Jul 17th, 2013

Did you know Pomegranates can Grow in Virginia?

By Caitlin Puffenberger, PR & Marketing Intern, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Recognize this fruit? It’s a pomegranate from a tree that’s been with the Garden for more than a decade! Horticulturalist Shannon Smith says, it was originally bought as a bonsai for a beverage-themed container garden, but has since been moved to its current location in the Healing Garden.

Punica granatum 'Judai Zakuro'

‘Judai Zakuro,’ Punica granatum, bearing fruit in the Healing Garden.

Typical pomegranate trees won’t grow in Virginia’s climate. That’s why this cultivar, ‘Judai Zakuro,’ looks a little different than the pomegranates in your fruit bowl. It’s more hardy and is able to withstand cooler temperatures and greater humidity than other kinds of pomegranate trees. Its coloring is also different — more pink than red — and its fruit is less sweet. But it can still make a lovely edition to your garden, especially is you’re looking for some edible landscaping solutions.


Caitlin Puffenberger is a former PR & Marketing Intern.

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  • I am writing about Punica granatum variety Judai Zakuro. Will it grow in Roanoke? Do you know how ir compares with the variety Salavatski? I want to grow pomegranates in our church Bible garden. Thank you Dr. Carolyn Roth

  • Carolyn, Let me check with our horticulturists and get back to you. I bet a pomegranate would make a nice addition to your church garden. ~Jonah

  • Carolyn, Horticulturist Shannon Smith says, “I am not personally familiar with ‘Judai Zakuro’ but Punica granatum variety Judai Zakuro has Low fertility/ sterility – is not supposed to support fruit and I think should be fine in 7A– particularly in a sheltered site.
    Our current USDA hardiness zone map shows Roanoke as 7A which I think is correct because it has Richmond as 7b. A slightly older map shows it as 6B, which I’m afraid would be too cold.
    P. ‘Salavatski’ is a granatum variety that was bred specifically for its fruit. You can see its cold hardiness from the link below. I think it’s fair to say that in general the non-fruiting or reduced fruiting granatums bred for flower form are hardier than those bred for fruit. In Richmond we had several days in a row of single digit temperatures (4-9 degrees) this January. With wind-chill the real feel temps were several degrees below freezing. All our P. granatum varieties did fine. Some are sheltered by brick walls, others are in very high wind exposed sites, but near brick walkways.
    I hope this is helpful.