Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Plant Ponkan Tangerine Trees

tangerine-tree image by Lucy Cherniak from

Ponkan tangerine trees are a variety of mandarin orange that was brought to Florida by the Chinese in 1892. This variety of citrus produces small, orange sweet fruit known as mandarin oranges. The fruit from this tree can be used for everything from jams to baking. The fruit can be eaten directly off of the tree, if the tree is grown organically, for a refreshing backyard treat.

Test the soil of the area where you plan to plant the tree. If the soil is above a pH of 7, then till some gardening soil into the area at a depth of 12 inches to help make the soil's pH more acidic. Coffee grounds can also be tilled in.

Dig a hole that is slightly deeper than the plant container of the ponkan tangerine tree. Fill the hole with water and allow the water to completely soak in.

Carefully remove the tangerine tree from its container and place it into the hole. Fill the hole the rest of the way with soil, making sure that the plant is covered with at least 1 inch of topsoil.

Water the tree again and allow the water to sink it the ground.

Cover the entire tree well with 2 to 3 inches of mulch to help lock in moisture.

Pinch off any flowers from the tree to encourage root growth for its first season.

Water the tree whenever the ground dries out to 2 inches below the soil line.

Tall Will The Ponkan Tangerine Tree Get?

"Ponkan" tree varieties grow to a maximum height of 20 feet in ideal conditions. Taller citrus varieties grow slightly higher, to 25 feet tall. As a result, "Ponkan" trees are extremely cold hardy through tough winter periods. As the tree's canopy spreads horizontally, it may be necessary to prune it if other tangerine plants are nearby. This tangerine variety, like other citrus trees, needs a well-draining soil texture to prevent root rot. Specially designed citrus fertilizer in a balanced concentration works well for these tangerine varieties and nitrogen is a key element for healthy growth. As a result, the misdirected energy to the suckers stunts the tree's growth.

Garden Guides