Garden Fridays: How to Almost Kill a Pomegranate Tree

in Garden


Are you guys still shoveling snow? I lit the fireplace yesterday evening. In April. In Texas. So weird. Our garden is completely confused by the weather, too.

This is our third spring with that pomegranate tree. And the fact that it’s still alive means that it’s either one hardy plant or that a higher power has bigger plans for it.

I’m kind of leaning towards the latter.

The first spring we brought it home, we moved it to the same 20-gallon pots that we were using for our citrus trees (good deal – $6 and only needed a few holes drilled in the bottom).


We were in the middle of a drought and even though I was watering everything semi-religiously, the pomegranate looked sickly. I chalked it up to the use of tap water since that claimed our first avocado tree. Months went by and finally we had one of those monster gully-washer rainstorms blows through. Every person in Texas and every plant in the backyard rejoiced… except the pomegranate. The pot was full to the brim with water.


Lady Bug

The year-long suffocation-drowning combination almost worked. Holes drilled, and suddenly there were green leaves again! Our first bud showed up… aaaaand then a hailstorm knocked that single bud off the tree.

This year, we excavated the neglected bed at the deep end of the pool (the one where my daughter dumped a full feeder of birdseed and grew hay for most of last year) and transplanted the pomegranate, the blueberries, a key lime, and the avocado (which died and was replaced by the fig).

Now? There are nearly a dozen little pomegranate buds and they all survived the wicked storms that blew through here this week!

What else is going on in the backyard?


PEACHES. The white peach tree has several dozen peaches and so far (knock on wood), has been completely ignored by the squirrels. Maybe all this unseasonably cold weather has an upside. I am so excited. (About the peaches, not this crappy 40-degree low in April.)

Peaches, Part 2. The other peach tree put two flowers out and then stopped. It appears to be even more confused by the weather than the eggplant and tomatoes.


STRAWBERRIES. Good production already! Also, knock on wood, ignored by the squirrels. Or maybe I’m getting lucky and there’s a squirrel shortage. I’ll take it over a honeybee shortage!


Far fewer blooms on the grapefruit tree fertilized than I expected – they fertilized (or didn’t) in clumps. So half of the tree is loaded with the future fixins for margaritas and the other half, sadly, is not. I’m going to have to make some difficult decisions soon and thin some of the fruit out. But for now, I’m leaving them alone.


The lemon tree was disappointing – it bloomed and only a single lemon showed up. But new blooms appeared this week so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m pretty sure this same thing happened last year, which is why we had one lemon the size of a softball when the others were more normal.


The blueberries are happy with their new digs, the berries on the 4 bushes now are enough to easily triple last year’s production – and new flowers are popping up every day still.

The greens – loving the weather. Kale has been the easiest thing to grow. The hardest? Basil. I have gotten 3 seeds out of 30+ to germinate. I finally broke down and bought a few small plants to supplement. I guess not everything can be as Me-Proof as pomegranate 🙂

8 comments… add one
  • Gwyn

    I love reading about your garden, and your recipes are amazing. I was just wondering what part of Texas you are in? I also live in Texas, near the southern Gulf Coast region and have recently planted a fig tree and a garden and have 2 well established peach trees that have yet to have a crop that produces. Your trees always seem to do really good and I was wondering if maybe I was just in a bad area. Thanks so much for any response.

    • We’re on the west side of Houston, in Katy. This will be the first year we’ve gotten real production out of the trees. Assuming we can keep the squirrels out of everything! They destroyed the peaches last year.

  • Man, can I send you some of my squirrels? I fear for all my fruit trees, especially my peach tree.

  • I can’t wait to live in a climate that supports everything you are growing! I am so jealous! Just keep telling my self “some day”. I love your pictures!

  • Love your garden and your pictures. I’m in Texas as well and also lit my fireplace this week. Crazy. My basil seeds have not produced the last two years either, if that makes you feel any better.

  • I’m surprised the squirrels haven’t gotten to your strawberries. We had to put bird netting over ours after we found a few half eaten strawberries on the side of the garden. Everything looks great!

    • I think the cooler-than-usual weather has kept them at bay. That, and maybe the insane acorn production last fall. I picked a dozen strawberries tonight and should get another dozen tomorrow… But I’ll gladly sacrifice the strawberries if that means they leave my peaches alone this year!

  • Anna S. Bannana

    I am wondering about your basil. I used to live in The Old Sixth Ward, in Houston, and my basil grew like crazy. It is a small micro-climate that allowed me to grow many things that I could not grow in Kingwood. Every kind of citrus, Bouganvillia, and hibiscus was almost an evergreen. But, I always grew my basil on the porch, in pots. It faced southwest, so it got alot of afternoon sun, but was still protected, and got some shade as the sun moved, and from raillings and posts. Regular water, and a little miracle grow. I also grew these from seed. (Sorry for the bit of rambling, I am trying to remember as I type). They did get very leggy, late in the summer, then I would usually pick up a few plants to get me started in fall. Hope this helps…it may just be a matter of a little protection from the harshest part of the day.

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