Why do pomegranate trees produce sap on the leaves?

Pomegranate trees are a lovely addition to the garden. They produce beautiful flowers and delicious fruit, and the leaves turn yellow, making for a wondrous sight in the fall! The pomegranate’s smaller, elongated leaves can withstand higher heat than its broad-leafed counterparts. Most don’t require extra watering once established, making this an ideal fruit choice for the desert. There are some interesting methods to determine if your pomegranate tree is experiencing drought stress, and you can read about them below. First, let’s look at what makes pomegranate trees fascinating.

In plants, there is a system of “veins” that bring nutrients and water up from the roots to the leaves. One is a bigger tube coming from the roots (xylem) the other is a smaller tube connected to leaves (phloem). Somewhere towards the end of the pomegranate leaf, you’ll find that little clear ball of sap. Here is where the phloem tube connects to a pore called the nectary.

This spot in the leaf is a collection of cells that can relieve pressure build up of sap inside these veins by pushing the excess buildup out of a tiny pore. So, why does this happen, and are we doing something wrong?

Warm temperatures will cause water use inside the plant to go way up. Water stress is why pomegranate leaves sometimes droop in mid-summer. When water is scarce, the sap gets thicker and needs somewhere to go that isn’t the little breathing stomata on the underside of the leaf. And that’s what you see! The sap has been excreted and your pomegranate tree (or bush) is happy.

DID YOU KNOW? Very little is proven about the effects of pomegranate products on health. What we can infer is that the seeds and juice have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Pomegranates contain ellagitannins and polyphenol molecules that can fight free radicals and lower inflammation in the brain and elsewhere.

So there you have it. I hope this has been useful information that will help you water your pomegranate tree better so it can produce and provide a beautiful landscape piece in your garden.

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