When the weather is too cold to do much work outside, I get a little over zealous and try propagating all sorts of plants, just to see if I can. Since I got a couple of new heat mats for Christmas, I am in the process of propagating a variety of plants including ‘Parfianka’ Pomegranate, ‘Sweet’ Pomegranate, ‘Strawberry Verte’ Fig, ‘Bababerry’ plants, Thornless Raspberry plants, and tomato seeds. Because I spend so much time doting on the cuttings, my hubby says I am going to turn into Jordy Verrill from Creepshow who ends up covered in Alien Weeds if I am not careful. I hope not. Well, if I find a mysterious meteorite in the backyard, I promise I won’t put water on it!
Although I don’t have room for anymore Pomegranate trees, I had read they are one of the easiest fruits to propagate, so I just had to try. And it’s true! I took a half dozen of cuttings from each of my two trees on January 14th, and I already had to transplant some of the little trees yesterday into 4 inch pots because the roots were growing out of the peat pellets and out onto the heat mat. If I had know it would be this easy and quick to start pomegranates, I would have taken more cuttings. With the continuing drought in California, pomegranates are a good choice for a drought tolerant backyard fruit tree so I shouldn’t have a hard time finding new homes for the little pomegranate trees, once they are bigger and acclimated to the outdoors, especially since they are less common varieties.
- Prep rooting medium like perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss. I used Peat Moss pellets this time and soaked them ahead of time. I have them on a tray over a heat mat.
- Take cuttings about the width of pencil and about 3 to 6 inches in length with sterile clippers.
- Score or injure the cuttings near the bottom end.
- Dip in rooting hormone (optional.) I like Dip and Grow liquid hormone for this, but be careful and follow the directions carefully.
- Place cutting in rooting medium.
- Mist a few times a day and water as needed.
- Watch for leaf growth.
- Transplant when they have sufficient leaf growth or like in my case, the roots outgrow the peat pellets.
- Slowly acclimate them to the outdoors.
- Over the first season of growth, pinch to make them bushy.