Fukien Tea Bonsai Care Guide
Fukien Tea Bonsai Care involves a few basic concepts. As with any Bonsai tree, Fukien tea have their own watering, lighting and nutrient needs. When these needs are met your bonsai tree will thrive.
There are several common varieties of Fukien tea available. They range from a small, medium and a large leaf form. All the varieties require identical care. Fruit forms most readily on the small leaf form and not on the large leaf variety.
Also know as the fujian tea tree, it's scientific name is ehretia microphylla. They are named after the Fujian province of China the trees are native. Fukien tea love the heat and bright locations. They do well as outdoor bonsai in zones 6-8, they can thrive as indoor bonsai as well but will either need a spot with allot of natural light or supplemental grow lights.
Free draining but absorbent soil is key for bonsai. I prefer 50% Lava Rock - 10% Perlite - 10% Pine Bark - 10% Vermiculite - and 20% Dirt. Just make sure whatever you choose it is free draining and absorbs and holds water. Fukien Tea Bonsai are not fussy as to soil and will be quite happy in a 100% inorganic mix or even a well draining organic mix.
Tea Tree Pests
Fukien tea are very vulnerable to pests such as Alphids, Mealy Bugs, and Scale. A good organic mild soapy spray wash will usually work fine.
Implement a quarantine schedule when bringing any newly purchased tree into the indoor bonsai collection. Isolate the new trees and use a systemic spray each week for 3 weeks to prevent introducing insects to the collection and to be sure the Fukien is rid of any hidden insects.
Proper watering cycle is key for Fukien Tea Bonsai Tree care. This should involve a watering cycle that ranges from moist to a bit on the dry side. Water the soil thoroughly, between watering allow it to go nearly dry. Consistently wet soil causes root rot. If the tree is allowed to dry too much the leaves will droop and look a bit shriveled. Watering soon thereafter results in no harm, but if the dryness becomes too severe the leaves will droop, shrivel and drop off the tree.
If kept indoor Fukien Tea Bonsai Trees will do best on a bright window with west exposure. When keeping indoor avoid drafts and use a supplemental grow light 10-12 hours daily if the tree is not getting enough light. Fukien Tea do great as outdoor bonsai just keep in indirect sunlight or a spot that gets morning sunlight but not the harsh afternoon sunlight.