Fukien Tea Bonsai Care Guide & Tips

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Fukien Tea Bonsai. Hands pruning a bonsai tree on a work table. Gardening concept.

The Fukien Tea Bonsai, or Carmona microphylla, is a tropical evergreen shrub native to southern China. It is a popular choice for bonsai enthusiasts due to its delicate white flowers and dark green leaves. In this care guide, we will explore the best practices for caring for this bonsai tree, including tips on pruning, watering, soil needs, and sunlight exposure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Provide the Fukien Tea Bonsai with plenty of natural light, placing it near a window or using a plant lamp in colder climates.
  • Water the bonsai moderately, avoiding overwatering, and ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.
  • Use a well-draining soil mixture that retains moisture, such as Akadama, humus, and pumice.
  • Regularly prune the bonsai to maintain its desired shape and size, using appropriate tools and care.
  • Repot the Fukien Tea Bonsai every two years, being cautious with the sensitive root system and using a suitable soil mixture.

Placement and Lighting

The Fukien Tea Bonsai is a beautiful addition to any indoor or outdoor space. While traditionally an indoor bonsai, it can thrive outside in warm climates. To ensure the health and growth of your fukien tea bonsai, proper placement and lighting are essential.

When selecting a spot for your bonsai tree, choose a location near a window where it can receive abundant natural light. The fukien tea bonsai requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive. Placing it near a window will provide the necessary sunlight for its growth.

In colder climates where outdoor cultivation is not possible year-round, it’s important to provide supplemental lighting during the winter months. A plant lamp can help compensate for the reduced natural light. Position the plant lamp above the bonsai tree, ensuring it mimics the intensity and duration of natural sunlight.

Take caution not to expose the fukien tea bonsai to cold or frosty air, as it can damage the delicate foliage and roots. During winter, keep the bonsai away from drafty areas and make sure it is protected from extreme temperature fluctuations.

Benefits of Proper Placement and Lighting:

  1. Healthy growth and development of the bonsai tree.
  2. Promotion of lush foliage and vibrant flowers.
  3. Prevention of leggy or weak growth.
  4. Enhancement of overall bonsai aesthetics.

Watering and Humidity

Proper watering and humidity levels are crucial for the health and vitality of your Fukien Tea Bonsai. Maintaining the right balance will ensure that your bonsai thrives and flourishes. Here are some essential tips for watering and regulating humidity:


When it comes to watering your Fukien Tea Bonsai, it’s important to strike the right balance. The key is to keep the soil moderately moist but avoid overwatering. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues that may harm the bonsai.

Monitor the soil closely, and water the bonsai generously as soon as the top surface of the soil becomes dry. Use room temperature water to prevent shocking the roots. Be careful not to let the bonsai sit in excess water, as this can suffocate the roots and lead to root rot. Instead, allow any excess water to drain properly.


The Fukien Tea Bonsai thrives in an environment with higher humidity levels. To regulate humidity, you can employ a simple yet effective technique. Place a tray filled with wet gravel or foamed clay under the pot. As the water evaporates, it increases the moisture content in the surrounding air, creating a favorable level of humidity for your bonsai.

It’s important to strike a balance with humidity as well. Too much humidity can lead to fungal issues, while too little can result in dryness and stress for the bonsai. Monitor the humidity levels regularly and adjust the tray’s water content accordingly.

Remember to consider the specific needs of your Fukien Tea Bonsai when watering and maintaining humidity. Factors such as the climate, season, and indoor/outdoor placement can influence these requirements. Observe your bonsai closely and make adjustments as needed to ensure its health and well-being.

fukien tea bonsai watering
Watering TipsHumidity Tips
  • Water generously when the soil surface is dry
  • Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot
  • Use room temperature water
  • Ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogging
  • Place a tray with wet gravel or foamed clay under the pot
  • Monitor humidity levels regularly
  • Adjust water content in the tray as needed

Soil and Fertilizing

The soil composition is crucial for the healthy growth of your Fukien Tea Bonsai. It requires a well-draining mixture that can retain moisture, providing optimal conditions for the roots to thrive. The ideal soil mixture for your bonsai tree includes Akadama, a little humus, and pumice. This combination allows for proper drainage while ensuring moisture retention.

