Pomegranate: A Drought-Tolerant Option for the Arid Home Garden

| 1/15/2018 12:54:00 PM

Tags: pomegranate, fruit trees, book reviews, California, Joshua Burman Thayer,


 In his book, Pomegranate Roads: A Soviet Botanist’s Exile from Eden, author and pomegranate expert Gregory Levin expounds upon the virtues of this splendid fruit.  Having evolved in the region between central Asia to Turkey, this member of the myrtle family is an ancient plant which has been cultivated for over 5,000 years. Juicy, rich and seductive, this fruit has inspired poetry, still lives, and beverages for celebrations. What’s more, it grows magnificently in most Bay Area locales.

By choosing plants that reflect microclimate conditions, we can create a landscape that requires much less energy to maintain. Here in the Bay Area, we can still achieve food production, but do it using less water if we choose drought-tolerant fruit trees and vines. Around each of our dwellings, we have here an opportunity to practically dry farm rugged pomegranates in the gaps of our acreage.

Levin in his vast research on the pomegranate explored the vast dry slopes all over Central Asia and brought all specimens back to his Soviet research station in Garrigala, Turkmenistan. We have Levin to thank was for the propagation from wild stock and perpetuating several of the varieties we like to now plant here in the Bay Area. For example, the ‘Parfianka’ variety is here due to a generous donation by Dr. Levin to U.C. Davis as the Soviet Union fell apart.

Care: Fall is a Great Time to Plant Pomegranates

• Pomegranates are easy to grow and only require water one time per week.
• You can manage each bush to as short as 6 feet tall and as tall as 18 feet.
• Try to find the sunniest patches on your land for the rugged pomegranate.
• Harvest: September to November. Yum!

More Information on the Pomegranate

Hodgson, Robert W. The Pomegranate. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1917.

1/20/2018 11:48:00 AM

why don't they have a picture of a pomegranate bush in this article?

1/15/2018 5:47:22 PM

Dear Mother Earth Editors, It is always good to read that Dr. Levin's unique book on pomegranates, field botany at its best and reflections on life as a 'plant detective' is still being read and quoted. Books can be ordered a deep discounts directly through me, just email bbforest@monitor.net. Thank you, Barbara Baer publisher Floreant Plreas

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