(Punica granatum ‘Nana’)
Country of Origin : Not confirmed
Bonsai Styles : Informal upright, slanting, Group
Zone : 7 – 11
Due to its arching habit and multiple stems, the pomegranate bonsai tree makes an excellent bonsai.
It also has a dwarf variety, Punica granatum ‘Nana’, which also makes a beautiful bonsai. Furthermore it is specially suited to making an indoor bonsai tree. It can grow up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall.
This miniature pomegranate variety has bright green, small, myrtle-like leaves. The veins of the shiny narrow leaves of the plant are tinged with copper color in the spring.
These leaves are shed from the tree as winter begins.
Dwarf pomegranate bonsai also branches profusely. These stems may also form into one or more broad, sometimes crooked trunks if they are allowed to develop in a certain manner.
It grows as a deciduous shrub and produces a large number of flowers.
One of the main attractions of bonsai is the scarlet flower (produced in summer) that can measure 1 1/2 inches long.
There are also bright orange-red fruits that grow on this plant. These fruits are relatively small in size.
Unlike the fruits of regular pomegranate tree, fruits of dwarf pomegranate tree are not edible. (they taste sour and not sweet).
Read more about other bonsai trees species in : Bonsai tree care
This is an easy to grow plant and one of the suitable candidates for bonsai enthusiasts who love a flowering bonsai tree.
This tree is naturally multi-stemmed. Hence, it can be made in bonsai styles such as sinuous, clump and double or triple trunk.
You can choose a main trunk and prune the rest of the stems in case you wish to make bonsai styles such as literati, windswept, informal upright or slanting.
Dwarf pomegranate trees have a very “relaxed” growth habit. Therefore, avoid formal upright or broom styles. These styles won’t look very natural.
The flowers ( funnel-shaped with wrinkled orange-red petals ) on dwarf pomegranate bonsai are produced in summer.
At the branch tips, the blooms can be found individually or in clusters of up to five.
Following the flowering, the plant also produces fruits in the months of fall.
As stated earlier, the fruits of dwarf variety of pomegranate are not meant for eating.
Best location to keep Dwarf pomegranate Bonsai
These trees can thrive in partial shade or full sun.
Throughout the year, you can keep the dwarf pomegranate bonsai tree indoors in a bright position.
Make sure the location is well ventilated and preferably near a south or west facing window.
When keeping it on a window, avoid exposing it the direct sunlight. Preferably, keep it shaded and exposed to indirect bright light.
From mid spring on, you can keep the bonsai tree outdoors in a sunny area; in the fall, you can bring it inside once the leaves have shed.
In winter, place the bonsai container in a cool place (unheated room or hall or even a staircase). An ideal temperature range can be 43°F to 50°F (6°C to 10°C).
IMP: Refer sunlight requirements for indoor plants for more indoor gardening ideas. Also, refer to do bonsai trees need sunlight for more indoor and outdoor bonsai location ideas.
It can also be overwintered at a temperature as high as 68°F (20°C). However, keep in mind when places in a warm place in winter, the bonsai will grow but the new shoots will be thin and weak.
Also, the growth habit will be less compact.
Propagation of Dwarf pomegranate
Dwarf pomegranate trees can be propagated using stem cuttings and seeds.
Growing from seeds has an added advantage. In contrast to many other plants, the seeds of this tree produce true copies of their parent plants.
Sow the seeds in the spring. Soak the seeds in water overnight before sowing.
Keep the soil moist and keep the pot in a warm location. Cover the pot with a plastic bag. Keep it in a temperature of 68°F and 86°F (20°C and 30°C).
The plant should germinate in a month.
When using cuttings, take stem cuttings of 3-4 inches in length in spring. Use unlignified cuttings. It is best to apply some rooting hormone before planting it in the potting soil.
Keep the soil moist and keep the pot in a warm place. You can also provide some bottom heat.
A decent amount of rooting can be achieved within a month. And the small plant is ready to be transplanted in the desired pot.
In case you have the fruit of the tree, extract the pips. Soak the pips in water for few days until they have started to ferment.
