What you need to know about growing pomegranates in your garden – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Pomegranate tree Punica granatum in bloom. (Photo credit: Joshua Siskin)

In a seminal 2010 study on the potential benefits of pomegranates in the prevention of breast cancer, the following conclusion was reached: “Pomegranate intake may be a viable strategy for the chemoprevention of breast cancer.” Specifically, pomegranate consumption inhibits the activity of aromatase, the enzyme that produces estrogen and its associated breast cancer cells, especially in post-menopausal women.

The conclusion of another 2009 peer-reviewed article about nutrition and cancer that addressed the cancer-prevention potential of pomegranates was more far-reaching: “Recent research has shown that pomegranate extracts selectively inhibit the growth of breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer cells in culture. In preclinical animal studies, oral consumption of pomegranate extract inhibited growth of lung, skin, colon and prostate tumors.”

The pomegranate is native to the Middle East. It is one of five fruits (along with grape, fig, olive, and date) indigenous to the Land of Israel that are mentioned in the Bible. Thus its ability to survive drought is embedded in its DNA, as years of drought in the Middle East are as common as they are in California.

Yet just because a plant species can survive a drought does not mean it will thrive with a minimum of irrigation following a dry winter. Where pomegranates are concerned, for example, the same water regime for growing citrus trees is recommended. That means a pomegranate tree should be deep soaked every 10 to 20 days during the summer, depending on how hot it gets. You can do this by moving a slowly trickling hose around the drip line or canopy circumference line, where water drips off foliage when it rains.

Source: What you need to know about growing pomegranates in your garden – San Gabriel Valley Tribune