How To Protect Pomegranate Trees In Winter?

Winter poses unique challenges for pomegranate trees, especially in regions with cold temperatures and frost. Proper winter protection is needed to safeguard their health and productivity come spring. In this article, we will explore effective techniques and strategies to protect pomegranate trees during the winter months, including covering methods, container-grown trees, and essential care practices. Ensure your pomegranates thrive for many fruitful seasons to come.

What USDA Zones Can Pomegranate Trees Grow In?

What USDA Zones Can Pomegranate Trees Grow In?

Pomegranate trees (Punica granatum) are generally well-adapted to warm and semi-arid climates. They can tolerate a range of USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11, depending on the variety and local growing conditions. Some specific cultivars may be suitable for slightly colder or warmer areas.

  • USDA Zone 7: Extra measures like mulching and providing winter protection such as a fleece cover or bringing indoors will be required to help pomegranate trees survive the colder temperatures found in this zone.
  • USDA Zone 8: Most pomegranate varieties grow well in Zone 8, which offers a longer and warmer growing season. They can handle mild winters without extensive protection. If a more severe winter spell occurs, be ready with protective measures.
  • USDA Zone 9: Mild to moderate frosts and long, warm summers provide favorable growing conditions for pomegranates in this zone.
  • USDA Zone 10: Here the climate is subtropical and frost is rare. Trees grow vigorously and produce abundant fruit in this zone.
  • USDA Zone 11: With a much longer growing season, hot summers, and mild winters growing pomegranates should be a breeze here. Ensure you provide sufficient water year-round to keep the tree healthy and particularly in summer to allow the fruits to develop and ripen properly. 

Pomegranate trees can tolerate a good range of USDA zones, factors like microclimates, local variations, and specific cultivar characteristics can influence their success within a particular zone. 

It’s always best to select cultivars known to perform well in your specific area and consult with local gardening experts or agricultural extension services for tailored advice.

You can check out which USDA zone you are in by looking at a zoning map.

Can Pomegranate Trees Survive Frost?

Pomegranate trees are generally tolerant of mild and occasional moderate frosts, but prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures may cause damage or kill the tree. 

The exact cold tolerance level varies depending on the cultivar, the overall health of the tree, and specific growing conditions.

  • Young or newly planted pomegranate trees – These are generally more vulnerable to frost damage and will need the most winter protection. They may require covering with frost blankets or providing supplemental heat during cold spells, especially if temperatures drop below 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius).
  • Mature pomegranate trees – These usually tolerate short periods of temperatures as low as 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 to -9 degrees Celsius) without severe damage. Extended exposure to temperatures below 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius) can be detrimental to the tree.

While pomegranates can withstand some frost, their ability to survive and recover from cold temperatures largely depends on the duration and severity of the frost event, as well as the overall health and hardiness of the tree. 

Providing adequate winter protection, such as mulching around the base and covering during prolonged freezing periods, will help improve their chances of surviving colder temperatures.

If you live in an area with harsh winters where temperatures regularly drop below the pomegranate tree’s cold tolerance threshold, you might wish to consider selecting a cold-hardy cultivar or growing the tree in a container so you can move it indoors or to a sheltered location during the winter months. 

There are several cold-hardy cultivars of pomegranate trees available that have shown good tolerance to colder temperatures. Here are some popular cold-hardy pomegranate cultivars:

  • Russian 26 – This cultivar is known for its excellent cold tolerance and can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius). It is a compact variety that produces medium to large fruit with a sweet-tart flavor.
  • Salavatski – This is a cold-hardy variety originating from Russia. It tolerates temperatures down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius). The fruits are large with sweet and tangy arils.
  • Wonderful – Although ‘Wonderful’ is not as cold tolerant as the previous two cultivars, it still exhibits good tolerance to colder temperatures and can withstand 15 degrees Fahrenheit (-9 degrees Celsius). It is a widely grown cultivar known for its large, juicy, and flavorful fruit.
  • Chico – Can tolerate temperatures down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius). It produces sweet and flavorful fruit and is valued for its ability to set fruit even in cool climates.
  • Gulosha Rosavaya – Originating from Russia, it can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 degrees Celsius). It produces medium-sized, deep-red fruit with a sweet-tart flavor.

While these cultivars are known for their cold tolerance, providing additional winter protection can further improve their chances of survival in colder regions. 

In this video, see how to grow the cold hardy Salavatski variety of pomegranate in zone 7:

Do Pomegranate Trees Go Dormant In Winter?

Pomegranate trees do go dormant in the winter. Like many deciduous fruit trees, pomegranate trees undergo a period of dormancy as a natural response to seasonal changes and colder temperatures.

During dormancy, which typically occurs from late fall or early winter, pomegranate trees experience a slowdown in their metabolic processes. 

The trees shed their leaves, and their growth and physiological activities slow down significantly. This period allows the tree to conserve energy and withstand the cold weather.

While dormant, the trees enter a state of rest, where they require less water and nutrients compared to when in their active growing season.

It will be necessary to adjust watering and fertilization practices accordingly to avoid overwatering or overfeeding the tree during this time.

Dormancy usually lasts until the arrival of warmer temperatures in spring. As the weather becomes more favorable, growth will resume, with the sprouting of new leaves and flowers.

