol of loyalty in marriage, in Greece it was used as a symbol of fertility, and the Persians honored it as the personification of ardent and passionate love. However, all this is trivial, since the useful properties of pomegranate have been known since ancient times.
In general, such a useful plant is worthy of decorating any home or garden. Moreover, it (as we already said) is distinguished by its unpretentiousness, it can grow on brackish and arid soils.
Description of pomegranate
It should be noted that the original room grenade was described in 1803. Its height in the maximum case does not exceed 120 centimeters, and in the form of a potted plant it grows only up to 0.9 meters. The leaves are light green, oval-shaped, no larger than three centimeters in diameter. They have short cuttings that have a slightly reddish tint. In the spring, the leaves become a beautiful bronze color, in the summer they are light green, and become yellowish by autumn.
Note that the most decorative are special, cultivated varieties of indoor pomegranate. From May to September, these plants are covered with beautiful purple flowers. They are located in a single order, formed in the first year of cultivation. Characteristically, their size exceeds that for leaves - about four centimeters. Pay attention: only from flowers with long pistils fruits can appear. The percentage of those is very low, since the pomegranate houseplant is purely decorative.
Each flower lives a maximum of three days, but every day new buds are tied and bloom. Gardeners show that for a hundred flowers there are no more than three or four ovaries.The room pomegranate has a special uniqueness for the reason that both buds and already ripening fruits can be on the plant at the same time.
Separately about the fruits
The fruits themselves, by the way, can be painted in a variety of colors: from orange to brown-red. Alas, but they are far in taste from the "ordinary" pomegranate, and in diameter make up a maximum of six to seven centimeters. You can try them, starting in November. The fruiting season ends around January.
Since most often pomegranates are grown at home for the sake of flowers, fruits are usually taken to be removed. This is due to the fact that the abundant flowering already depletes the plant, so that in order to preserve the decorative properties of the pomegranate it is better to remove the ovaries that have appeared. However, it is still possible to leave one or two fruits on one tree.
And it is worth doing it not so much for culinary purposes, but for getting your own seeds. Note, however, that the varietal quality of plants can not always indulge in this method of reproduction. And only once every three to four years, you can make yourself a gift, leaving all the fruit on the tree. The beauty of a flowering and fruit-bearing pomegranate at the same time is simply indescribable.
Which varieties are best to use?
On sale you will surely find only a dwarf grenade (Punicagranatum).Occasionally on the shelves of shops there is a pomegranate room “Baby” or “Carthage”. The last two varieties are artificially developed, designed specifically for indoor cultivation. Their height rarely exceeds 30 centimeters, while the usual dwarf variety often grows to one meter.
Despite its overall unpretentiousness, the pomegranate houseplant is very demanding of the lighting conditions in the house. That is why for its placement you can choose any windows in the house with the exception of those facing the north. However, on hot and sunny days it is still necessary to cover the tender leaves of the plant from direct sunlight.
Note that the ideal place for a pomegranate in the summer is a loggia, attic or veranda. Important! To accustom the plant to “sunbathing” should be gradual, since with an excessively sharp course of the process, the formation of sunburn on the leaves is not excluded. As soon as the length of the day begins to decrease, and the nights become colder, this Southerner should be immediately brought into the house.
As you might have guessed, a grenade needs heat, and for the entire period of flowering and fruiting. In general, its normal development is possible at a temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius. Important! If the temperature in the room exceeds 25 degrees, it must be taken out to a cooler and more ventilated room, otherwise the shoots may dry out. In the case when there is no such possibility, regularly spray the leaves with water at room temperature (settled, of course).
But! For a normal ripening to occur, a pomegranate needs a temperature of approximately 16-18 degrees Celsius. From November to March, the plant has a dormant period during which it is required to maintain a temperature regime of 10-12 degrees. By the way, these indoor plants can easily withstand frosts to minus six degrees Celsius.
Requirements for the composition and other characteristics of the soil
Although we said that in nature pomegranate is extremely unpretentious to the soil, at home, to create the most ornamental plant, the characteristics of soil mixtures should be maintained at the proper level. Note that they must be neutral (pH 7).We would recommend these features:
• Half of sod land, ¼ part of good leaf humus, 12% peat, and 13% of sand.
• Half of sand, по of loam and peat (watch for pH!).
• Two parts of clay-sod soil, one volume part of leafy ground, one lobe of sand and humus.
• Especially for young plants: humus, turf, sand and leaf soil are taken in equal proportions.
About watering and air humidity
As you surely understand, competent watering of any plant is a pledge not only of its decorative appearance, but also of its survival. In our case, there are the following rules for watering:
• At rest (we talked about it above), the amount of watering is reduced as much as possible: no more than once every one and a half to two months!
• When indoor plants go out of hibernation, you can gradually increase the frequency. Gradually move to frequent watering, well soaking the top layer of soil in the pot. It should be moistened as it dries.
• Take into account that during flowering moisture intake should be limited, since in natural conditions this time coincides with a dry and hot period.But be careful! With a lack of moisture and nutrients, you may well stay at the “broken trough”, as the plant simply drops all the buds and ovaries.
• As we already said, in hot weather and in stuffy rooms it is necessary to spray the leaves of pomegranate with separated water.
• As soon as the flowering is over, the plant needs to be watered abundantly again, because otherwise abundant flowering next year will be questionable.
