Remember my ripe pomegranate that was dangling from the plant in my previous post?
Well, it is smiling now!
Due to space constraints, I grow my pomegranate plant in a flower pot. Eventhough it is less than 5 ft tall, it does bear a few edible fruits every year. The fruit in the first picture is just ripe for picking if I want to eat it. This time I had waited a little bit longer for it to split open. When it does so, it would have been too riped as the skin has hardened and some seeds are exposed to the external elements.
If you wish to know more about my attachment to this plant and my grandmother story, you can read more from my 2009 post titled, "Its Pomegranate, Not a Pomelo and a Grenade", link here.
“My Pomegranate is Smiling”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on October 21st, 2010.
This post is for Kitchen Flavours and Malay Kadazan Girl who commented that they'd like to know how a pomegranate fruit look like when it splits open at the bottom.
This pomegranate looks like it is smiling with opened mouth, gums and teeth. Smiling denotes happiness.
In fengshui and also Chinese culture, the pomegranate is regarded as a lucky fruit and a symbol of fertility and prosperity. The ripe fruit is auspiciously red in colour and when it bursts open, there are many many seeds inside. Now we use the same word, 子 (zi) for seeds and sons. Therefore, many seeds = many sons = many offsprings or children.
We use the pomegranate fruit as an offering during prayers. During festivals like the Chinese New Year, married ladies eat the fruit in the hope of being blessed with many sons to carry on the family surname for many generations. Pictures of the ripe pomegranate fruit bursting open with seeds are also hung in homes to activate fertility luck.
After harvesting the fruits, I will prune my pomegranate plant. It can withstand hard pruning and very soon, new shoots will appear. Ideally it should be planted on the ground where it can reach a height of 15-20 ft.
My pomegranate plant usually start to bear flowers between Arpil - July and it takes a few months for the fruits to ripen.
Pomegranate plants have many sharp thorns which are like poison arrows in fengshui. We usually plant it at the front portion, i.e. outside the gate of the house, not inside the house compound. This was also my late dad's advice to me.
There are some smaller varieties with beautiful double petaled flowers for ornamental use. Mine is the fruit bearing type. The pomegranate plant can also be cultivated as a bonsai plant.
Update: This update is for Natti from India of The Balcony Garden blog, in answer to his comment.
This is how my plant look today. Mummy's vital statistic is as follows:
Flower pot is medium sized of 1 ft diameter and 10 inches height. The plant is about 5 ft tall.
Soil - use well draining soil.
Water - twice a day but the plant is quite drought tolerant. It may shed all its leaves but the shoots will grow back soon.
Fertilizer - use general purpose liquid organic type or organic chicken manure pellets. To encourage fruiting you also use the fertilizer for citrus fruits. This time I didn't use it.
1. If you use a bigger pot, (e.g. 3 times mine) it can grow to about 6 ft tall.
2. I think my plant was propagated from a cutting and not from seed. My late father purchased the seedling from his friend who owns a nursery in Ipoh. Fruit plants propagated from cuttings or grafting flower earlier, bear better tasting fruits and they are more hardy against pest attacks. My plant started bearing fruits after 1 year.
3. If a plant is grown from seeds, it takes about a year or 2.5-3 years before it starts flowering. It takes another 5-7 months for the fruits to mature.
This is for Melanie of Nothern Gardener's Blog - here's a video of how to seed a pomegranate from Produce Picker Podcast(The URL is here.)
This is my entry for Fertilizer Friday, the link is here.