Pomegranate trees come in a variety of sizes — some as small as 3 feet tall — and thrive in USDA zones 7 to 10. In colder climates, you can also grow this fruit tree in containers.
In my experience, pomegranates are some of the easiest tropical fruits to grow at home. Monitoring the soil quality and supplementing as needed will take care of most potential problems before they start.
Since pomegranate trees are incredibly self-sufficient, the wrong type or amount of fertilizer can easily do more harm than good.
Keep reading to find my recommendation for the best fertilizers for pomegranate trees, along with tips to make sure your backyard orchard is getting the balanced nutrition it craves.
- Best Pomegranate Tree Fertilizers
- Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Pomegranate Trees
- Best Pomegranate Tree Fertilizer Reviews
- How to Fertilize Pomegranate Trees
- When to Fertilize Pomegranate Trees
- Verdict: Best Fertilizers for Pomegranate Tree
- FAQ’s Fertilizing Pomegranate Trees
Best Pomegranate Tree Fertilizers
If you’re in a hurry to step up your pomegranate tree’s nutrition, look no further. Here’s a sneak peek at the pomegranate tree fertilizers I recommend most:
Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Pomegranate Trees
For a tropical fruit, the pomegranate is remarkably resourceful. As long as it has adequate water, a pomegranate tree will thrive in a variety of environments.
As far as nutrition goes, nitrogen is the nutrient pomegranate trees absorb from the soil in the highest quantities. It’s also the one most often supplemented via fertilizer.
Since most pomegranate tree varieties aren’t heavy feeders, I really recommend performing a soil test before starting or altering your fertilizer routine. This will give you a clear picture of which nutrients your tree has access to, and which it could need more of.
Pomegranate Tree Fertilizer N-P-K Ratio
An N-P-K ratio is a sequence of three numbers prominently displayed on most fertilizer packages. While all you technically need to know is which numbers to look for and in what order, it certainly helps if you understand what an N-P-K ratio stands for.
The numbers of an N-P-K ratio represent, in order, the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in any given fertilizer and these are the most important nutrients for plant health.
For example, a fruit tree fertilizer labeled with 7-6-9 contains 7% nitrogen, 6% phosphorus, and 9% potassium.
Pomegranate Soil pH and Nutrient Uptake
Pomegranate trees are incredibly tolerant of different pH levels. For the best results, however, you should grow pomegranates in neutral or slightly acidic soil. According to the University of Georgia Extension, you should aim for a pH between 5.5 and 7.2.
Pomegranates growing in overly alkaline soil often show signs of iron deficiency. This is because a high pH level affects how easily plant roots are able to absorb this key micronutrient.
Granular Vs Liquid Fertilizer
The most popular types of fertilizer for pomegranate trees include liquid, granules, and spikes. Each of these formulas offers quality nutrition but in slightly different packages.
If I could only use one type of fertilizer on my fruit trees, I’d opt for a granular formula. However, liquids and fertilizer spikes can be just as effective in the right contexts.
Liquid Concentrate or Spray
There’s technically nothing wrong with using a liquid fertilizer on your pomegranate tree. Just be aware that you’ll need to spend a lot of time re-applying throughout the growing season.
I prefer using liquid fertilizers on young pomegranate trees, especially those in pots. Liquid formulas are less likely to cause fertilizer burn in more delicate trees.
I will almost always reach for fertilizer granules when feeding a pomegranate tree. Granules are economical and easy to distribute throughout the entire root system. Most formulas are also designed to release nutrients over the course of several weeks or months.
While not my top pick, fertilizer spikes have their time and place. I find they’re most useful for feeding small pomegranate trees growing in containers. I don’t, however, recommend fertilizing mature pomegranate trees with this option.
Whilst highly effective, mess-free, and convenient, spikes are expensive when compared to granules and liquids and since older, more mature trees need larger quantities of fertilizer, feeding with spikes can be costly.
Organic vs Synthetic Fertilizers
When it comes to organic fertilizer, most people picture things like backyard compost or animal manure. While these are examples of organic fertilizer, this category also includes any fertilizer made with plant- or animal-derived nutrients.
