shelf2006
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Location: YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND

Fukien tea winter care - Tree dying!!

I've had a Fukien Tea since February and it had done really well, was fully green and flowered in the summer etc but now its got to winter, I'm finding it hard to keep it warm. I read that its supposed to be kept above 20C but its really hard to maintain it above that temperature all the time, especially when the temperature drops through the night. My dad made a miniture greenhouse for it it to help keep it warm and I've tried to put in the window as well to give it as much light as possible but the leaves have lost the "cat's tongue" feel and are dropping and withering. I'm not sure what else I can do for it as I've got it in the lightest/warmest place in the house! I watered it about 5 weeks ago and it didn't seem to absorb anything, so I tried to feed it and it doesn't seem to have absorbed that for just over a week. Please can someone give some advice of what I should do as I don't want it to die!

Thanks in advance.

Shelf2006

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Gnome
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Shelf,
I watered it about 5 weeks ago and it didn't seem to absorb anything, so I tried to feed it and it doesn't seem to have absorbed that for just over a week.
I am not sure what to say. surely your tree needs more water than you have provided. If it is not being absorbed I suspect that you have problems with your soil or you simply let it get so dry that water is repelled.

The crappy, peat based soil, that many purchased tree are in cause problems like this. It retains too much water and once it does dry it is difficult to re-wet.

If your soil is as dry as I suspect it is you need to take emergency action. Submerge the pot nearly to the rim for 10 minutes or so or until the soil is thoroughly saturated. This is not done routinely but you must take action now or the tree will surely die.

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Carmona.html[/url]
[url]https://bonsaihunk.8m.com/info/FukienTea.html[/url]

Norm

shelf2006
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND

Hi,

Thanks for your response.

I'm not sure whether it could have something to do with when I had a look to check it wasn't root bound a couple of months ago, whether thats affected the soil in some way. I wanted to check so I pulled it out carefully to have a look and repotted it. I never let the soil dry out though when it did not absorb the water and its still quite damp, would you still recommend submerging it?

I've not changed the soil before either, it does seem to be in some sort of compost. I bought a bonsai potting soil bag from a local garden centre that says it incorporates special grit, would this stuff be definately suitable and providing the tree starts to improve, would you recommend doing this in the spring?

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Shelf,
I never let the soil dry out though when it did not absorb the water and its still quite damp, would you still recommend submerging it?
No! Evidently I did not interpret your initial post the way you intended it. Let the soil approach dryness before you water, soggy soil is a problem. When you say that the plant does not seem to absorb water do you mean that it takes a long time to dry out after watering? If so your soil is way too dense.
I bought a bonsai potting soil bag from a local garden centre that says it incorporates special grit, would this stuff be definately suitable and providing the tree starts to improve, would you recommend doing this in the spring?
The soil sounds OK, a free draining fairly coarse mix is good.

Did you read the information at the links I provided, particularly the second one? Both of these topics are discussed.

Norm

shelf2006
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND

Hi,

Thanks for your advice and for pasting me the links, I did have a look through these and they helped. I'll try and put some more soil carefully around the roots and see if it starts to improve.

I'm grateful for your advice.

Shelf2006

PETER J
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:35 pm
Location: DELRAY BEACH, FL

fukien tree

MISS: YOU SHOULD READ THE ARTICLES ABOUT DORMANCY - THIS HAPPENS WHEN THE TREE IS EXPOSED TO COLD IN THE WINTER. IT LOSES ALL ITS LEAVES, BUT IS NOT DEAD.

I AM CURRENTLY PURCHASING A FUKIEN TEA TREE THAT HAS NO LEAVES - STRAIGHT FROM CHINA -- BECAUSE IT IS IN DORMANCY

GOOD LUCK

ynot
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: USDA Z:5a Sunset Z. 41 IL

Peter,

Fukiens are not temperate trees, They are tropical.

As such they do not experience a true dormancy.

They are not very happy [or often even alive] if subjected to prolonged temps below 50F [12C].

Here are a couple of care sheets about them:
https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Carmona.html
https://www.bonsai-bci.com/species/fukien.html

Are you certain of the species your purchasing?

Shelf, If you read this let us know how it's going:).

ynot

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