• If you need to grow fruits, then the issue of soil moisture should be approached as carefully and carefully as possible. If you overdo it with water, then the fruits can easily crack and even rot.
In need of feeding any pot flowers. Pomegranate is no exception. "Feed" it should be at least two times a month. In the spring, any nitrogenous fertilizers can be widely used. When the pomegranate blooms, phosphate fertilizers are obligatory, and in the autumn period - potash. However, once (per month) the use of complex fertilizer is quite acceptable. Important! Top dressing should be carried out only in cloudy weather.
Fertilizers should be applied only to moist soil, but all excess water from the flower tray at the same time drained without fail. In the autumn, the frequency of dressing is gradually reduced, preparing the grenades for a rest period. Most often it occurs in December-January, when the last flowers will fade and all fruits on the plant will ripen completely.
You can easily learn about its occurrence, because at this moment the plant begins to shed its leaves. As we said, during this period the ambient air temperature should be maintained within ten degrees Celsius. Important! As for young pomegranates, who have not yet reached the age of three years, then the rest period is not necessary for them, but the temperature at this time should still be lowered to approximately 16 degrees Celsius (as when the fruit is ripening).
Of course, in the conditions of a city apartment it is far from always possible to create optimal conditions for “hibernation”. A simple measure will help to reduce the temperature sufficiently: move the pot with garnet close to the glass, and then isolate it from the rest of the room with a regular plastic wrap.There will be enough aging for three to four weeks. However, the best results can be achieved by pulling the plant at this time in the basement.
Around February, the pomegranate is taken out of a cold room and, while the buds have not yet blossomed, are pruned. The plant best tolerates just such a pruning procedure. Most of all small young twigs should be removed. To stimulate branching, it is necessary to cut the branches outside the kidney at an acute angle, leaving no more than five internodes on the shoot. Important! When forming a room grenade (the photo of which is in the article), never forget to leave within the six skeletal branches that form the basis of the whole plant.
If you get carried away with pruning, you can significantly weaken the tree. By the way, it is for the formation of the woody form of pomegranate (including bonsai) that one must mercilessly remove all the young shoots in a pot. Forming branches and pruning, you need to be very careful, because the shoots are fragile. Extra shoots formed during the current growing season can be removed in the summer.In this case, it is desirable to close the wound with garden pitch.
How is the transplant done?
Up to three years it is necessary to replant grenades annually. After reaching three years, the frequency of the procedure is reduced to once every two to three years. It is preferable to do this in the spring. The transplantation itself is simple, as it is done through the usual transfer. To do this, take the soil with the obligatory addition of sand. Of course, the presence of drainage in a pot is extremely important.
Despite the well-developed grubby system, the grenade does not need an exceptionally wide pot. The capacity increase should be carried out at the rate of two to three centimeters per transplant, no more. By the way, the flowering plants are more abundant, the closer the roots in the pot (but do not overdo it!). Here's how to care for a pomegranate.
Propagation of pomegranate seeds
We immediately warn you that in order to successfully grow a plant from seeds, it is extremely important to buy them in specialized stores or from reliable suppliers. However, this will tell you all the growers who grow indoor flowers. Pomegranate grown from normal seed material will allow you to enjoy flowering in the first year, and you can try your own grenades in about two or three years.
However, no one forbids trying to grow a tree, taking advantage of the seeds from an already ripe fruit. Note that they retain germination for about half a year. It is necessary to choose seeds only from the largest and well ripened pomegranates. After that, they are cleaned of pulp and dried in a warm and dry room. You can sow them in April, to a depth of approximately 0.5 cm. Attention - the pomegranate, the fruit of which appeared on the tree for the first time, is absolutely unsuitable for use for seed purposes, as its seeds may be too weak and will not sprout.
The substrate for this is made from equal parts of sand and peat, after which it is moistened to a moderate degree. Germination occurs at a temperature of about 25-27 degrees Celsius, the development of seedlings begins quickly. As soon as two or three true leaves appear, the strongest and healthiest looking seedlings are distributed into pots with a diameter of approximately six centimeters. In order for plants to grow and develop faster, they need heat and moisture during this period. For better tilting you need to pinch. Here's how to get a pomegranate from a seed.
Important! If you buy pomegranate on the market or in a store, deciding to use its seeds for sowing, please note that you can wait for it to bloom in seven years at best. In addition, the size of such a plant will be too large (two or three meters) for the average city apartment. Recall that an indoor pomegranate, the cultivation of which does not cause any particular difficulties, rarely grows up to at least a meter.
Reproduction by cutting
Cuttings need to be taken from adults and well-fruiting plants. In the summer, you need to take those of them that are half stiff, and during the winter period (in February), respectively, stiff. You need to cut the branches into pieces with five to six buds. Soil for disembarkation is made from equal parts of sand and peat, landing is made at an angle to a depth of approximately three centimeters. This is how the cutting of a pomegranate is made.
Cuttings should be covered with a cut-off plastic bottle or jar, often watered to maintain high humidity of the air and soil, as it is necessary for rooting. It is highly desirable to treat cuttings before planting with some humic fertilizer, since this measure dramatically increases the likelihood of successful rooting.After about two or three months, young plants can already be seated in individual pots. The buds may appear already in the first year, but the first two seasons should be cut off, because the plant has not yet fully strengthened for full flowering.
In a word, pomegranate is a plant that every flora lover must have!