Pomegranate sulking after pruning

Joe Dupre'

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In March of last year, a friend and I made a field trip to Brussel's . He bought a 1 1/4" diameter pomegranate. Very nice specimen, but a little taller and lankier than he liked. He pruned the top 6" off and gave it me to see if it would push roots. Boy, did it! It grew like crazy all of last year. This year in spring, I pruned it back pretty hard, leaving plenty ( I thought ) of foliage. Well, it's really been sulking ever since. It's sprouted a couple of shoots, but the branches I pruned just kind of sat there. The mother plant did the same........just sulked for months. Anyone had a similar experience with pomegranates?

unnamed - 2021-08-01T100637.888.jpg
 

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Soil looks really wet. When it stays consistently wet it starts to grow green algae. Make sure you don't overwater. Poms don't like their roots to stay wet. They are arid plants that almost like their soil to dry out between waterings.

These things are normally bullet-proof, but the plant is showing signs its roots might be compromised. Do you know when it was last repotted? Do you think you can lift it out of the pot gently it check the bottom of the rootball?
 

Joe Dupre'

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Well, we did have almost a solid month where it rained every day. That could definitely be the cause. I'll check the roots. Thanks.
 

Joe Dupre'

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Checked the roots. I had repotted the tree in a more organic mix this spring and it was soggy. The roots hadn't grown into the new soil much at all. I carefully teased some of the wet soil out and went with a more inorganic mix to fill in. I'll keep it in the shade for a week and see how it goes.
 

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Ok let me tell you what I was originally going to tell you...

With some of these bullet-proof species, they will throw their first spurt of growth, and then they will "stall" (for lack of a better word). You know they are stronger than that... but you don't see the growth. With a species as strong as pomegranate, as long as everything else looked good, I would normally defoliate the plant. Mind you - not prune the branches - but I would defoliate the plant and wire any excessively long growth. The plant typically responds with ramification growth - smaller leaves and tighter internodes - and often wakes up from whatever botanical funk it was in.

But before you do this you need a strong plant with healthy roots :)
 

Carol 83

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Ok let me tell you what I was originally going to tell you...

With some of these bullet-proof species, they will throw their first spurt of growth, and then they will "stall" (for lack of a better word). You know they are stronger than that... but you don't see the growth. With a species as strong as pomegranate, as long as everything else looked good, I would normally defoliate the plant. Mind you - not prune the branches - but I would defoliate the plant and wire any excessively long growth. The plant typically responds with ramification growth - smaller leaves and tighter internodes - and often wakes up from whatever botanical funk it was in.

But before you do this you need a strong plant with healthy roots :)
Very helpful info.
 

Joe Dupre'

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Yep, very helpful. Thanks.

By the way, the few cuttings I got from my buddy all rooted with gusto. This is the only one that "stalled". The others are growing well. This one was puzzling because it was the most vigorous out of the bunch.
 
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Ok let me tell you what I was originally going to tell you...

With some of these bullet-proof species, they will throw their first spurt of growth, and then they will "stall" (for lack of a better word). You know they are stronger than that... but you don't see the growth. With a species as strong as pomegranate, as long as everything else looked good, I would normally defoliate the plant. Mind you - not prune the branches - but I would defoliate the plant and wire any excessively long growth. The plant typically responds with ramification growth - smaller leaves and tighter internodes - and often wakes up from whatever botanical funk it was in.

But before you do this you need a strong plant with healthy roots :)

so you call pomegranate bulletproof? as in, if someone chuckles and says something like “yeah i’ve been through my share of those” as though indicating you’re silly for pursuing them, maybe be on guard for their other bits of spontaneous wisdom?
 

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