You could be aware of the deteriorating condition of your pomegranate but be in total darkness as to the cause of the deteriorating health.
Wild guesses as to the cause of your dying pomegranate tree, like pests and diseases, bad soil, or bad seeds are only wild guesses and cannot guarantee a course of Action.
You need to be aware of the kinds of symptoms your pomegranate tree exhibits when It faces different conditions.
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This way, you can appropriately diagnose the problem with the tree as well as how to manage and control pests and diseases growing on the tree.
Pomegranates are evergreens that exhibit deciduousness in some climate conditions.
Translated to mean seeded apple, the pomegranate is a delicious and healthy fruit for every type of individual.
It is useful for revitalizing the body’s sensitivity to insulin as well as controlling blood sugar.
As little as the seeds of pomegranates can be, they can develop into big trees that add both beauty and color to the environment.
They also have economic values and can be harvested and sold for food which generates income.
Because of the importance of pomegranates, it is necessary to guard away pests and diseases from taking control of your pomegranate tree.
Pests and diseases have been recorded as the world’s foremost cause of death in pomegranate trees, accounting for more than two-thirds of pomegranate population decline.
This is why I have taken out the time to list the potential pests and diseases that attack pomegranate trees and cause a decline in life and health.
To fully understand the importance of identifying these pests, an overview of the pomegranate is necessary.
This overview is meant to give you all the necessary knowledge about the pomegranate trees before identifying the pests and diseases that attack this plant.
You could term the next paragraph to be an inquiry into the nature and life cycle of the pomegranates.
An Overview of Pomegranates
Pomegranates are native to the Mediterranean region and were dispersed by seed to parts of Spanish America by early farmers as early as the 16th century.
Pomegranate fruits, due to climate differences, do not bloom uniformly around the world.
It blooms and ripens in the northern hemisphere from October to February and in the southern hemisphere from March to May.
Pomegranates are cultivated majorly for the juicy fruits that can be used in making: juice blends, additives in baking, flavoring in meals, an important element in making alcohols, and a constituent of smoothies.
Pomegranate trees do not grow really tall and are usually found growing along with walkable distances in hotter climates.
They thrive in hot conditions with leaves that are not as bushy as those grown in tropical weather conditions.
A pomegranate tree has green leaves with flowers that range from brightly colored red to mild orange. The reason for this is dependent on the soil pH and the amount of sunlight the tree is getting especially during summer.
The fruit is made of an outer mesocarp that houses the little edible seeds.
The seeds in a single pomegranate tree are more than an average fruit seed. Like the watermelons, pomegranate fruits have seeds that range from 200 to about 1400.
The bigger the mesocarp, the bigger the number of seeds that it houses. You could call a pomegranate a home for seeds. No wonder, Carl Linnaeus called it Grenada seeded apple.
The juice of pomegranate fruits is not the usual sweet-tasting flavor like oranges or mangoes. The juice is sour but produces some form of sweetness under the tongue after some minutes of ingestion.
Pomegranate trees and fruits are a favorite for both insects and micro-organismic pests and diseases.
They are always on the leaves or fruits of pomegranates, causing a decline in the general health condition of pomegranates.
Pomegranates are adapted to grow in temperate regions and prefer enough sunlight, at least eight hours of good sunlight per day.
Sunlight is essential for photosynthesis as well as to stimulate the growth tissues in the pomegranate trees.
Pomegranate trees do not go into the dormancy period except their lives are threatened by pests and diseases. They can grow on various types of soil, but prefer soils that have a greater acidic pH.
The acid pH of the soil accounts for the sour taste of pomegranate fruits.
Pomegranates are medically useful and can be prescribed for intake to patients suffering from diseases like diabetes, indigestion, urinary tract disease, and kidney stones.
This is not to say that pomegranates have disease-curing or preventing features. They are simply sustainable fruits for these types of patients and can help boost their immune functions without worsening the disease.
Pomegranates take time before they grow into trees that can produce fruits and the presence of pests snd diseases further elongates the period or amounts to a total waste of waiting period.
This is why you must identify pests and diseases of pomegranate and take steps to control their thriving and spread on the pomegranate tree.
Pests and Diseases of Pomegranate Trees
I need you to understand that pests are different from diseases.
Pests are living creatures that attack the pomegranate tree, while diseases are cellular conditions that develop on the pomegranate tree and lead to a decline in its health conditions.
For this article, pests and diseases will be listed concurrently beginning with pests.
The following are the pests and diseases that attack pomegranate trees:
- Squirrels (pests)
- Botrytis (diseases)
- Thrips (Pests)
- Cercospora Fruit Spot (Diseases)
- Aphids (pests)
There exist other pests and diseases of pomegranate trees, but the ones listed above are the most popular of the pests and diseases.
These pests and diseases have harmful effects on the life and functionality of your pomegranate trees and if they are not controlled early enough, might be the cause of death to your pomegranate trees.
A herbivorous feeder with a cute fur and tail that leaves you with a heart full of pity for this beautiful creature.
But, every iota of pity in you is wiped away when you begin to notice a massive decline in the number of pomegranate fruits available to be harvested at the end of a planting season.
