The Fukien tea bonsai (Ehretia Microphylla, Carmona Microphylla) is an evergreen shrub that is commonly used for indoor or tropical bonsai. The tree is often available at bonsai nurseries, discount stores, and many other online sources. The plant originates from Southern China and is named after the Fujian province. It is excellently suited for the art of bonsai, due to its small leaves. Unlike most indoor bonsai, Fukien tea grows continuously, with no detectable rest period. Some of this tree’s characteristics are shiny, dark green leaves and a reddish-brown trunk. In this article, we will discuss the Fukien tea bonsai and its common issues.

The Problems That May Arise with Fukien Tea Bonsai

The growth of the Fukien bonsai tree can be cut short due to various problems. Some of these problems include discoloration of leaves, fuzzy spots, and swollen barks.

  • Visible spots on the leaves of Fukien tea bonsai

Red, brown, or black spots can appear on the leaves, and these are a sign of fungal infection. You should consider immediate treatment. It is vital to treat the tree with anti-fungal medication and prune the affected leaves.

  • Fuzzy spots on leaves and stems for Fukien tea bonsai

When the leaves and stems are affected by mold, small fuzzy white spots will appear. Low humidity conditions accelerate the growth of molds, causing the plant to deteriorate rapidly. In some cases, the fungi can affect the tree without being noticed until it has completely invaded the leaves and stems. When you are not careful, the small patches of white fuzz can grow to a large spot.

  • Swollen bark for Fukien tea bonsai

Swollen barking commonly occurs when the tree has not healed after trimming correctly. It can also be caused by canker diseases and under-skin diseases too. To prevent the whole plant from being affected, you should cut the infected part of branches. Cut paste can be used to encourage healthy healing.

  • Shrunken branches

Poor nutrition, watering, or diseases can lead to wrinkled branches. The affected limbs should be removed to prevent the entire tree from being changed. For nutrition identification, a soil test should be performed. 

  • Discoloration of leaves and stems

Discoloration of leaves and stems can be caused by infections and nutrients imbalance. The disease causes the leaves to turn brown, dark green, or light green colors. The leaves will dry and finally fall off. The application of fertilizers could help to prevent the branches and stems from shrinking.

Over-Watering and Under-Watering Fukien Tea Bonsai

watering bonsai

It is not always easy to determine if your bonsai is suffering from over- or under-watering. Some of the causes of over-watering are poor drainage, poorly draining soils, and containers. Overwatering makes the roots rot; rotted roots will take up water to the entire tree inefficiently. The symptoms start to appear immediately, including dry and yellow leaves and soft black tips on the leaves. Over-watering also loosens the trunk of the tree in the pot, and it may appear wobbly. It is essential to keep the soil damp and not wet. On the other hand, under-watering means the soil is dry due to a lack of sufficient water. It rapidly causes the leaves of the tree to wilt, dry, and become crispy, and they will eventually fall. 

Fukien Tea Not Receiving Enough Light

Fukien trees can only be kept outside all year in hot climates; this tree is best kept as an indoor plant. It always needs a lot of light, however. Insufficient light can cause the tree to grow slowly, interfering with shaping techniques. After pruning or leaf trimming, the plant will not grow back.  When they do not receive enough light, the leaves will start yellowing, drying, and falling off the tree.

Common Pests in Fukien Tea Bonsai

The tree can be attacked by spider mites, scale, and whiteflies under inadequate conditions. Spraying insecticide and using a stick to push into the soil will help to curb these pests. Light and humidity must also be improved to prevent infestations of pests. Fungal diseases can affect this plant in rare cases.

To sum up, improper care of the Fukien tea bonsai tree makes the plant unhealthy. The problems discussed above remain a threat to the growth of Fukien bonsai, and you should consider immediate treatment of the issues to make your tree thrive.