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Overview : The Dwarf Pomegranate (Punica Granatum var. Nana) is a very popular and admired tree in bonsai - for both its fruiting and flowering qualities.

Every aspect of this form is dwarf compared to the basic pomegranate - from its overall size to its finer leaves and smaller flowers and fruits. Due to this - it is a plant especially recommended for miniature bonsai and small styles. Apart from the pomegranate's stunning seasonal yellow-orange 'trumpet style' flowers, it presents so many other notable characteristics. It has a marvelous naturally-twisting style trunk, that very easily adopts a gnarled, ancient appearance - something widely sought in bonsai. Its leaves are a dark green with shades of bronze and after flowering, the plant fruits, producing attractive spherical-like red golf-ball sized pomegranates. Suited to bonsai styles such as informal upright, forest, cascade, literati, tree on rock, root over rock, twin trunk, windswept, group and twisting trunk style, this plant responds well to hot, sunny conditions, such as that which would be found in the Mediterranean.

General care : Pomegranates can be very easily propagated - so group plantings can be quickly created from quite thick branches taken from a parent plant. Keep the pomegranate damp at all times. If you shade the tree and keep it slightly dry before mid-season, the tree is encouraged to set flowering shoots. Place the pomegranate in a position of good light - but where it is sheltered from frost and not exposed to drying winds.

A few words of warning : Don't plant the pot in a dish or shallow container. It likes water and flowers well when it is slightly root-bound, so choose a pot that is a bit deeper than usual. The plant does not like frost at all and is not very hardy - so if it isn't in frost-free conditions or those which may be similar to the Mediterranean - a greenhouse is a good idea. Also be careful when wiring as the branches of the pomegranate are very brittle and break easily.

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