The pomegranate tree has captivated mankind’s imagination for centuries. No other fruit is quite like the pomegranate’s distinctive red fruits, which are filled with hundreds of tiny, delicious gems of fruit juice called arils. The huge bounty of arils inside the rind has made pomegranates a symbol of fertility, prosperity, and a happy afterlife in multiple religions. For Judaism and Christianity, pomegranates have been a common motif on church vestments since the Old Testament temple, serving as an object lesson for God’s fruitful blessings. Islam teaches that pomegranate trees will be growing in the gardens of paradise. Buddhists consider pomegranates a blessed fruit, so sweet that they can reform a demon.
A Healthy Snack
Science has also recognized the pomegranate tree as a special crop. Pomegranates are a dietary source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, and antioxidants. Other plant compounds in pomegranate juice reduce inflammation, which may improve a wide range of health conditions. The edible seeds inside each aril are a good source of fiber.
Pomegranates Thrive In The Garden
Part of their enduring popularity comes from the fact that a pomegranate tree is easy to grow and a pleasure in the garden. They are not prone to disease and have few pests. The flowers are beautiful, long-lasting, and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. A single plant will produce fruit without the need for an orchard or special pollinators, and the distinctive red fruit is a pleasing visual contrast to the tree’s green leaves.
Pomegranates are also a great choice for container gardening because they are compact and resilient plants. They are drought tolerant and can survive brief periods of neglect. In colder climates, growing your pomegranate in a container allows you to move it into a sheltered location for the winter. Pomegranates can even be trained as bonsai if your space is very limited.
Capture an Ancient Treasure
Growing a pomegranate tree for yourself makes you part of an ancient tradition. Because these trees have been valued for thousands of years, you are sharing a timeless experience with gardeners of ages past when you nurture a tree to maturity and harvest its red fruit. What meaning will you find when you open your fruit and eat the glittering arils inside?