Fukien Tea / Carmona not recovering from shock, what am I doing wrong?

fantomaz

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Hello Fukien Tea / Carmona lovers,

Here are a few pictures of my problem child.

I have received it a year ago as a present, I was told it is 30 years old, it is 55 cm tall.

It had an underwatering shock back in november, it lost almost all its leaves.

I have been keeping an eye on it since, making sure it was properly watered, I thought it was saved when the foliage grew back almost half the volume it was originally.

But it progressively lost almost all its leaves again over the last month and a half, and since then it only produces flowers.

I would bring it to a specialist for treatment, but I know they don't like to be moved around, and it looks quite weak.

It lives in a apartment where there is a constant 68° F, the air is quite dry but it has a tray of water under the pot that keeps constant moisture around the tree, and I make sure I don't overwater using the chopstick technique, I have no conventional window here but it is under a slanted roof window that gives about 2/3 hours of direct sunlight everyday, not very much light at this period since I live in Brussels, Belgium and it's winter.

You can't see it in the pictures but it has a mild "plant louse" of "black fly" (translated from french "puceron") infestation, I am treating it with black soap in a spray, rinsing with the clear water after an hour, but it doesn't seem to help much, i am afraid to use something stronger as the tree looks quite weak.

I am quite worried, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Frederic.P1020253.jpgP1010825.jpgP1020255.jpgP1020256.jpgP1020257.jpgP1020253.jpgP1010825.jpgP1020255.jpgP1020256.jpgP1020257.jpgP1020253.jpg
 
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RosieO

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The tree needs more light. Sunlight filtered through glass is not as strong as you think. Supplement the light it's getting through the window with a plant grow light.

If Neem oil is available, spray the tree with a solution of water, isopropyl alchol and Neem oil. I find is more effective than soap and have used it on Fukien Tea with no harm to the tree.

Good luck to you. It would be a shame to lose that tree.
 

Bill S

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I'll ditto Rosies answer, with her experiance to the treatment, I had heard they can be sensative to some insecticides. More Light, and very carefull with water, maybe a plastic tent to keep humidity up, the tray doesn't help much at all.
 

Bonsai Nut

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To build on the great advice you have already received...

Fukien Tea is a tropical. It likes bright light, humidity and warmth. Humidity trays are not particularly effective (by themselves) at raising the humidity for a bonsai - particularly if the tree is larger/taller and the tray is not very large and is sitting out in a dry room. What you want is to create a greenhouse environment if at all possible where you can artificially control lighting, humidity and warmth. The easiest way to do this is:

(1) Get a humidity tent to place over the tree - particularly in the Winter.
(2) Buy a free-standing plant grow light that can be used to provide bright lighting for the tree (more light = more energy = stronger health)
(3) Consider buying a small pad heater that you place under your humidity tray (which is inside of the humidity tent) - this will heat the tray, heat the air in the tent, and make it nice and warm and humid. You don't want it TOO hot - but 80 degrees will make this tree much happier than 68.

There are commercial solutions or you can do-it-yourself for not much money.

GSCTENTGC200.jpg
 

fantomaz

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Thanks you so much for your replies, following you advice here's what I did:

light.jpg

Any advice on the hours I should leave the tent and the light on very welcome.
 

raydomz

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Not sure where in the country you are but I keep the light on my tropicals this time of year on for 16 hrs.
It won't mind being that tent as long as that light doesn't get too hot. In my experience, the more consistent the humidity the better.
 

fantomaz

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Here are some new pictures of the tree, it seems do be doing much better, let me know what you think!

pierre 1.jpgpierre 2.jpgpierre 3.jpgpierre 4.jpgpierre 5.jpg
 

raydomz

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Looks to be doing better!
They are pretty slow to respond inside but be patient, you'll be thankful.
Glad to see it's making a recovery.
 

JudyB

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Makes me glad I finally gave my fukien tree away last year.... They are too tough to kill, but too finicky to love...:)
 

Kevster

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Fantomaz does your plastic cover accumulate moisture on the inside? I noticed the bottom is left open. This will allow moisture and heat to escape. I have a Fukien which had some issues after I root pruned it. Most of its leaves dropped off. The ones that didn't turned black. For about a month it didn't change it's condition. I then planted it in sphagnum moss and put it in my completely sealed well lit aquarium (had it under florescent light before hand) that is home to my ficus in the winter and in a week green buds started popping out here and there. Now about 2 months later it has recovered about 60% and getting better every week.

Bottom line that I'm trying to get to is try sealing the bag completely. Be warned though. In either case if you keep it in an environment with raised humidity for any period of time you will have to acclimate it to the less humid environment when you take the bag off for good or you might send its leaves pack for a dirt nap.

Just my advice. Someone may think differently.
 

fantomaz

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Thank you for your post!

I try not to let it get too used to a very humid environement, as Belgium is maritime temperate, the tent is only here to keep maximum humidity during recovery but it will have to live without it, right now its about 17°F outside so the heater sucks all the humidity out of the air, but it should get much better by spring.

I don't mind the florescent light, as I can program it when I'm not here, but I find having the tree in a tent or in an aquarium takes a lot of the enjoyment away in my book.

I have a super powerful humidifier that I will use when I move the tree later on this year, we'll see how it works... :)
 

jkd2572

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I just want the friend who gave you that tree.
 
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