Ehretia microphylla
      Fukien Tea
THE FUKIEN TEA... is one of the favorite plants for bonsai, it has small leaves, flowers, fruits ,is easy to train and take care of. There is a small and a large leafed variety. The large leaf variety is a prolific bloomer but rarely produces fruit in bonsai. The small leave is slower to develop a trunk but constantly produces fruit.

 PRUNE... Fukien Tea can handle severe root and top pruning. Clean wounds thoroughly (I use Lysol) and use a sealant as open wounds are prone to rot.

 TRAINING... Wiring can be done but be careful bending older branches, young branches bend very easily. The best method is to clip and grow directionally. Let the shoot produce about ten leaves then clip back to 2-3 at a spot that will take it in a different direction. A prolific grower from spring to fall, it will require attention often to maintain shape.

 WATERING... Does not like wet feet, but will require a lot of water during the growing season in a well drained soil.

 LIGHT... Full sun brings out the dark green color, prevents fungi, and keeps the leaves small.

 INSECT/DISEASE... Fukien Tea is susceptible to aphid infestations which will produce sooty mold and other fungi. If this occurs, spray the plant with soapy water (2-3 tbl mild dishwashing liquid to gallon of water) to kill the aphids. You can also use the soap mixture to clean the leaves and the trunk either by using a q-tip, toothbrush, or a hard spray. Aphids are asexual so repeat applications will be necessary. Using a systemic insecticide and occasional fungus spray along with full sun and good air circulation will keep this from happening.

 REPOT... Minimum night temperatures low to mid 60's I have had no problems repotting from spring into late summer. They do not like to be root bound, their growth will slow dramatically if so. It may need repotting every year or two.

 FERTILIZE... A little super phosphate in between your regular fertilizing will help promote more flowers. If the leaves begin to yellow, check the soil, it may be staying too wet. If not it is probably chlorosis and may need iron, use Ironite. Fukiens love an organic soil so add a little more organic matter to your soil mixture and use organic fertilizer.

 SEASONAL... Protect below 40 degrees.
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