Synthetic fertilizer, on the other hand, is any formula derived from minerals, gasses, and other inorganic materials.
One category is not necessarily better than the other. You can expect to see similar results whether applying organic or synthetic fertilizer to your pomegranate tree. It largely comes down to personal preference.
Best Pomegranate Tree Fertilizer Reviews
With so many formulas to choose from, finding the right fertilizer is often the hardest part of starting a home orchard. Over time, however, you learn that some fertilizers consistently outperform the competition again and again.
Here are my 5 picks for the best pomegranate tree fertilizers for overall health and increased fruit production based on research and my personal experience:
- Formulated with OMRI-certified organic ingredients
- Safe to use on all fruiting trees
- Delivers calcium and magnesium
- Not a balanced fertilizer
It’s important to trust the products you use in your garden, especially when growing edibles such as fruit and vegetables. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’ve yet to have a negative first-hand experience with Down to Earth fertilizers.
This organic, slow-release granular fruit tree fertilizer is appropriate for nearly all orchard trees and fruiting shrubs. It packs a punch of nitrogen which is ideal for kickstarting the growing season and encouraging healthy flower and fruit production.
Despite its benefits, this is far from a one-size-fits-all formula. It may not meet the needs of your pomegranate tree if your soil is low in phosphorus or potassium and so, you may need to supplement this during the season if the results of a soil test show a shortfall.
How To Use: For trees younger than 3 years, apply 2 cups of fertilizer per inch of trunk diameter throughout the dripline. Re-apply as often as once a month but do not exceed 6 cups per inch of trunk per year.
For trees older than 3 years, apply up to 4 pounds of fertilizer per tree throughout the dripline. Re-apply once per year in mid-to-late summer.
- Feeds for the entire growing season
- Minimizes fertilizer run-off
- Not cost-effective for large trees
I’m usually not shy about recommending a liquid or granular formula over fertilizer spikes. However, these spikes from Miracle-Gro are my top choice for those who prefer this feeding method over others. They are certainly my preference for ornamental, container-grown varieties.
While these fertilizer spikes are high-quality and designed for fruit trees, you’ll see the best results using them only on smaller, potted pomegranate trees. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, the high nitrogen content helps to combat the effects of soil that can quickly become nutrient deficient when left in containers or pots. Secondly, the cost of spikes is more when compared to granules of liquids.
The great news is, when applied in spring, these spikes release nutrients throughout the entire growing season. So they’re ideal for those of us who often forget to stick to a regular fertilizing schedule.
How To Use: Using a soft mallet and the included protective cap, drive fertilizer spikes along the perimeter of your pomegranate tree’s drip line (a minimum of 2 feet away from the trunk). The spikes themselves should be spaced at least 3 feet apart and driven at least 2 inches below the soil’s surface.
- Appropriate for all pomegranate life stages
- Supports beneficial organisms in the soil
- Safe to use around pets and children
- Might not meet the nitrogen needs of all trees
This granular Jobe’s Organics fertilizer offers a great deal of versatility when it comes to fertilizing pomegranates. It can be used to feed new and established pomegranate trees, and it is gentle enough to use to prepare the soil for transplants too.
This is a slow-release granular formula that is suitable for use on many other varieties of fruit and nut trees and the low and relatively balanced N-P-K ratio greatly reduces the risk of overfeeding and burning your pomegranate trees.
Do bear in mind that whilst Pomegranates are not heavy feeders, if your soil is low in nitrogen, you may need to supplement this formula with an additional source of nitrogen in early spring.
How To Use: Feed established trees by spreading 3 cups of fertilizer per inch of trunk diameter throughout the dripline. For pomegranate trees larger than 3 inches around, feed up to 9 cups of fertilizer per inch of trunk.
- Safe to use in organic gardens
- Slowly releases nutrients over time
- N-P-K ratio is appropriate for most soil
- The scent may attract pests
Pomegranates may not make direct contact with the soil, but many home gardeners still feel most comfortable using products designed for edible plants such as this Miracle-Gro fertilizer.
