Sochi Dwarf Pomegranate
Punica granatum 'Sochi Dwarf'
This plant reaches 3 to 4 feet high and wide, very densely branched with small, bright green foliage. Beginning in late spring and continuing through much of summer, it is absolutely covered in bright orange-red blooms. This would be enough to justify its inclusion in any garden, but Sochi isn't finished. The flowers are followed by golfball-sized light red fruit, which in turn is filled with tart-sweet seeds bursting with flavor.
The fruit can begin appearing as early as midsummer in hot climates, and as late as mid-fall in cooler areas. The eating quality is nothing short of gourmet, and the fruit looks terrific on this compact plant, too. Find an especially good looking pair of patio containers and plan a display that is both ornamental and useful!
And in the garden, Sochi Dwarf is a full zone hardier than other Pomegranates. Not only does the fruit ripen weeks ahead of most others, the plant stands up to shorter seasons and tougher winters. This is the Pomegranate you've been dreaming of!
Site in a sheltered southern or eastern location (a walled patio or wind-free sunny garden border is ideal). Flowers will bloom profusely in all locations, but for best fruit set, plant at least 2 Sochi Dwarves in the same area. Needs well-drained soil. Zones 6-10.
Plants are tolerant of a wide range of soils from sandy to heavy, poor to fertile, acid to alkaline, as long as the soil drains well. However, they perform best in a good, moisture retentive, well-drained soil. Full sun will give best flowering, although they grow quite well in partial shade.
Water during periods of drought. Pruning, while seldom needed, should be done in late winter. Plants will grow without any supplemental fertilizing in all but poor soils.
Nevertheless, they will respond well to fertilizer which can be applied in early spring and again every 6 weeks. The fruit, which is actually a berry, follows the flowers and changes from yellow to a yellow-red as it matures in September and October.
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Tips for gardening in particularly hot, dry climates:
1. Water with a drip system whenever possible – soak the bed slowly and thoroughly to a depth of 10" to 12".
2. Watering deeply every 3 to 5 days is preferable to a shallow daily watering.
3. Water in the early morning, so foliage has time to dry.
4. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or similar material to aid in water retention and help keep the roots cool during hot weather.