Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Pomegranate is Smiling !


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.



Scientific name: Punica granatum
Family: Lythraceae (Henna family - e.g. Cuphea, Lagersroemia, Henna)
Common name: Pomegranate
Malay  name: Pokok Delima, meaning ruby tree.
Chinese name:  石榴 (shi liu), meaning stone grenade
Origin: West Asia

The name "pomegranate" is derived from the Latin words "pomum" meaning apple and "granatus" meaning seeded.

The pomegranate is an ancient fruit that had been mentioned as early as The Iron Age in prehistoric times. It has a calyx shaped like a crown and was the inspiration for King Solomon's coronet. According to the Quran, pomegranates grow in the gardens of Paradise. (Source: Wikipedia)


How do you eat the pomegranate fruit?
Does it hold any special meaning in your culture?

I would like to welcome my new followers, Siti Ajar of Laman ct.com, Wancuyan from Malaysia and Amy from USA of In The Orchid House With Amy blog. Selamat Datang and Welcome to My Nice Garden!

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.

Other requirements:
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.

Note:
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.

31 comments:

  1. Hello Autumn Belle,
    You have given me a lot of hope for my pomegranate plant. You can read more about it in my blog at http://nattigoesgreen.blogspot.com/2010/09/and-lo-and-behold.html . This plant is about a few months old now. Some questions:
    How big is the pot that you have the tree in now.
    Could you please send a full picture of the tree.
    How long from seed does it take for the pomegranate to bear fruit.
    I live in an apartment and have a balcony so reading about pomegranate plant in the pot is very encouraging.

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  2. Though I dislike the fruit, it sure has an interesting shape. Thanks for sharing the believes about this fruit.

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  3. I do not remember whether I have tasted this fruit before, though it is very common in Malaysia.

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  4. i like the one imported from iran or california.its bigger and more juicy!
    but the ones that u planted in your pot definitly an eye catcher..love to see the flowers and the fruits!

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  5. Dear Autumn Belle, I have been looking forward to seeing your pomegranate smiling since I read your previous post about it. Fascinating story. Pam x

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  6. Thank you so much for the update. Guess I will have to wait 2 more years then for the fruit. I have a few plants growing. So I am going to find someone who would like to grow it on the ground.

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  7. The first pic is watery my mouth!.. I was looking forward to see how your pomegranate smiles since your last post. Thank you for showing it here. But i am a little confuse, is pomegranate 开心果?or 番石榴??
    milka

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  8. I like juice of pomegranate. Everyone is always touting the health benefits but I just think it tastes marvelous. You get to grow the best fruit!
    Rosey

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  9. Natti, good luck with your pomegranate plants. I think it is a gift from heaven since they can still germinate after being blended! What a pleasant surprise it must have been for you.

    Aaron, Rainfield, The seeds are not easy to eat. Have you tried pomegranate juice? It taste good!

    Waliz, I heard that Iran has the most no. of varieties of pomegranates. It would be nice to try some California pomegranates.

    Pam, thank you very much for reading my story.

    Rosey, I prefer the juice to the seeds. I think this post will compliment your red post today, haha!

    Milka,
    As I know, 开心果 is Pistachio nut
    and 番石榴 is guava fruit. Pomegranate is 石榴. These are Chinese names.

    I'm sorry if I have confused you about the smiling pomegranate when it splits open at the bottom.

    Similarly, when my late mom bake a marble cake, she'd like it to crack open on top especially during Chinese New Year because it looks like the cake is smiling and this is taken as an auspicous sign of happiness!

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  10. Pomegranates will soon be available in the grocery stores over here. I love eating them. The only problem is they make such a mess when you open them.

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  11. I read this marvellous post with great fascination! So much to learn! Here we sometimes eat pomegranates together with other exotic fruits as a dessert and also use the beautiful red seeds as decorations on desserts. Growing them? Probably out of the question here in Sweden:)
    Take care,
    Charlotta

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  12. Melanie, I have inserted a Youtube video on how to seed a pomegranate.

    Madame C, thanks for your wonderful comment. Now I know that you can't grow pomegranates in Sweden!

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  13. Your pomegranate looks like it is grinning! I knew about the prosperity symbol of this auspicious fruit but not on the fertility part! Nice post and great video on how to seed a pomegranate! This is something new to me! Thank you for your post dedication to Kitchen Flavours! I've enjoyed reading this, when I see a pomegranate fruit next time, I will remember a smiling fruit, with a smile myself!

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  14. Hi Autumn Belle, The colours to the fruit is very sweet even when it wasn't smiling. My Mom used to have a tree but its gone. Wonder what sort of lifespan it has.

