Historically, pomegranate has been held in high esteem by those who have tasted its precious arils. The rich, delicious flavor is one reason, but certainly not the only one.
If you are trying your hand at growing this elite fruit, there are a few things you should know, and we’ll cover them in this article.
However, let’s focus on the question at hand — why are the leaves on my pomegranate plant turning yellow?
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Pomegranate Leaves Turning Yellow
Yellowing leaves on your pomegranate plant could be from its preparation for winter dormancy or from the summertime heat. It could also be insufficient drainage, improper watering, nutrient imbalance, or mild chemical poisoning from weedkillers. If it’s none of these, it could be a pest or disease.
There are several potential reasons why the pomegranate’s leaves are turning yellow.
Though you cannot make the yellow leaves green again, you can fix the problem so that your pomegranate can thrive again. Here is what you can do.
1) Summertime Heat or Preparation for Winter Dormancy
If yellow leaves appear on your pomegranate tree, it could simply be part of a seasonal pattern. If it’s getting hotter outside, your shrub will need more water.
On the other hand, if it’s getting colder outside but you see no other signs of a problem, your shrub may just be preparing for wintertime dormancy.
2) Poor Drainage
Pomegranates must be planted in well-draining soil to thrive, as a plant with roots and a base that stay too wet can begin to rot.
This fruit is a survivor, even in relatively long periods of drought, so in most places, there is no need to irrigate.
3) Improper Watering
A drought that lasts too long can kill any plant, but the problem with pomegranate plants usually turns out to be overwatering.
Watering once every other day is sufficient for pomegranate shrubs.
4) Nutrient Imbalance
Fostering pomegranates isn’t always an easy task to do well. If you under-fertilize, your pomegranate can suffer from a lack of nitrogen, which will cause the yellowing of its leaves.
If you overfertilize, your roots can get burnt by the salt in the fertilizer.
5) Pest Infestation
Aphids are the most common critter problem when it comes to pomegranate plants.
Also on that list are mealybugs, whiteflies, scale insects, leafrollers, thrips, beetles, and butterfly and moth larvae.
Pomegranate trees are susceptible to disease like any other plant.
If your leaves are yellowing, there is a possibility that your plant might have anthracnose, Pseudocercosporapunicae punicae, Dwiroopa punicae, Botryosphaeria stem canker, and shoot blight diseases.
7) Chemicals in Weedkillers
Some chemicals in some popular weedkillers can drift onto your pomegranate plant and weaken it, causing its leaves to yellow.
There is really not a whole lot you can do about this unless you can convince your neighbors to start using natural insect sprays.
You can seek further help and information for pomegranate tree issues on websites like Almanac.
What is a Pomegranate
Pomegranates, or Punica granatum, come from a small deciduous (tree or shrub). They are round and red with thick skin and juice that’s colored a vibrant red, and they are full of crunchy, juicy seeds (arils).
The pomegranate’s aril is more than 500 times that of a crimson seed. The pomegranate’s inner flesh is white and holds onto its arils, which are berry-like and taste sweet, yet tart.
The skin is inedible, but the arils eat like many other seeds and nuts and can be used as a crunchy, tasty element added to salad, slaw, hummus, relish, and salsa.
Pomegranate can also be used to enhance many savory and sweet recipes, and then, there’s pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses.
The Most Vital Aspects of Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Pomegranates
Choose a location with good drainage, full sun, and alkaline soil of a 6.5-7.0 pH, and don’t choose a frost pocket.
Mix the soil with aged manure, aged mushroom compost, or rotten pine bark. Don’t fertilize the planting hole, as you only apply fertilizer at a certain time of the year.
Plant so that the topmost roots are just at the soil line. Upon planting, water the plant thoroughly so that the roots settle and there are no pockets.
In spring and summer, mulch up to 6 inches, but not touching the tree trunk.
Fertilize either organically or chemically according to your zone.
In clay soil, water once weekly, and in light soil, twice weekly.
When watering, it will take about 45 minutes to soak the entire root system, which is what you need to do. Pomegranates need around one inch of water per week to thrive.
Pomegranate plants that aren’t watered well may drop their fruit early.
Pomegranates will sucker from their roots. Fruitwood forms on the older wood, so the wise thing to do is to pick out around 5 suckers that are well spaced out and train them into trunks, removing new suckers as they appear in summertime.
Prune in early springtime and not winter to remove wood damaged by any freezing. Any badly damaged wood should be removed and replaced with newly emerging suckers in the summertime.
Read about why your pomegranate has flowers but no fruits.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pomegranate Leaves Turning Yellow
Are pomegranates good for you?
Pomegranates are full of both antioxidants and flavonoids, both known to protect the body’s cells from free radicals. They’re also high in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and some protein. Pomegranates also support brain, heart, digestive, and urinary health and stamina.
Are pomegranates really an aphrodisiac?
The color red is known to be the color of passion, so it’s not surprising that the pomegranate may spark sexual desire. Speaking scientifically, pomegranate juice is known to boost testosterone levels in both sexes, and the antioxidants in pomegranate are thought to boost genital sensitivity.
Are there any suitable substitutes for pomegranates in a recipe?
There are many recipes that call for pomegranates. Their sweet yet sour flavor adds a spark to many recipes; plus the crunch of the arils adds texture. If you can’t find or can’t afford pomegranate, some good substitutes are blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, red currants, and dried barberries.
Conclusion On Pomegranate Leaves Turning Yellow
Pomegranate leaves are turning yellow for the following reasons:
- As a winter dormancy preparation
- Because of the summertime heat
- A pest infestation
- Insufficient drainage
- Improper watering
- Nutrient imbalance
- Chemical poisoning
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.