Pomegranate, Punica granatum
, is a deciduous or evergreen tree or shrub in the family Punicaceae grown for its edible fruits. The pomegranate tree is branched and spiny with glossy, leathery, oval to oblong leaves that grow in whorls of five or more on the branches. The tree produces bright red flowers singly at the tips of the branches and a rounded hexagonal fruit with a thick pink-red skin. The fruit has a thick, leathery rind which protects the pulp[ and seeds inside. The inside of the fruit is separated into compartments by white spongy tissue. Each compartment contains seeds and pulp. Each pomegranate fruit may contain as many as 600 seeds. Pomegranate trees can reach a height of 10 m (33 ft) and can be very long lived, although their economic lifespan is usually between 12 and 15 years. Pomegranate may also be referred to as grenadine or Chinese apple and originated from Central Asia, likely in Iran.
Pomegranate tree in flower
Fruits and foliage
Pomegranate and seeds
Common Pests and Diseases
Heart rot (Black heart)
Interior of fruit rotting with no external symptoms; infected fruits are usually lighter in weight than healthy fruits and may be paler in color.
No known method of control.
Cercospora fruit spot
Symptoms on leaves
Cercospora leaf spot
Light brown spots on leaves
Cercospora spots on the leaves
Light brown spots on leaves and fruit which enlarge and coalesce to form large black patches on fruit; black elliptical spots appear on twigs and become flattened and depressed with a raised margin; infected twigs dry out and die; infection may cause plant death.
Diseased fruits should be removed and destroyed; infected twigs and branches should be pruned out; applications of appropriate fungicides can help to control the disease.
Mealy bug (Grape mealy bug, citrophilus mealybug, striped mealybug)
citrophilus mealybug (Pseudococcus calceolariae) on pomegranate fruit
Nymphs of citrophilus mealybug
citrophilus mealybug sucking sap from fruit
citrophilus mealybug nymphs
The insect infect all parts of the plant. Both nymphs and adults suck the sap from the leaves, flowers and fruits,resulting in yellowing of leaves, curling and shedding of flowers and tender fruits. Also the market value of such fruits reduced. In dry season insect can invade roots and suck sap. Due to honey dew secretion sooty mold may develop on leaves and fruits.
Spraying soap solution reduces mealy bug population. Encourage natural enemies. If the infestation is severe apply suitable insecticide.
Aphids (cotton aphids)
Cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii) winged form
Cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii) colony
Cotton aphid infetation
Both adults and nymphs suck sap from growing shoots, flowers and young fruit. Heavy infestation leads to stunting or week tree. Sooty mold and soft rot may develop on the fruit.
Encourage natural enemies. Keep the field free from crop debris and weeds. Spraying strong jet of water to dislodge the aphid. If infestation is severe spray suitable insecticide.
Leaf-footed plant bugs
Western leaf-footed bug (Leptoglossus clypealis) adult
Adult western leaf footed bug
Leaf footed bugs adults and nymphs
Western leaf-footed bug adult
Leaf footed bug eggs
Both adult and nymphs feeds by penetrating their mouth parts to the thick skin of the pomegranate fruit to the arils resulting in withering of stung arils.
If the infestation is severe apply suitable insecticide.
Omnivorous leafroller (Platynota stultana) adult
Omnivorous leafroller larvae
Larvae enter the fruit by craving surface grooves, especially where the two fruits touched. It causes tunneling in fruit. Due to the skin damage secondary pathogens may infect the fruits and resulting in rotting.
Keep the field free from weeds. Remove the infected fruits and burn them. Use pheromone trap to kill adult insects.
Pomegranate fruit borer (Anar butterfly, common guava blue butterfly)
Pomegranate fruit borer butterfly
The female butterfly lay eggs on tender leaves. After hatching the larvae feeds on fruit by boring hole. The damaged fruit rots and emits a foul smell. One can see the excreta of larvae near the hole. The final stage larvae come out of the hole and pupate by spinning the web.
Remove the damaged fruit and burn them. Grow available resisting varieties. If infestation is severe spray suitable insecticide.
Citrus Flat mite
Flat mite (Brevipalpus sp.)
Brevipalpus sp. female
flat mite (Brevipalpus sp.) female live close-up
Suck sap from fruit surface resulting in skin russeting, checking or leathery skin. This leads to reduce in market value of fruits. The citrus flat mite damage starts from the stem end of the fruit.
Application of sulfur before and after flowering reduces the mite population.