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 Bonsai >> Tree Types and General Care Guides >> FUKIEN TEA (Carmona microphylla)




 FUKIEN TEA (Carmona microphylla)



Originating in southeast China, the Fukien Tea is an evergreen tree named after the province of Fuijan. The leaves on this tree are small, shiny, and dark green, covered with tiny hairs. Together, the leaves form a dense and compact appearance. As a young tree, the Fukien Tea has light brown bark that begins to crack with age. Then in the early summer months, this bonsai produces beautiful but miniature flowers, which then turn to tiny black berries.

Keep in mind that the Fukien Tea is not tolerate with temperate regions. Therefore, it would need to be grown indoors as a bonsai all year round. Unfortunately, the Fukien Tea is both difficult to find and to grow. However, for bonsai enthusiasts who enjoy a challenge, this would make an interesting and beautiful choice.

Proper Care

The Fukien Tea tree needs good, direct sunlight with about one hour of outdoor sun daily. For this, we recommend only morning or late afternoon sun when the rays are not as harsh. Temperatures for the Fukien Tea should be maintained between 59 and 77 degrees. Now, if you take the Fukien Tea outdoors in the hot summer, you want to be very careful how you bring it back inside. We suggest you place it first on the deck or patio where temperatures are somewhat cooler, and then indoors to avoid shocking the tree. The Fukien Tea also needs humidity, which can easily be provided using a humidity tray.

You will want to feed this tree every other week from spring to fall, and then in the winter, monthly. Because the Fukien Tea has such dense foliage, you can prune it in the desired shape without having to use a wiring technique. However, as long as the tree is healthy, you can perform a hard pruning at any time. To propagate the Fukien Tea, you want to sow seeds outdoors when ripe and in the summer, you can use softwood cuttings.

The Fukien Tea is virtually trouble free from insects and disease. The only thing you might notice is the color of the leaves turning yellow when the soil gets too much water. For repotting, keep in mind that most Fukien Tea comes from China in clay. Therefore, this causes compacting, meaning the tree would need to be replaced with a basic bonsai soil mix. The key here is to replace the clay with soil gradually, avoiding unwanted stress. We recommend the bonsai be repotted every two years in the spring as you see new growth. Finally, you can use literally any style of the Fukien Tea, regardless of size.

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