luigonz
Senior Member
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO (Zone 6)

young Fukien Tea

I bought this little fukien tea from a bonsai nursery in Dallas,TX

[img]https://img858.imageshack.us/img858/9742/dsc02953s.jpg[/img]

[img]https://img141.imageshack.us/img141/6673/dsc02954f.jpg[/img]



[img]https://img811.imageshack.us/img811/5113/dsc02955ae.jpg[/img]
The yellowing of the leaves made me think the soil wasnt drain well enough, so, being that it is spring here, and the tree is pushing new growth i decided to repot the little tree.


[img]https://img842.imageshack.us/img842/2797/dsc02956sm.jpg[/img]

here is the finished product. As I was repotting the tree i noticed the roots were very sparse and close to the base of the trunk. I hope that this 60% in-organic and 40% organic soil mix will help the tree thrive and create the dense foliage pads that this species is know for.

I might cut the trunk where it straightens near the top. But this wont happen for at leas a couple of years. I want this tree to put on a lot more growth and gain vigor before i do anything else.

I am trying to get this tree used to the direct Texas sun. But i have read Fukien tea prefer mild morning sun or indirect (filtered sun) especially during the sweltering Texas summers.

any suggestions are welcomed.

cheers,
-al

JTred
Green Thumb
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:05 am
Location: Elizabeth, PA

It looks like your tree is off to a good start. I think repotting was a good idea, not only was the old pot too small, the soil was too thick. I like it and I look forward to seeing its progress.

linlaoboo
Green Thumb
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: NJ

Your tree looks good. The FT will let you know alot by the changes in its leaves. Looks like you did the right thing so far. It can also be kept indoors and will benefit from cfl lights. Keep in mind in SE Asia the air is very humid where it came from. Over here in the NE US, this is not a easy tree to keep.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

Markyscott
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:25 am
Location: Houston

I've read some of the same recommendations about limiting the light exposure of Fukien Teas. It is hogwash. I live in Houston and have had several for many years growing with the rest of my full sun plants. They sit on the bench right next to my black pines and get the same level of light exposure. What this means is 100% sun all day until the temp starts approaching the mid-90's during the day, then I drag out the 30% shade cloth (mostly to protect the pot and the root system of the pines from overheating). But I've had them in full sun without shade cloth all summer long in years past and have noticed no adverse effects (in fact - they handle it way better than the pines). Quite to the contrary - they grow like weeds - I have to pinch back the new shoots once every week or two. They produce a beautiful dense canopy of foliage. If it were me, I would gradually increase the light exposure over a couple of weeks to harden up the leaves and get that puppy into the full sun as soon as possible.

Good luck

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

I'll have to concur. Fukien Teas do like quite a bit of light. When reading, keep in mind that "part shade" and "filtered sun" are recommendations for outdoor growing. Inside, you'll not ever be able to provide "too much light" for any given tree. The most important thing with Fukiens, I think, is keeping humidity and soil moisture level up. Dry soil = dead Fukien. Not that you should not allow the soil to dry between waterings, you should. BUT, dry for your mix (which is very good for moisture loving tropicals) and dry for pure inorganics is a completely different thing. I'll not suggest, one way or the other, indoors or outdoors, but I will say that Fukien Tea, indoors, are easily in the top 5 of species that are incredibly easy to kill indoors. I *do* know that they *can* be kept alive, long term, indoors, but *most* who try to do so fail miserably. That would include myself, twice I think, and working on a third.

luigonz
Senior Member
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO (Zone 6)

i lost this fukie
i left it outside in the dallas summer.... part sun for 5 hours.
then i took it intos and repotted it in 50 50 pea gravel, peaet moss.

it dried up. :(

but there is always next time

Markyscott
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:25 am
Location: Houston

Too bad. My experience in Houston is that they like a lot of light and under my growth conditions i've had no problems with them whatsoever. They are some of my favorite trees to grow here and are constantly covered with flowers and the occasional fruit. They may tolerate indoor light levels, but why bother when you have all that beautiful Dallas sun and long growing season at your disposal. I grow mine in my medium aggregate that is 1/3 turface, 1/3 granite grit, and 1/3 composted pine bark all screened to 1/4" - 1/8" particle size. I never use peat for any of my trees. They drink water this time of year, so in this mix they need to be watered 2x per day - much less in the winter. But the free-draining soil is important because they don't like to be soggy either as they are prone to root rot. I defoliate mid summer to improve the ramification and greenhouse them when nighttime lows drop below 40 as I've read (in the same books that give the poor advice about light levels) that they are not cold hardy, but I haven't experimented with hardiness myself (yet). I fertilize once per week with a mix of hasta-gro and fish emulsion. Good luck with your next attempt and don't give up trying.

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