The Ponkan Mandarin trees only reach a size of 6 to 8 feet tall and 15 feet wide, making them ideal for growing in smaller gardens or in containers on a porch or patio.
The Ponkan Mandarin is one of the most widely cultivated mandarin citrus fruits. The trees only reach a size of 6 to 8 feet tall and 15 feet wide, making them ideal for growing in smaller gardens or in containers on a porch or patio. The Ponkan Mandarin is also cold hardy down to low temperatures of about 30 degrees, so they are more suitable for cooler locations than some other sensitive citrus varieties.
The trees have dark green, shiny leaves and produce white blooms that are fragrant and self-fertile. The fruit is medium-sized, easy to peel, and contains a few seeds. The flesh is most often eaten out of hand, or can be used for juices, salads, and marinades. The flavor of the Ponkan Mandarin is a combination of sweet and tart. Mandarin juice can be added to other orange or fruit juices to give them an additional tangy flavor.
Citrus Tree Care
The Ponkan Mandarin tree can be grown in a suitable container as long as it is in a location that gets plenty of direct sunlight. These trees thrive in bright, direct sun, and those in the brightest locations will produce the most blooms and fruit. Be sure to plant in sandy loam soil that is well-drained and rich in organic material. You can add one part sand and one part perlite to three parts nursery potting soil for a perfect Ponkan Mandarin potting mix. Water once per week for the first three months, and check for drainage. Be sure that the soil has dried down to 2 inches before watering again.
The Ponkan Mandarin does not require a pollinator to produce fruit. After three months in the ground or container, you can fertilize with citrus fertilizer according to manufacturer directions for tree size and age.
Fruit & Harvesting
The Ponkan Mandarin blooms in mid-summer and matures from November to January. Mature fruit will sometimes fall off the tree, and harvesting requires a careful touch since the fruit is so easy to peel. When picking, use hand clippers to avoid damaging the rind. To know if the fruit is ready to eat, wait until the rind turns bright orange and do a taste test.
Always prune away any dead branches and twigs from the tree canopy and interior. It can take a keen eye to spot small dead branches, but clearing them away can help prevent certain molds and pests that can begin their life within the dead material, then spread to new growth. The Ponkan Mandarin does not require pruning, but it can be trimmed to maintain a shape or size that works in your garden. Be sure to remove any fallen or pruned branches away from the base of the tree. Such debris can harbor pests and lead to tree damage from root rot or mold.
What should I do to the soil for my Ponkan Mandarin Tree?
The Ponkan Mandarin Tree requires well-draining, sandy loam soil that is rich in organic material and neither overly rocky, nor densely compacted. If your soil is rich in clay, add perlite and coarse sand to encourage drainage. The ground should never remain soggy around your Mandarin Tree.
Do Ponkan Mandarins have seeds?
Ponkan Mandarins do have some, but very few, seeds. A typical Ponkan Mandarin citrus fruit will contain between two and seven seeds. While some individual fruits may be virtually seedless, others may have as many as ten seeds. Overall, Ponkan Mandarins are thought to have few seeds.
Does the Ponkan Mandarin Tree need a pollinator?
The Ponkan Mandarin Tree is self-fertile and will grow fruit without a dedicated pollinating companion tree. However, fruit yields can be increased with the presence of a compatible mandarin to cross pollinate both trees.
How big will my Ponkan Mandarin tree get?
The Ponkan Mandarin Tree is considered a small citrus tree. A mature Ponkan Mandarin Tree grown in the ground within the recommended zone, in a sunny, ideal, well-watered and fertilized location will grow to a size of six to eight feet tall, and fifteen feet wide. Many factors influence citrus tree size, and individual trees may grow to be slightly larger or smaller.