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Location: Malta

Is my bonsai real or not?


My Name is chris and I am from Malta nice to meet you all :)

I have had my bonsai for some months now and I am noticing that its loosing its leaves. its on a window sill and I water it when soil feels less damp.

first of all I would like to identify if its real or not and what species it is so I can learn how to take care of it.

I Live in malta and our sun is very strong.

thanks for your help.





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What do you mean by real? A real tree? yes. A real bonsai? That depends on what you do with it. Bonsai is a philosophy/ style/ method of working with/ training trees.

I'm not a bonsai grower, but I'm guessing it is a chinese elm. Some of the bonsai experts around here can correct me if I'm wrong. But it is not looking real happy. Again someone who knows more than I do can make suggestions for how you can make it healthier.

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If it is losing leaves it is real. Artificial trees don't drop leaves.

Fukien tea - but not a healthy one. Poor soil may be the problem, poor drainage, poor roots. They do like plenty of sunshine.

Do some research on fukien tea and basic bonsai care.

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I second Tom's ID of Fukien Tea, the notched leaf tips are distinctive. I don't grow this species so I can't comment from experience but your strong sun may be partially to blame.


Since I don't grow these I had a hard time recognizing them at first. The spotted leaves and notched tips make it pretty easy after a while though. Chinese Elms have serrated leaves just as do local Elms that you may be familiar with. In the following picture Zelkova (Japanese Grey Bark Elm) is on the left and Chinese Elm on the right.



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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:48 pm
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Hi all

thanks for all your answers,

this sudden droppage of leaves happened very recently before it looked very healthy. I came back from abroad yesterday and thats how I found it! I had only been gone for a few days and I watered it just before I left.

so I'm guessing its either I have overwatered or too much sun.

I will change its place and hope for the best

so its a Fukien Tea thats great at least now I can research specifically by that name.

thanks again everyone


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FTs get little white flowers year round when it's happy =)

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:48 pm
Location: Malta

Hi all,

I'm trying to research on how to care for my bonsai but I'm getting mixed advice on mainly watering and general care,

can someone guide me please?



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You may want to look through the Bonsai Learning Library here at The Helpful Gardener:

There are several extended discussions about watering and other "care and feeding" topics to help keep your plant happy. :)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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