Fukien Tea in the North

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Fukien Tea in the North

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Storm wrote: "I know its offtopic, but can anyone tell me whats up with my fukien? Ive watered it like other tropicals. It doesnt show signs of ill health. No yellow nor brown leaves. Its flowering all the time. Full of small white flowers. They fall off, and new ones comes. But it doesnt grow. Not one bit. Havent shot out a single branch this year."
For a couple of years, I struggled with a Fukien tea, Ehretia microphylla, that I bought in a blind auction. It grew under lights in the winter & outdoors in full sun in the summer. It grew no better outdoors (on the 43rd Parallel) than in. It did grow a couple of new branches, but not where I needed them. Apical dominance was so strong I couldn't get anything lower down on the trunk. There was inverse taper that I couldn't resolve. I repotted it in coarse mix, but the root system remained poor. I finally threw it in the trash.
Moral: Beware of what Rob Kempinski calls zone envy. Maybe there are some growers in the North who can grow Fukien tea successfully, but I don't recommend it, unless perhaps you have a sophisticated greenhouse. My best tropical so far is F. benjamina 'TooLittle.' I will write about it someday. My larch is fine. lol!
Iris

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Re: Fukien Tea in the North

Post  Storm on Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:15 pm

Hehe, thanks for the reply. I just find it strange thats all. My sister had one too. We bought them at the same time. They were in poor conditions but got healthy. She doesnt have it outdoors. It has been inside since the first day. She has it on a small table in the corner with poor light. heating the house with wood, and an electric oven which stands right besides it. The air is really dry. The first summer she had it, it shot out maybe 15 branches. They were all about a metre long. But it doesnt have anywhere near the amount of flowers mine has.

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Re: Fukien Tea in the North

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:57 pm

Iris, have you had any success with wiring Ficus 'Too Little"? I have one and tried to wire it branches on it for over a year. Every branch that I wired died. Even branches that I tied/pulled down with rubber tubing... So, I figured out that mine doesn't like to be wired. I just clip and grow. What is your experience? Thanks, Todd

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Fukien Tea in the North

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:22 pm

Gimme a break. I have to get out a newsletter & the club is coming over for workshop next week, & a few other crises. bounce
I promise to write all about it shortly.
Iris

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Re: Fukien Tea in the North

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:02 pm

I've been growing fukien tea here in Western NY for about eight years now, Other than Burtt-Davyi there one of my favorite tropicals. In the winter I bring my trees in the house. They remain under a grow light. They also require a good deal of humidity, use a humidity tray and mist them with a spray bottle 2-3 times a day. I have been using this method and they thrive. Also be sure to remove any dead leaves and watch for white flies, they will leave a stick residue. I good preventive treatment is a mixture of neem oil or a mix of Palmolive dish liquid mixed a dime size amount in a spray bottle (being sure to spray the underside of the leaves as well).
Hope this is help full.
Abe
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Last edited by easternbonsai on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:44 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : fixed picture)

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Re: Fukien Tea in the North

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:57 pm

Nice Fukien Tea, Easternbonsai! I have 3 that during the winter months go to work and sit in a North facing window (cuz that's all I've got.) I'm in central Illinois, zone 5. Growth is slow, but in the winter the internode spaces on new growth is long. Once I get them outside for the summer, they tighten up and get dark green. I also took a dozen or two cuttings and have great success in starting them. I also pulled two starts out of the pots that already had roots. All three are fairly small, but getting there. I don'e have a great deal of an increase in size because I snip fairly often.

I guess, if I want to thicken the trunks more, I need to leave the new growth and feed more often. But I kind of like them small, like they are.

Jay

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Re: Fukien Tea in the North

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:29 pm

Jay,
Thank you. During the winter months I fertilize with rapeseed cakes from Joshua Roth. These seem to work well indoors. In the summer I have tried to use them outdoors but have trouble with the squirrels.
Abe

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Re: Fukien Tea in the North

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