Fukien Tea?

rosieface

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I am looking for one more tree to get and I'm feeling kinda partial to a Fukien tea, because they're very pretty and not an evergreen (I need a non-evergreen (well, NEED is a strong word, but you get it)).

Half of my research say that Fukien teas are good for beginners, but the other half is saying that they can be finicky trees, and I don't know who to believe. Does anyone here have experience with Fukien teas, so I can get it from the horse's mouth?
 

bonsaiTOM

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Finicky indeed! From my experience fukien tea is right up there with serissa. Pretty at times - like when first purchased - get them home and soon they pout, they sulk, they throw fits. They really are prone to infestations of scale and can quickly blacken and wilt. :eek:

But to be fair - I'm in a cool wet climate. This is a tropical that likes 'hot and humid'. Needs plenty of bright sun. If you give it what it likes it might be very happy indeed!

A lot like people, you know? A number of people here pout, sulk & throw fits at the drop of a hat.
:rolleyes:

Bottom line? Go ahead, give it a try if you want. You've been warned. :D

That wasn't much help was it?

By the way, this plant might be considered 'EVER GREEN' (two words intentionally) in LA.

:)
 
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treebeard55

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Tom makes a good point about climate. Fukien tea is indeed a tropical, native to southeast China and surrounding areas. (They are farmed commercially, for bonsai stock, on Taiwan.) How well it will do in your area depends a great deal on how much your climate resembles its native range. One good thing is that you would be able to keep it outdoors much of the year.

My own experience with them has been mixed. Until a couple of years ago, my winter setup for tropicals was barely adequate, and Fukien tea was one species that suffered in the dry air. They also turned out to be very attractive to the local mealybugs, and I finally gave up on them in frustration.

A year ago I decided to try them again, since they can be beautiful, and I now have a much better site for my tropicals from November to May. (Yeah, that long.) I got a good plant from Wigert's. (Check them out; good people, good plants.) So far my new Fukien is thriving and healthy, throwing flowers and berries, and I have yet to see a mealybug on it.

My strong advice: get hold of the people in a local club. Ask them how well Fukien tea works for bonsai, in your area, in their experience. They're familiar with your local conditions. Ask them if they recommend Fukien tea for a beginner in LA.
 

Mike423

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"My strong advice: get hold of the people in a local club. Ask them how well Fukien tea works for bonsai, in your area, in their experience. They're familiar with your local conditions. Ask them if they recommend Fukien tea for a beginner in LA."

Exactly what i was going to suggest.
 
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You will be alright with growing a tea in southern cali... Fukien teas like shade to partial sun, and they do like humidity... if you are near the water you will prob. be ok, if not you might get a humidity / drip tray ...
good luck...
 

rosieface

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Thanks, Stacy! I know you have worked with a lot of Fukiens and it sounds like my conditions are just about perfect for them. You have put my mind at rest.

Now to go shopping..... :D
 

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