Punica Granatum is a fruit-bearing tree that produces pomegranates. But you can grow these expensive fruits within just a few years from seed and continue picking fresh fruit for years to come. Pomegrantes are really just large seed pods. The outer rind is generally discarded, but the numerous seeds inside are each covered with a membrane that holds in a raindrop’s worth of blood red juice. With every bite that penetrates these membranes, the seeds shed their tart juice. Pomegranate seeds are edible, although some people choose to spit them out. Pomegranate is one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat. Pomegranate juice is very high in antioxidants and immune-supporting ingredients. The fruit, rind and seeds of pomegranate have long been used in India’s traditional medicine known as Ayurveda. Pomegranate has been used to support cardiac health by reportedly reducing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and keeping blood from clotting abnormally. A compound called “punicalagin”, which hints at the genus name, punica, has been shown in clinical studies to be responsible for much of these effects. Pomegranate has also been said to help with the nervous system, possibly offering support to those suffering from depression. Certain compounds seem to stimulate serotonin and estrogen to contribute to this action. Although you may typically think of pomegranate as a warmer climate fruit, it actually withstands temperatures in the north. It is considered hardy to zone 7, and in rare cases it will survive in zone 6. Elsewhere, it can be grown as a large container plant.
Growing Instructions: Store the seeds in the fridge. They should be subject to cold stratification prior to sowing. When you’re ready to sow them soak the seed sin water for 24 hours. Then sow your seed ¼” deep in a well-draining fertile soil. In cooler climates, mulch around the base of your plants to keep them warm in the winter. The foliage may die back during the winter and grow back the following spring.
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