How Do You Cover A Pomegranate Tree For Winter?

It is advisable to cover your pomegranate tree during periods of cold weather to provide valuable protection against frost and freezing temperatures. 

  1. Timing – Monitor the weather forecasts and cover the tree when freezing temperatures are expected, typically during late fall or winter.
  2. Prepare materials – Gather the necessary materials for covering the tree, these could be special plant fleece or frost blankets, burlap, old bedsheets, or any other breathable fabric that can provide insulation but isn’t too heavy. Avoid using plastic, as it can trap moisture and damage the tree.
  3. Prune and tie branches – Before covering, prune any long, weak, or damaged branches to minimize potential breakage under the cover. Also, tie up any long, drooping branches to prevent them from bending under the weight of the cover.
  4. Build a framework (optional) – If you expect prolonged cold spells, you can choose to construct a framework around the tree using stakes or posts. This will help support your chosen cover and prevent it from directly touching the tree, reducing the risk of damage.
  5. Cover the tree – Drape the fabric or frost blanket over the tree, ensuring it reaches the ground and covers the majority of the branches. If you’ve built a framework. Ensure it’s well secured and won’t be blown away by the wind.
  6. Secure the cover – Use clips, clothespins, or weights to secure the edges of the cover to prevent it from being dislodged by the wind.
  7. Uncover during the day – If the weather warms up during the day and there is no longer a risk of freezing temperatures, uncover the tree to allow air circulation and prevent overheating.
  8. Remove cover gradually – As the cold spell passes and temperatures stabilize, gradually remove the cover during the day to acclimate the tree to the changing conditions.

Ensure that the cover is not overly tight or heavy, as it can damage the branches or limit air circulation.

Can You Bring A Pomegranate Tree Indoors?

Can You Bring A Pomegranate Tree Indoors?

In regions with harsh winter conditions which may make outdoor survival challenging, you can bring pomegranate trees indoors during the winter. 

It’s best if your tree is already in a pot, but if it’s still very young, it may also be possible to transplant it in the first year. 

  • Forecast – Start by keeping an eye on the forecast and ensure you bring your tree indoors before the first frost or when temperatures are starting to consistently drop below its cold tolerance level.
  • Location – Think about where you can put the tree where it is protected but won’t be in the way. It’s best to choose a bright and well-ventilated area indoors. Placing it by a sunny window or in a greenhouse, where the tree can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day works best for the health of the tree.
  • Prune and inspect – Before bringing the tree indoors, you want to ensure it is as compact as possible so it takes up less room. This is also good practice as you can remove any dead, damaged, or excessively long branches and inspect the tree for pests or diseases and treat them as necessary.
  • Container preparation – Select a container that is at least 2-4 inches larger in diameter than the current root ball of the pomegranate tree. Ensure the container has good drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Plant the tree in the container being sure to respect the soil line it was in when it was in the ground, not doing this can jeopardize the tree.

If your tree is already in a pot, you may wish to put it into a larger one so it is ready for additional growth the following spring. It’s best to go with a container that is at least a quarter the size of the current one again.

  • Transplanting – If you’re taking a young tree out of the ground, be very careful how you do it. You’ll need to gently remove it, being careful not to damage the roots. Place the tree in the prepared container, filling it with well-draining potting soil around the root ball. Firmly press the soil to eliminate air pockets.
  • Acclimate gradually – When first bringing the tree indoors, acclimate it gradually to the lower light levels and indoor conditions. Start by placing it in a partially shaded location for a few days, gradually increasing the exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Water – During winter dormancy pomegranate trees will require less water than when in their growing period. This doesn’t mean you can just forget about it, however. Provide regular weekly watering, but be cautious, just make the soil damp and allow it to dry out slightly between waterings. Humidity levels indoors can be drier than outside, so consider using a humidifier or placing the pot on a tray filled with water and pebbles to increase humidity around it.
  • Fertilizing – You don’t need to feed a pomegranate tree during winter dormancy. This should not be done until spring when the tree starts its new growth cycle. At this time, you should fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer following the recommended dosage.
  • Pests and diseases – Regularly inspect the tree for any pests or diseases, as indoor environments can be conducive to certain pest infestations. Treat any issues promptly using appropriate methods or consult with a local gardening expert.

When spring arrives and the risk of frost has passed, you can gradually transition the pomegranate tree back outdoors, acclimating it to outdoor conditions over a period of a few weeks.

It is not always necessary or practical to bring your tree indoors each winter, and is completely unnecessary in regions with mild winters, where the tree can survive outdoors with proper winter protection.


With their adaptability to a range of climates, pomegranate trees can be protected and nurtured through the challenges of winter. Covering the trees, or selecting cold-hardy cultivars, while providing adequate care, is usually sufficient to ensure their survival. 

Whether through the use of frost blankets, bringing them indoors, or implementing pruning and watering techniques, the goal is to ensure the trees remain healthy and ready to burst with vibrant growth when spring arrives. 

By following these winter protection practices, you can enhance the resilience and longevity of your trees, and enjoy an abundance of their magnificent fruit year after year. 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Farm & Animals

6043 S Drexel Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

Amazon Disclaimer

Farm & Animals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


Farm & Animals do not intend to provide veterinary advice. We try to help farmers better understand their animals; however, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. For more information, please read our PRIVACY POLICY.