wayne barnier
Full Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:05 pm
Location: Lapeer, Michigan

Problems with new fukien tea bonsai

Hello,I just recently got into bonsai trees,as well as exotic trees and plants.I recently bought a fukien tea from down south,paid alot of money for this tree!!!The shipping was 3 days.When the tree arrived the tree seemed in good condition(have had the tree for about a week) but now I am experiencing some leaves falling!Alot of leaves seem to be turning more of a yellow color,and seem to have a lot of dark brown,or black dots,and spots in the leaves!The tree is still really full,but I am concerned because of the leaf loss!!Yesterday I bought a moisture meter to check moisture.Can somebody give me any suggestions could the tree be going through shock?could the shipping,and change of climate have something to do with it?If someone can give me some advise I would be greatful!!I have the tree in a east doorwall,with my birds of paridise,and desert rose plants,that are doing well!!Is the leaf spotting,and changing colors do to under watering,or over watering?I have heard the spotting is do to under watering,is this true?Thank you for all your help!!! Thanks, Wayne

Senior Member
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:06 pm
Location: Toronto

Fukien tea bonsai are somewhat difficult to care for. It needs humidity yet needs to have the soil dry almost completely between waterings. Did you water it too frequently (not allow the soil to dry hard to touch?)? Shock from delivery is likely as well. Also needs a good degree of light. Currently I have mine in a humidity try with fluorescent lighting and watered only when the soil is completely dry. You will also need to check for pests, like aphids (aka black fly), mealy bugs, etc.


https://www.bonsaihunk.us/info/FukienTea.html (better site)


User avatar
Green Thumb
Posts: 660
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:37 pm
Location: Just East of Zone 7a

They are on the finicky side and not one I'd recommend for a starter in Bonsai.
It could be anything from it's complaining about the move, to it's not getting enough light in it's current location, to an infestation, to a fungus.
You mention it came from 'down south'. If you got it from Miami Tropical Bonsai it's probably OK from a fungus/infestation perspective. They are very reputable, in fact I've bought trees from them with no issues.
Your tree needs very good light....a min. of 800 but 1000lms. is better and I use compact fluorescent lighting and shop lights for my indoor plants to get at least that figure.
Is it near other plants where it is possible for it to have access to Aphids?
Fukiens are notoriously susceptible to Aphids (even from across the room...lol) and should be watched for them. If it's not and you follow the instructions at the sites provided by maveriiick you should be OK.
Mist it but let it's feet dry slightly between waterings.
If you can, post some pics. and keep us posted on how it's doing!!

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