How To Care For Your Fukien Tea Bonsai Tree
Ehretia Microphylla Bonsai Care
About The Fukien Tea Bonsai Tree
The Fukien Tea tree gets its name from the Fujien province of China, where it's from. It's also found from India and Malaysia to the Philippines.
In its native environment, this tree stays small like a shrub - twelve feet in height.
The Fukien Tea has small white flowers that can bloom at any time, and an attractive grey bark with darker elevated areas. If the flowers become fertilized, they are replaced with a miniature red cherry filled with a single seed.
With its beautifully small leaves, white flowers ,and red fruits, the Fukien Tea is a great addition to any bonsai collection.
Like most tropical trees, a Fukien Tea bonsai should remain indoors when the low temperatures reach 45 degrees F.
Make sure your tea tree gets at least 6 hours of quality sunlight while indoors, either through a grow light or a southern window. An eastern or western window sill would be sufficient, if it's giving 6+ hours of light.
In the summer, when the chance of dropping below 50 is gone, it can be placed outside for the season in high light.
Never let the soil completely dry out. Whenever the soil seems dry, thoroughly water your tree until the water runs clear from the bottom. In the growing season, this can be daily.
If you need help, a good moisture meter will guide you.
When your Fukien Tea bonsai tree is inside, using a humidity tray is recommended. It will prevent the water from running everywhere, and can help keep the tree somewhat humid in the dry indoor environment.
Since your Fukien Tea bonsai is in a small pot, and not the ground, it needs nutrients. A slow release (pellet based) fertilizer is perfect for this, and can be added sparingly every 1-2 months during the growing season.
Pruning & Trimming
Trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point that looks good to you — but never remove all of the new growth.
A regular trim will help keep your Fukien Tea bonsai tree short, while helping the trunk grow thicker.
Repotting must be performed periodically on your bonsai, Fukien Tea included, when its root system has filled the pot. If you can clearly see the roots coming out of the bottom of the pot, it’s time to repot your bonsai.
Generally, this means every 2-3 years for a deciduous tree and every 4-5 years for an evergreen like this tea tree.
Repotting should be done in mid-summer, when the tree is at it’s least fragile state.
The Fukien Tea bonsai tree, along with all of its soil, should be removed from the pot. From there, you can trim away no more than 1/3rd of the root mass (1/4th is preferred.)
Then you can repot the tree in the same pot, or give it a newer / bigger pot to thrive in.
After repotting, your Fukien Tea bonsai should be thoroughly watered.
Diseases, Insects & Other Pests
Your Fukien Tea bonsai can be treated for pests like a normal Fukien Tea tree. Just remember, your tree is miniature and will need a much smaller and more gentile dose of treatment.
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