Fukien Tea Tree Help!

BJYeeYee

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Hello Everyone,

My girlfriend and I recently repotted her Fukien Tea Tree from regular garden soil. It's roughly 5+ years old and she's never had problems with it until we repotted it. We repotted it into a bigger pot and we used a potting soil mixed with a blend of "horticultural grade Peat Moss, Perlite, Lime, Worm Castings, Charcoal, and Mulch." After we repotted it it was doing really well with very green growth and slightly larger leaves, but now it has completely lost almost all of it's leaves and it looks like it's drying out. Also, there are brown fuzzy spots on the parts of the tree where branches would start to form. We live in Phoenix, Arizona and I think the problem was when we moved it outside and changed it's environment because normally it's inside getting filtered sunlight through a South facing window. She waters it regularly keeping the soil moist but doesn't use a spray bottle or humidity tray. Any help is really appreciated so we can save this little bonsai gift!
 

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Flowerhouse

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That looks like an infestation of something ugly, some sap-sucking little creep. First aid might be a shower with the hose, see if you can knock the little fuzzy guys off.
 

Mayank

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It looks like it's in poor shape. I've always washed mine when it's infested with a dawn detergent sudsy solution and it's bounced back.
 

Bonsai Nut

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First, welcome to the site!

Second... your little fukien tea tree may already be a dead tree walking :( I don't know, but if I had to guess, your tree picked up a fungus when you repotted, and the fungus has decimated it. The brown puffy things coming out at the internodes may be fruiting bodies from the fungus. Regardless, the tree's vascular system has been compromised; the leaves haven't gotten any water from the roots and have dried up.

If it were just aggressive repotting, I'd say give it time and the tree might recover. However I don't have anything to recommend in this case. I think it is already dead :(

Fukien teas are notoriously fickle, and have weak root systems. They have frustrated a lot of people on this site. I have one, but I am extremely cautious when I work on it. You can prune aggressively in the summer... but treat the roots like a baby. Also, after repotting keep the soil on the dry side, but mist the foliage and keep it in a humid environment if possible. It is tough to keep them in Arizona because of the low humidity. They can take the sun, but not the dry.

Get a Brazillian rain tree! Or even a Texas ebony! You'll love them... and they will love you in Phoenix!
 

Forsoothe!

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The fuzziness at internodes is natural and not a problem. Ditto on outdoors in Aridzona. They are sensitive to too much or too little sun and everything else including swearing in their presence. You need to find bright indirect sun light and do not let it dry out, or stay too wet. If that sounds stupid, take it back indoors because this is a high maintenance paramour.
 

BJYeeYee

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Thanks for responding everyone! We'll try to remove the fungus fuzzy's and then rinse with some diluted dawn dish suds in water. However I fear that Bonsai Nut may be right in the sense that it has already died, but we'll give it a go and see if we can't save this little tree.
 

Forsoothe!

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Do not fool around with the fuzzies, they are a feature of the species. Looks funny, live with it.
 

BJYeeYee

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Okay so if the fuzzies are a natural part of the species what would you recommend doing? Inspecting the root system to see if the roots have turned brown or black?
 

Forsoothe!

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Stop insulting the tree and find a place with good light but no direct Aridzona blazing sunshine. And start looking for plants suitable for the xeriscape you live in. There are lots, go to a local nursery and fall in love with something that will thrive in the landscape with a little help. It will be a good subject for an outdoor year-around outdoor bonsai. For a houseplant bonsai, buy a fig. You need to begin bonsai, the art, with easy things before you graduate to things like Fukien Tea. When you get to that point, you will have plenty of things you love that aren't that much trouble. If you puruse the web looking for serious Fukien Tea bonsai, you won't find many. There are some, but they live in places like Florida and other places with high humidity and no cold temps. Mesquite, Desert Cassia, Desert Featherbush, Big Basin Sage, Cedar Elm, Arboricola and Figs of any stripe make much better plants for you. Go to a nursery and buy something in a two gallon or less pot and enjoy!
 

Flowerhouse

Shohin
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I just took a really good look at my F-Tea and it has no such fuzzies. Just lots of leaves. Oh, and I frequently curse in front of it without it so much as blushing. I could well believe Bonsia Nut's take that it's fruiting bodies of a fungus.
 

Forsoothe!

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If the fuzzies are only at the internode knuckles, then it belongs there.
 

Mariana90

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Hello Everyone,

My girlfriend and I recently repotted her Fukien Tea Tree from regular garden soil. It's roughly 5+ years old and she's never had problems with it until we repotted it. We repotted it into a bigger pot and we used a potting soil mixed with a blend of "horticultural grade Peat Moss, Perlite, Lime, Worm Castings, Charcoal, and Mulch." After we repotted it it was doing really well with very green growth and slightly larger leaves, but now it has completely lost almost all of it's leaves and it looks like it's drying out. Also, there are brown fuzzy spots on the parts of the tree where branches would start to form. We live in Phoenix, Arizona and I think the problem was when we moved it outside and changed it's environment because normally it's inside getting filtered sunlight through a South facing window. She waters it regularly keeping the soil moist but doesn't use a spray bottle or humidity tray. Any help is really appreciated so we can save this little bonsai gift!
Hi,
I was wondering if your bonsai survived.
 

BJYeeYee

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Hi,
I was wondering if your bonsai survived.
It's not looking t0o hot right now so I think its probably going to die. We're gonna keep supplementing it with a grow light and a little humidity, but I think it was too late for us to act.
 

Forsoothe!

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Don't give up too soon! Two Rules of Forsoothe!: Never throw a plant out until it has been dead for six months. Treating a plant like it's dead is guaranteed to be a self-fulfilling precursor.
 

Carol 83

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Don't give up too soon! Two Rules of Forsoothe!: Never throw a plant out until it has been dead for six months. Treating a plant like it's dead is guaranteed to be a self-fulfilling precursor.
I've had several trees sit like the dead for months, to suddenly decide to carry on with their life. But not a Fukien Tea unfortunately. I'm done with them.
 

Mariana90

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It's not looking t0o hot right now so I think its probably going to die. We're gonna keep supplementing it with a grow light and a little humidity, but I think it was too late for us to act.
I am sorry to hear that Fukien tea Bonsai trees are, as someone has said before, temperamental trees. I am sure that you have learned something and will be different next time.
Have you changed the tree's location inside? as what I read where you live, it's quite dry, and this tree does not like too much humidity or dryness as I have been told the roots rot easy and get stress fast.
Fukien tea trees, to me, are really beautiful. Mine is located inside as where I live its too cold to be out. I try to give as much as light possible, and when it's dark, I turn on a grow light for 3 hours. I check the soil with a wooden stick (every day) when it is ALMOST dry, then I water. Also, I open the window on the sides a bit just to let some fresh air around but avoid letting the air hit the tree The way I water the tree is with a deep tray and make sure the entire root system is completely wet, and I use Biogold organic fertilizer. These tips are working for my tree, which is thriving with a lot of white flowers every day. Also, try not to move it around. If you decide to get another one, or the one you have lives hope this helps you.
 

Forsoothe!

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