Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Florida Pomegranates Spontaneously Dying?

Yesterday we looked at a success... today we'll look at a failure:


That poor thing was three years old. It started the spring hale and hearty, then spontaneously started wilting, turning yellow and dropping its leaves within a week or two of being struck with a mysterious ailment.

Previously I'd considered pomegranates an easy-to-grow tree for Florida. Now I'm doubting that assessment. If this had happened to just one tree, I'd write it off as a fluke.

Unfortunately, I had another tree do the exact same thing within a couple of weeks of this tree biting the dust. Last year I lost two other seemingly healthy trees in the same way.

I didn't find any evidence of moles or prior disease problems on any of these specimens. It also didn't occur due to flooding or excessive drought. In fact, the deaths took place during a relatively dry spell... the kind of weather pomegranates allegedly prefer. Is this some kind of weird pomegranate disease? A horrifying bacterial blight? A root rot? 

Who knows... but I was looking forward to pomegranates. I still have five trees scattered about the yard yet now I'm doubting they'll succeed, considering I used to have nine. 

From now on I won't be selling pomegranate trees in my nursery, with the exception of the dwarf types. Those haven't had any issues... yet.

Somebody call the FPA: I think we have a problem!

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4 Comments:

At August 5, 2014 at 8:12 AM , Blogger Elizabeth Hart said...

I have a pomegranate tree that seems to be doing fine. . . but not a single bloom this year and it's a pretty mature tree (4-5 years old). If this tree dies, I wont be planting any more.

 
At August 5, 2014 at 10:26 AM , Blogger Survival Gardener/David The Good said...

I was told be a friend that he grew up with a massive pomegranate tree in his Orlando-area yard. Maybe they do better once they pass a certain point in their growth.

 
At August 6, 2014 at 1:03 PM , Anonymous Andi said...

I have five pomegranates. I'll keep my eye on them.

 
At September 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tree is most likely not dead! Cut a branch low enough and see if it's green inside. I have many pom. trees and they get a leaf disease but you can spray copper to prevent it. The leaf disease is not permanent and should not kill the plant.

 

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