Pomegranate Tree Leaves Falling Off: Why Do Pomegranate Trees Lose Leaves

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By Karen Boness, Owner of Wild Willow Landscape Design, ISA Certified Arborist, Certified Permaculture Designer

Pomegranate trees are native to Persia and Greece. They are actually multi-trunk shrubs that are often cultivated as small, single-trunk trees. These beautiful plants are typically grown for their fleshy, sweet-tart edible fruits. That being said, pomegranate leaf loss can be a frustrating problem for many gardeners. Keep reading to learn why pomegranate leaf drop occurs.

Reasons a Pomegranate Tree is Losing Leaves

Do pomegranate trees lose leaves? Yes. If your pomegranate tree is losing leaves, it could be due to natural, non-damaging causes such as deciduous annual leaf drop. Pomegranate leaves turn a pretty yellow before they drop to the ground in fall and winter. But pomegranate leaves falling off at other times of the year can signal something else.

Another reason for pomegranate leaf drop may be improper care and installation. Before you install your new pomegranate plant, make sure the roots are healthy. If it is root-bound (large roots circling the root ball), return the plant. Those roots will keep circling and tightening around the root ball and can eventually choke the plant’s water and nutrient distribution system. This can cause pomegranate tree leaf loss, an unhealthy, low fruit-bearing tree, or tree death.

Pomegranate trees can survive long periods of drought, but prolonged water restriction can lead to pomegranate leaves falling off and entire plant death. Make sure you irrigate your pomegranates adequately.

Pests can also cause pomegranate leaf loss. Aphids, which are typically farmed by ants, can suck the juices out of your pomegranate leaves. The leaves will turn yellow and spotty, and eventually will die and drop off. You can spray the leaves with a strong blast of water to wash away the aphids. You can also bring in natural predators, such as ladybugs, or spray a mild, organic insecticidal soap on the aphids.

Have fun growing your pomegranate tree. Remember that there a number of common reasons pomegranates lose their leaves. Some are part of the normal cycle of growth. Others are easily remedied.

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