Bengaluru’s Lizy John has been growing over 100 varieties of fruit trees and vegetables organically on her terrace for the past nine years.

She says pomegranate trees are easy-to-grow in the Indian climate and require lower maintenance than several other fruit-bearing plants or trees.

“For people with smaller spaces, like me, the best way to nurture pomegranates is in pots on the terrace, or anywhere with ample amount of sunlight,” says the 70-year-old.

She shares a few steps and tips to keep in mind while planting and nurturing a pomegranate tree at home.

Plant a healthy sapling: It is better to propagate pomegranates through a sapling than sowing seeds, because it would take a lot of time for the seeds to grow into a fruit-bearing tree.

Ensure water drainage: Lizy suggests using a big plastic bucket or drum to plant saplings, and making a few holes at the bottom of the pot to ensure water drainage.

Prepare the right potting mixture: Mix a bucket of soil with a handful of lime and bone meal, equal quantities of cocopeat, cow dung, vermicompost, and neem cake to prepare the potting mix.

Layer the soil: First, layer the bottom of the pot using dried leaves, then add soil mix. Fill the pot up to three-quarters with such alternate layers. Plant the sapling after a week.

Ensure ample sunlight: Pomegranates are warmth-loving plants. It is essential to keep them at a suitable place where the crop will get abundant sunlight.

When to water: Water the sapling once every day. To retain moisture in the soil, a layer of dried leaves or coconut husks can be placed on the surface.

Combat pests: In case of a pest attack, take a mix of 5 ml of neem oil in 1 lt of water, add some soap or detergent, and then spray it onto the plant.

Prune the plant: It is essential to prune the top part of the plant when it grows up to 2-3 ft, which helps in better growth and fruiting.

To prevent flowers from falling before they become fruits, a mixture of two tablespoons of curd and a teaspoon of hing in a litre of water can be sprayed onto the plants.