When fertilizing your Fukien Tea Bonsai, it’s essential to consider the sensitive nature of its roots. Solid organic fertilizers are recommended as they provide a slow release of nutrients without overwhelming the bonsai. However, liquid fertilizers can also be used, but in carefully measured dosages and only on moist soil. It’s crucial to follow the directions for use to prevent over-fertilization.

SpringEvery 2 weeksOrganic Fertilizer or Liquid Fertilizer*
SummerEvery 3-4 weeksOrganic Fertilizer or Liquid Fertilizer*
FallEvery 4-6 weeksOrganic Fertilizer
WinterEvery 6-8 weeksOrganic Fertilizer

*Liquid fertilizer should only be applied on moist soil, following the recommended dosages.

Remember to adjust your fertilizing schedule based on the specific needs of your Fukien Tea Bonsai. Watching for signs of nutrient deficiency or excess, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth, can help you fine-tune the fertilizing routine. Providing your bonsai with the right nutrients will ensure its overall health and vibrant appearance.

Pruning and Training

The Fukien Tea Bonsai benefits greatly from regular pruning and training. This process is crucial for promoting the growth of dense branch structures and maintaining the desired shape and size of your bonsai tree. Pruning helps control the bonsai’s overall form and encourages the development of new shoots.

When pruning your Fukien Tea Bonsai, focus on trimming young shoots, as they are tender and flexible, making them easier to shape and wire. Use sharp and clean pruning tools to make precise cuts. Avoid pruning during the tree’s dormant period and refrain from excessive pruning, as it can weaken the bonsai.

While pruning is essential for shaping the bonsai, it is equally important to exercise caution when dealing with mature twigs and branches. These older parts of the tree tend to be hard and brittle, making them more susceptible to damage. Always use appropriate techniques and tools to avoid unnecessary harm to the tree.

fuckien tea bonsai on a bench

Regular pruning sessions ensure that your Fukien Tea Bonsai remains healthy and visually appealing. By removing unnecessary growth and maintaining proper branch structure, you can enhance the bonsai’s aesthetic value and overall health.

Training Techniques

In addition to pruning, training techniques are an essential part of maintaining the ideal shape and form of your Fukien Tea Bonsai. Wiring is commonly used in the process of training bonsai trees.

Wiring allows you to guide the growth of branches and shape them to your desired aesthetic. Select a flexible but sturdy wire that can be wrapped gently around the branches without causing damage. Avoid leaving wires on for extended periods, as they can cut into the bark and impede growth. Regularly monitor the wire and be attentive to remove it once the desired shape has been achieved.

Remember to be patient when training your Fukien Tea Bonsai. It takes time for the branches to adjust to the new shape, so avoid rushing the process. With proper care and consistent training, your bonsai tree will flourish and showcase its unique beauty.

Pruning TipsTraining Techniques
Focus on young shoots for trimmingUse wiring to guide branch growth
Prune with sharp and clean toolsSelect a flexible yet sturdy wire
Avoid excessive pruningMonitor wire regularly to prevent damage
Exercise caution when pruning mature twigsRemove wire once desired shape is achieved


The health and vitality of your Fukien Tea Bonsai depend heavily on proper repotting. Repotting should be done every two years in early spring to ensure a well-maintained root system and promote growth. Take care to handle the bonsai’s sensitive roots gently during the repotting process to avoid any damage or stress. It is essential to limit root pruning to no more than 10-20% of the root system to maintain the bonsai’s health and stability.

When selecting a soil mixture for repotting, it is crucial to choose a well-draining blend that retains moisture. A suitable combination includes Akadama for its excellent drainage properties, humus for nutrient retention, and pumice to aid in aeration. This mixture provides optimal conditions for the Fukien Tea Bonsai’s root development and overall health.

