kandykorn686
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Please ID my bonsai so I can care for it!

Hi there,
I'm a new plant parent and I've gotten this bonsai as a gift. The gift giver was unable to recall the name of it but thought it might start with a "T". Please help me figure out what it is so I can take proper care of it according to its species. It has very shiny leaves, some of which are very young and recently grown. It's supposedly 5 years old. It has tiny little blossoms or buds which I've tried to capture in my pictures. There are some old dried up flowers on some of them that are now brown. Please hurry and give me any information that you can. Also, I've read that bonsai can be controlled as far as their growth rate. I'd love to let it grow larger and then start training to stay small as it's only a few inches tall. Thank you so much! [img]https://i357.photobucket.com/albums/oo18/kandykorn686/plants015.jpg[/img] [img]https://i357.photobucket.com/albums/oo18/kandykorn686/plants014.jpg[/img] [img]https://i357.photobucket.com/albums/oo18/kandykorn686/plants012.jpg[/img]

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kandykorn686,
The gift giver was unable to recall the name of it but thought it might start with a "T".
I believe your new plant is a Fukien Tea, does that qualify?

Check this out and see if you agree.
[img]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c1/Fukien_Tea_Tree_flower.jpg/600px-Fukien_Tea_Tree_flower.jpg[/img]

Here is some information that should get you started.

https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Carmona.html
https://www.bonsai-bci.com/species/fukien.html
https://www.bonsaihunk.us/info/FukienTea.html

Norm

kandykorn686
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Thanks for the ID

Thank you so much. It does look just like that and I can't wait to see if it blooms for me and better yet produces fruit! Do you know if I can speed its growth by trimming it less or repotting it in larger pots? I would love to let it have some freedom in growth rather than confining it.

kdodds
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Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Ehretia macrophylla, yes, Large Leaved Fukien Tea. Right now is the exact wrong time to go messing with it though. Come spring you can pot it up, if you're so inclined. But, for right now, since it is not showing any new growth at all, I wouldn't mess with it.

kandykorn686
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Thank you...also do you know about....

Thanks so much for your suggestion. I'm hoping you have more sage knowledge for me. Hehe! If I do repot it in a larger pot (come spring), should I avoid pruning and trimming to let it grow up and out more? Also, I've gotten some differing information on how to water and feed the tree. Should I submerge the whole pot in water for a few minutes and then drain or should I pour over the top and mist? Also, I've read different information on feeding it. Some vary by several weeks. I haven't fed it yet at all since I have no clue what the shop it came from did. Thanks again! It means the world to me and my little guy!

kdodds
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Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

It sort of depends on what you have planned for the tree. Since you're talking about moving it up to a larger pot, then you probably want to add thickness to the trunk. If this is the case, then you'll probably just want to repot it, roots unpruned unless there are criss-crossed, unsightly, or unhealthy ones. Once this is done, you'll want to let the tree "settle in" and start showing new growth before you do anything else. As the new growth comes in, trim any unwanted shoots or branches immediately. The rest can be left to grow until they reach lengths of 3-4" (usually about 4-6 leaf pairs), and then trimmed to the first 1-3 leaves. That's probably all you'll need to do throughout the next growing season.

Fukien Tea trees, IME, do not tolerate root pruning well. So, this should only be done when necessary. They do also not tolerate drying out very well and so should be watered again once the soil's surface is dry. Always water thoroughly, never sparingly. As far as feeding goes, you should not need to feed more than once per month in the winter with half strength houseplant fertilizer. I use both slow release (when repotting) fertilizers like Osmocote in conjunction with weekly fertilizing during growth seasons and monthly to bi-weekly fertilizing in winter and fall.

kandykorn686
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Thanks a bunch

You've been so helpful. Thanks for your concern and willingness to share your knowledge. I think I have all the information I need...at least for a while I hope. Have a great holiday!

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