Squirrels are pests of pomegranates whose effect harms tree tissues and destroy pomegranate tree yield.
Squirrels have sharp teeth that can wreck considerable amounts of damage to the pomegranate tree.
Consistent chewing on the tree, leaves the pomegranate weakened and susceptible to disease infestation.
Squirrels have a habit of chewing open the hard mesocarp of pomegranate fruits and leaving them about eighty percent unchewed before moving to a new pomegranate fruit on the tree.
This activity of squirrels leads to the decay of the fruits which ultimately accounts for low yield.
Controlling squirrels involve the use of scarecrows and wire fences around the tree. You’d have to be on your feet regularly to really get these pests from eating up all your fruits before they are ready to be harvested.
Botrytis is a fungal mold that forms on pomegranate fruit and stem. This fungal mold is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea.
This fungus spreads via airborne spores that stay on damp surfaces. They usually get into the fruits of pomegranates while the pomegranate is still young, and keeps growing alongside the fruits.
The molds cover the plant’s entirety and lead to decay.
Botrytis fungal diseases are more likely to develop on fruits that stay damp for too long or are not kept in cool enough conditions.
To control the growth of these fungal molds on your plants, you should prioritize the practice of pruning the excess leaves.
You should not allow your pomegranate trees to get too bushy before pruning. A bushy pomegranate tree does not allow for water and sunlight. It rather makes the internal conditions within the tree damp, and easily accessible to botrytis.
Therefore, as a botrytis preventive measure, you need to prune the pomegranate trees at least once a month.
You can employ the application of fungicides before or after harvest. Make sure you are not applying too many fungicides as you might destroy the pomegranate foliage with these fungicides or force the molds to adapt to the fungicides and develop resistance.
Remember that botrytis diseases thrive better in cold conditions, so if you’re going to store harvested fruits, let them be stored in places where the temperature isn’t too damp for survival.
If you usually wash the fruits before storage, ensure to dry them properly before storing them away. This way, botrytis diseases cannot thrive.
Thrips are popular plant pests that attack pomegranate trees. They lodge on the leaves of the pomegranates from where they input their mouthparts and suck the sap off the plants.
Sucking sap, leaves the leaves discolored and grossly unable to properly grow.
To control thrips on your pomegranate tree, I recommend the spray of neem oil, especially if you intend to use an inexpensive, yet effective method to cheap
4. Cercospora Fruit Spot
When you begin to notice oval-shaped spots on the leaves and branches of your pomegranate tree, your pomegranate tree has probably gotten the Cercospora Fruit Spot disease.
This disease affects the pomegranate tree and leads to fruit and leaf dropping. It weakens the tissue system of the pomegranate tree and leads to the eventual death of the tree.
To control Cercospora diseases, a good fungicide like bio works cease is a good option.
Ensure to maintain good watering and drainage of the plant as well as prune every affected leaf to avoid spread.
Aphids are pests that lead to diseases.
Aphids are popular among trees that grow in temperate regions. The pomegranate tree happens to be one.
Aphid pests are really tiny and attach themselves to the underparts of leaves from where they suck the cell sap, develop colonies, and spread on other parts of the plant.
When left unchecked, aphids can bring about the death of a once healthy pomegranate tree.
Control of Aphids tends to be difficult. But with consistency and patience, you can rid your pomegranate of aphids.
Apply Neem oil, spray mild pesticides and practice good plant hygiene.
Do not forget to prune leaves that are over-infested.
How Do You Control Fruit Borer in Pomegranate
Fruit borers can be controlled by a list of methods but the best method is to control these pests and diseases that come with them using Pesticides.
Pesticides like cypermethrin and prophenopos should do the trick quite easily.
How Do You Prevent Fruit Rot on a Pomegranate
Fruit Rot is caused by pests and diseases.
It is sometimes caused by poor storage.
For Fruit Rot caused by pests and diseases, the foremost pest that causes fruit rot is the squirrel.
By chewing open the pomegranate mesocarp and letting the fruits stay open on the ground, the squirrels cause fruit rot and destruction of the pomegranate fruits.
Thrips and fungal molds also cause pomegranate fruit rot. Therefore, you need to guard the fruits against each of these pests and diseases.
Cover the matured fruits with a bag to prevent visibility to squirrels. Also, make wire cages around the trees to keep squirrels off.
Use pesticides to control fungal growth on harvested fruits and do not leave them wet before storage. Ensure that they are well dried before storing them away.
Choose a storage position free from wetness and dampness. Also, dispose of every fruit that suffers from fruit rot to prevent spread to other fruits in the heap.
You can achieve this by carefully checking the fruits before storing them away.
What Do You Spray a Dormant Pomegranate Tree With?
You can spray your pomegranate tree with Pesticides and fungicides as a way of controlling pests and diseases growing on the plant.
But, it is necessary to spray the pomegranate trees with only safe chemicals that do not make the pomegranate fruits toxic for consumption.
You could use horticultural oils that have no toxicity at all or simply use a water spray to dislodge pests
Pests and diseases on pomegranate trees have just one goal which is to reduce the fruit yield.
The first stage of controlling these pests and diseases is by identifying them, which you have just done in this article.
Control should be easy from here.