Repotting your Fukien Tea Bonsai regularly not only ensures the vitality of the tree but also allows you to carefully inspect the overall health of the root system. By repotting, you have the opportunity to remove any unhealthy or damaged roots and replace the soil, promoting healthy growth and vitality in your bonsai tree.

Proper repotting is an essential aspect of fukien tea bonsai care, contributing to the overall health and vigor of the tree. By following the recommended repotting guidelines and using the right soil mixture, you will help your fukien tea bonsai thrive for years to come.

Propagation and Pests/Diseases

If you want to expand your collection of Fukien Tea Bonsai, propagation can be done through seeds or cuttings during the summer. For cuttings, it’s best to take them in spring or early summer and place them in a shady spot to encourage healthy root development. This method of propagation allows you to create new bonsai trees that are genetically identical to the parent plant.

When caring for your Fukien Tea Bonsai, it’s important to be aware of the pests and diseases that can affect it. Spider mites, scale, and whiteflies are common pests that can infest the bonsai. To control these issues, specific pesticides designed for bonsai can be used. Providing ample natural light and maintaining the right level of humidity can also help prevent pest infestations.

In addition to pests, the Fukien Tea Bonsai is susceptible to certain diseases. One common disease is chlorosis, which is caused by watering with hard water. To treat chlorosis, an iron fertilizer can be used to restore the bonsai’s health and vitality.

By understanding the propagation methods and being proactive in preventing and controlling pests and diseases, you can ensure the long-term health and beauty of your Fukien Tea Bonsai. With proper care and attention, this bonsai tree will thrive and bring you years of enjoyment.


How do I care for a Fukien Tea Bonsai?

Caring for a Fukien Tea Bonsai involves proper placement and lighting, watering and humidity control, soil and fertilizing management, pruning and training, repotting, and dealing with propagation, pests, and diseases. Following the right practices for each aspect will help ensure the health and growth of your bonsai tree.

Where should I place my Fukien Tea Bonsai?

The Fukien Tea Bonsai requires a lot of natural light, so it should be placed near a window where it can receive the best light. In colder climates, a plant lamp can be used to supplement natural light during the winter months. It’s important to avoid exposing the bonsai to cold or frosty air.

How often should I water my Fukien Tea Bonsai?

The Fukien Tea Bonsai should be kept moderately moist, but it’s important to avoid overwatering. Water the bonsai generously as soon as the soil surface becomes dry, but make sure not to leave it in excess water. To regulate humidity, you can place a tray with wet gravel or foamed clay under the pot.

What kind of soil should I use for my Fukien Tea Bonsai?

The Fukien Tea Bonsai requires a well-draining soil mixture that can retain moisture. A mixture of Akadama with a little humus and pumice works well for this bonsai tree. When it comes to fertilizing, solid organic fertilizer is recommended due to the bonsai’s sensitive roots.

How should I prune and train my Fukien Tea Bonsai?

The Fukien Tea Bonsai responds well to pruning and regular trimming. Pruning helps the tree grow dense branch structures. Young shoots are tender and flexible, making them easy to trim or wire. However, mature twigs and branches are hard and brittle, so pruning and wiring should be done with appropriate tools and care.

When should I repot my Fukien Tea Bonsai?

The Fukien Tea Bonsai should be repotted every two years in early spring. When repotting, it’s important to be careful with the bonsai’s sensitive root system. Root pruning should be done with care, limiting it to no more than 10-20% of the root system. Use a soil mixture that drains well and retains moisture.

How can I propagate my Fukien Tea Bonsai, and how do I deal with pests and diseases?

The Fukien Tea Bonsai can be propagated using either seeds or cuttings in the summer. When it comes to pests and diseases, the bonsai can be susceptible to spider mites, scale, and whiteflies. Using specific pesticides can help control these problems. It’s also important to provide plenty of natural light and maintain the right level of humidity to prevent pest infestations.

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