This slow-release fertilizer contains a relatively balanced ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, ensuring an even balance of nutrients every time you use it. I do recommend supplementing if the results of a soil test deem it necessary, however. Especially, at the start of the season to get the growing period off to a flying start.
Like most fertilizers I recommend, this formula is listed for organic production by OMRI and the slow-release formula feeds for up to 6 weeks at a time.
How To Use: Apply up to 1 cup of fertilizer per 25 square feet of drip line. Work the fertilizer into the top layer of soil before thoroughly watering the entire area.
For pomegranate trees in pots, apply the recommended amount of fertilizer for the container’s size. Water thoroughly.
- Listed for organic use by OMRI
- Releases beneficial microbes into the soil
- Prevents surface fertilizer run-off
- Not appropriate for larger trees
Another fertilizer spike formula I can confidently recommend for pomegranate trees is this one from Jobes. As before, I only recommend spikes for smaller, container-grown pomegranates but nonetheless, they definitely have earned a position here in my best fertilizer list.
One of the reasons I recommend Jobe’s Organics spikes is the inclusion of Biozome. This is a blend of beneficial fungi and bacteria that can benefit any type of soil. It’s their patented formula and it really enhances the condition of the soil – especially when easily depleted by pots and containers.
How To Use: Feed with 1 fertilizer spike per 6 inches of tree diameter. Space the spikes evenly around the container. Arrange spikes close to the container’s edge to reduce the risk of root burn.
Replace fertilizer spikes every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season.
How to Fertilize Pomegranate Trees
When feeding any large tree, it’s important to cover as much of the root system as possible. The easiest way to do this is by following the tree’s drip line, or the area of ground directly beneath the canopy. I like to spread the liquid and granular fertilizer several inches beyond the drip line perimeter.
On the other hand, it’s best to avoid applying fertilizer directly next to a pomegranate tree’s trunk. Leave several inches — or several feet for large trees — untreated around the trunk every time you apply fertilizer.
I don’t recommend feeding new pomegranate trees until their second year. You can, however, supplement the soil with a light application of aged compost.
Avoiding Pomegranate Tree Fertilizer Burn
Fertilizer burn is a natural consequence of applying too much nitrogen-rich fertilizer at one time. Pomegranate trees’ low nutritional needs make them particularly prone to fertilizer burn.
Overfeeding can happen at any time but is most likely to occur during a tree’s dormancy period. A combination of well-measured fertilizer and adequate irrigation is the best strategy against fertilizer burn in pomegranate trees.
When to Fertilize Pomegranate Trees
The best time to fertilize a pomegranate tree is in late winter or early spring, just before the leaves emerge. This application will give the tree a boost of energy as it exits dormancy and enters a new growing season.
Your last application of the year should be no later than November. Feeding a pomegranate tree too late in the year can delay or even prevent winter dormancy.
Fertilizing Pomegranate Trees Pre-Fruiting
Adequate nutrition (especially in the form of nitrogen) is important for fruit development. A spring application of slow-release fertilizer will support your pomegranate tree as it flowers or puts out fruit.
How Often to Fertilize Pomegranate Trees
Established pomegranate trees should be fed at least twice per year as directed by a soil test. Some trees even respond well to monthly feedings.
How often you can safely fertilizer your pomegranate tree throughout the growing season will ultimately depend on the longevity of your chosen formula. Liquid fertilizers will need to be applied more often than other formulas.
Verdict: Best Fertilizers for Pomegranate Tree
Fertilizing isn’t always necessary for a pomegranate tree to perform to its full potential. But if your pomegranate tree is showing slowed growth or lackluster fruit production, a healthy dose of fertilizer is likely to do the trick!
My favorite fertilizer for all pomegranate trees is Down to Earth Organic Fruit Tree Fertilizer Mix 6-2-4. This organic formula feeds for at least a month at a time and is easy to evenly distribute throughout the entire drip line.
If your preference is using fertilizer spikes for your potted pomegranate tree, then I suggest trying Miracle-Gro Fruit & Citrus Plant Food Spikes 15-5-10. This formula delivers key nutrients and will ensure your smaller varieties will get the boost they need at the start of the growing season and for the entire duration thereafter.