How to Grow a Wonderful Pomegranate Tree

"Wonderful" pomegranate tree (Punica granatum "Wonderful") is a vigorous variety of pomegranate that produces large, tangy fruits. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, "Wonderful" grows up to 20 feet tall and 4 to 15 feet wide, but its size can be restricted with pruning. Showy, light red, trumpet-shaped flowers appear in summer, followed by red fruit 5 to 6 inches in diameter. In some areas of the United States, this tree is invasive.

Ripe pomegranate
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A young fruit growing on a "wonderful" pomegranate tree.

Sun and Soil

A "Wonderful" pomegranate tree prefers full-sun sites and fertile, well-drained, dry to medium moisture soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. This tree also grows in average and poor soils, though its size and fruit production may be reduced. Spreading a 4-inch layer of compost or well-aged manure before planting, and digging in the organic matter to a depth of 18 inches, improves poor soils.

Grow "Wonderful" so that the tree's trunk is 7 feet from other trees, shrubs, walls or other outdoor structures. If the tree is to be pruned to restrict its size, it can grow closer to other plants or objects. "Wonderful" fruits ripen in late summer to early fall, and the best fruit production is in climates with long, hot summers and cool winters.

Water for "Wonderful"

Regular watering helps "Wonderful" establish a deep root system and grow large fruits. Weeds around the tree's base compete for water and nutrients, so pull them up as they appear. To discourage weeds and conserve soil moisture, spread a 3-inch layer of garden compost, leaf mold, shredded bark or another organic mulch over the area beneath the tree's canopy, and top up the mulch when it thins out. Don't pile mulch against the tree's trunk because this encourages rotting.

Water "Wonderful" when the soil surface is dry. Pull back an area of mulch to check if you aren't sure. Spray the area underneath the tree's canopy with water using a soft spray attachment on a garden hose. Water the tree until the soil is moist to a depth of 18 inches.

Fertilizer Applications

"Wonderful" pomegranate tree benefits from spring fertilization with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer. In early spring, before new leaves appear, apply a granular, general-purpose fertilizer, such as a 12-4-8 formulation. Sprinkle the granules over the area under the tree's canopy at a rate of 4 tablespoons per 4 square feet, and water the tree. If the manufacturer's instructions are different, follow the directions on the product label. Rain, watering and soil microbes break the fertilizer down over time and release the nutrients to the tree.

Root Suckers and Pruning

Spring pruning restricts the size of a "Wonderful" pomegranate tree, and root suckers should be removed throughout the year. Before pruning this tree, wipe pruning shear blades with a cloth that was dipped in rubbing alcohol, and wipe the blades again when you've finished.

Root suckers are shoots that grow from the ground around or near the base of a tree or shrub. Prune root suckers on "Wonderful" when they appear. Prune them as close to the ground as possible.

To encourage compact growth, prune "Wonderful" in early spring before new leaves appear. Prune dead and damaged stems, and stems that are touching where they cross, where they meet the rest of the tree. Prune the remaining stems halfway along, just above outward-facing buds. Buds are regular, raised bumps on a stem.