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  15. Seeing the pomegranate in my neighbor's yard, i didn't think of it growing in a pot, but of course only as a bonsai. I read all about its health benefits, but still i didn't give much interest on it for the garden because its morphology as a plant is not that attractive. I didn't realize also that its flowers are very beautiful in macro shots. Also what we have here is, i think, very sour, maybe yours is already sweeter. Since i am trying to plant some indigenous and lesser known fruits and plants in our property in the province, as collection for biodiversity, you gave me an idea. I will definitely have to plant it. thanks.

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  16. I love the color of the flowers, a very informative post. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

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  17. Hi Autumn Belle, Thanks for leaving a message that your promegranate is smiling. I learn a lot on your post about pomegranate in different culture.I found that if one day I have more space to grow fruit, this will be one of the first fruit plant in my purchase list. You make me remember a fond memory with Rayyan when I was pushing his stroller to send him to childcare we passed by an abandoned house that have a promegranate tree with many ripen fruit on it early autumn this year.Thank you for the post dedication too.

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  18. Hi Autumn Belle,

    Your pomegranate make my mouth watering. I need to find it somewhere to buy!
    Last time i also plant this...I don't know what happen suddenly it rotted and die. I need to find new plant and start plant it again.

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  19. Hello Autumn Belle, what a wonderful story about your grandmother and the pomegranate. I enjoyed it very much and all the information on this fruit. I have learned so much from you!

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  20. I'm away to watch that video Autumnbelle as I have had difficulty eating pomegranates with all those seeds. I would love to see one of these grown as a bonsai.

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  21. Delima is an interesting plant to keep. I love the flowing branches and sweet looking buds. The best moment is when the fruit just crack a little bit showing the red juicy little flesh. ~bangchik

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  22. Love this fruit! The little colorful seeds make it so special. Back at home we used for one of our traditional dishes "Chiles en nogada"

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  23. Oooh, I love pomegranates. How awesome that you have a tree!

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  24. Autumn, Thanks so much for updating your post on Pomegranates with a video showing me how to get the seeds out of it:)

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  25. I bet you were smiling too after harvesting such fruit =)

    I had that fruit before though I don't really know if you eat the seeds or just the flesh on those tiny seeds

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  26. Kitchen Flavours, I hope there is a day when you see the pomegranate fruits and smile, you will also think about the seeds and blessings of sons and offsprings that it bestows and smile many more smiles.

    One, mine should be about 6 years old now. I think if grown on the ground it can reach 10-12 years. I read from the internet that in Europe, some trees can live up to 200 years!

    Andrea, to be frank with you, my pomegranate fruits are not as sweet as those that are sold in the hypermarkets.

    A Garden of Threads, I like the orange-red colour of the flowers too.

    Malay-Kadazan Girl, I'm glad the pomegranate plant has evoke some fond memories of you with Rayyan. This plant has many meaningful memories for me.

    Orchid de Dangau, you can quite easily find the plant at our local nurseries. Sometimes they put it in their backyard and you have to ask them to bring it out for you.

    Karen, I'm so glad you understand how meaningful this plant is to my and my grandma.

    Leaves n Bloom, after watching the video, I'm quite sure you'll agree with me that the speaker has a good voice which makes it all the more enjoyable.

    Bangchik, when the fruit cracks open, it is like an overflowing treasure chest of precious rubies.

    Fer, thanks for telling me about your local special dish made with pomegranate.

    Meemsync, yes, the seeds are nice.

    Melanie, I'm glad you like the video. There is another method where a stick is used to beat out the seeds, but I like this method more.

    Ayie, I am smiling indeed because this time, I get a large fruit. I can just eat the seeds directly from the fruit, I mean eat the flesh and spit out the hard seeds. We can also blend the fleshy seeds, sieve the pulp and drink the juice. If you search the internet you'll find some recipes of how to use it in cooking.

    Birds like to eat the fleshy seeds and they help to propagate the plant when they later pass out the hard seeds.

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  27. Hehe...I love how you've described its smile with opened mouth, gums and teeth, befitting the lovely image you've captured!
    Have a lovely week ahead, my friend!

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  28. Hi...Your post is very inspiring. For a long time I have been wondering if i could grow fruits in a container. Thanks to you, now i know it's possible :)

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  29. Do you have pomegranate seedlings for sales, I would like to buy a few.

    Thanks...

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    Replies
    1. Abarth, I'm sorry that I don't have pomegranate seedlings for sale. You can get it from most local nurseries.

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  30. Any pomegranate plants for sale. We need quite a number of good pomegranate especially grated plant from Iran for experimental to be grown in tropical country like Malaysia. Alternatively any one can provide good grated plant locally? My email: wagon_teoh@.com.sg. Thank you.

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Words are like the voice of the heart... Confucius

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