Fukien Tea (Carmona Retusa) Care Sheet
Tips and Tricks for Caring for Your Fukien Tea Tree
The Fukien Tea is a tropical evergreen shrub originating from Southern China. It works well as a mini bonsai and an indoor houseplant. It produces beautiful, small white flowers almost all year-round.
Fukien Teas are traditionally indoor but can be kept outside in very warm climates. They require a lot of natural light but can dry out easily in direct midday sun. They prefer to be kept indoors year-round in temperatures between 50° and 75°F. In the winter, place your Fukien Tea in a southern-facing windowsill.
Fukien Teas do best in zones 10 and 11.
Fukien Teas thrive in temperatures around 70°F and must be kept in temperatures between 50°-75°F. In the winter and colder months, provide extra humidity for your tree. These trees require a large amount of humidity, so we recommend utilizing a humidity tray and misting daily.
Keep the soil moist but do not overwater it; too wet of soil can harm your tree. It must be always kept moderately damp. The Fukien Tea shrivels easily and will simply stop growing if the root ball dries out completely. Watering is very tricky with the Fukien Tea: overwatering can lead to root rot and underwatering will cause leaves to blacken and fall off.
Solid organic fertilizer works well due to the Fukien Tea's sensitive roots. Liquid fertilizer can be used in carefully measured dosages and only on moist soil. Feed your tree well from spring to fall. During the spring and summer, fertilize using liquid fertilizer every two weeks. During winter, if in a warmer location, feed every six weeks. Make sure to water well first to prevent the roots from burning. I n the spring, use a high phosphorous fertilizer weekly at half the recommended strength. In late fall, use a high potassium fertilizer twice a month at half the recommended strength.
Repotting is recommended every two years in the early springtime. Because of the Fukien Tea's sensitive root system, root pruning must be done with care. No more than 10-20% for root cutting.
Use seeds or cuttings in the summer. Take cuttings with clean, sharp scissors in spring or early summer. Place your propagated tree in a shady spot to encourage root development.
The Fukien Tea handles pruning well. Regular trimming will make the tree grow dense branches. Cut back new shoots to 2-3 leaves once they've developed 6-8 leaves. Pruning can be done anytime throughout the year.
Young shoots are tender and flexible, so that makes them easy to trim and wire. Do not wire new shoots until they have become lignified. Also, Fukien Tea's should not be wired for more than three consecutive months, as the wire will dig into the tree and scar the trunk. Informal Upright is a popular style for this tree, where the tree is curved and becomes narrow at the top.
The Fukien Tea tree may get spider mites, scale, and whiteflies. Specific pesticides can be used for each problem. Watering with hard water can cause chlorosis. In the case of chlorosis, treat with an iron fertilizer.
Tropical Bonsai Soil Mix
KIKU™ Gold 8" Bonsai Root Scissors
KIKU™ Aluminum Training Wire