Now remove the flesh and sow the seeds.
Watering Dwarf pomegranate Bonsai
It is recommended that you water your Punica granatum ‘Nana’ bonsai tree generously during the summer.
However, before watering again, make sure that the soil is at least partially dry.
During the summer, you can mist spray the plant regularly.
It is recommended to reduce watering during the winter, especially if the plant is located in a cool location 43°F to 50°F (6°C to 10°C).
In any case, you should not allow the root ball to dry completely out.
Keep the bonsai soil evenly moist if the bonsai is kept in a warmer place in winter.
Read watering bonsai tree for more details.
Wiring Dwarf pomegranate Bonsai
It is best to start the wiring process after the plant has finished blooming or before it starts to grow new growth.
Younger, 1-2 year old branches can be wired easily.
Branches that are older will have to be guyed down.
You can follow one thumb rule; Branches that are about half the thickness of a pencil are the ones that should be wired.
Pruning Dwarf pomegranate Bonsai
When to prune Dwarf pomegranate bonsai?
How to prune Dwarf pomegranate bonsai?
In the early stages of development, young bonsai trees should be trimmed back to between two and tree leaf pairs, depending on the branch’s position within the crown. (after 8 to 10 pairs of leaves have developed).
Pruning mature bonsai trees can, however, be done earlier.
In general, when the first new growth is pruned back in the spring, it is important to take care to remove as many of the flower buds as possible as well.
Consequently, if you place a lot of emphasis on the flowers of your bonsai, then you will have to compromise a little on the shape of your bonsai and delay the first pruning until after the flowers have appeared, which usually happens in the middle of summer.
In order to maintain the small size and bushiness of the bonsai, pinch back the young shoots every now and then throughout the summer.
In order to achieve a clear shape of the canopy, remove all shoots that grow straight up or towards the inside of the crown. All summer long, you should prune excess growth.
Dwarf Pomegranate tree blooms on new growth. Don’t prune the shoots after spring arrives if you want the tree to bloom.
The tree should be pruned back quite severely after it has flowered in order for the tree to be able to flower again at a later date.
Repotting Dwarf pomegranate Bonsai
When to repot Dwarf pomegranate bonsai?
Young dwarf pomegranate bonsai tree can be repotted every 1-2 years. Older trees can be repotted 2-4 years.
The ideal time to do this is after the tree has dropped its leaves and in spring before the new ones begin to break.
Pruning the roots should also be performed, but only if the root system is well developed.
You can use a basic free-draining bonsai soil mix as a potting soil.
You can use a mix of sand, peat moss and loam in the ratio 1:1:1.
You can use a mix of sand, compost and akadama 2:3:5.
You can also use a mix of garden compost, sand and fired clay particles in the ratio 1:1:2.
Must Read: Bonsai Soil Recipes
Must read : Choosing the right bonsai container
Feeding Dwarf pomegranate Bonsai
Between the end of spring and the end of summer, liquid bonsai fertilizer should be applied every two weeks.
This is also a good time to apply a low-nitrogen feed.
The bonsai tree should not be fed during the period when it is dormant in winter.
However, if the tree is kept in a warm place during winter, apply feed every six weeks.
Read more about bonsai fertilizer and its application.
Diseases and pest of Dwarf pomegranate Bonsai
Dwarf pomegranate bonsai trees can be affected by Aphid, red spider mite, scales, chlorosis, white fly, greenfly, and mildew.
It is common for pomegranates grown indoors to be attacked by whiteflies.
The pomegranate tree is also susceptible to greenfly infestations when it is kept outdoors.
Dwarf pomegranate bonsai care
In order to maintain the health of your Punica granatum ‘Nana’ bonsai, make sure you only leave 2 or 3 fruits on the tree at a time; if you leave more, the tree will become too weak.
A long, hot growing season along with full sun are required for pomegranates trees to flower and ripen their fruit.
It is possible to grow a bonsai dwarf pomegranate tree in a greenhouse if you live in a cool climate.