Il carmona bonsai o Fukien Tea it is absolutely the easiest bonsai to keep at home and is among the most widespread and cheapest on the market. The common name of the plant refers to the species Ehretia microphylla (its former name was Carmona microphylla), and tropical evergreen tree in the Boraginaceae family that grows in Chinese in the province of south-eastern Fukien and in Japan and which in Italy is cultivated only in the form of bonsai. Its province in warm regions makes this miniature tree both suitable for living in the apartmentunlike many bonsai that must be kept outside and when we put them inside the house they die.
There glossy dark green leaves, which are arranged alternately on the branches, the gray-brown bark and dense, twisted branches make Carmona one of the most popular plants for creating bonsai. This plant can be reached a height of about 30-45 cm when grown as a bonsai (of course, the size of the bonsai always depends on the cuts) although it can be shaped to take on a shorter or higher form depending on preference. With positive care, it can be a fascinating plant to be enjoyed in an apartment for years.
When carmona bonsai flowers?
One of the most interesting features of carmona bonsai is its ability to produce small, fragrant white flowers. These flowers, about half a centimeter in diameter, can appear throughout the year but are more common in spring and summer. The presence of flowers adds a decorative element to the overall charm of the bonsai. Sometimes, the flowers are followed by small ones green and then butter brown.
Meaning of carmona bonsai
Indoor bonsai par excellence, the carmona represents the quintessence of the oriental art of miniature trees. These exquisitely cut jewels are considered living works of art and represent the fusion of nature and human creativity. They symbolize theharmonyhimbalance and the connection with creation and they are an emblem of balance, inner reflection and patience because they require constant care and maintenance over time to preserve their charm and vitality.
Carmona bonsai care
Here is a brief manual on the care required for bonsai Carmona, to be followed scrupulously if we want to keep our plant healthy for years.
• Exposure: where to keep bonsai in carmona? Carmona needs moderate exposure to sunlight, preferably in a well-lit location, but avoid direct exposure to strong sunlight during the hottest part of the day. We avoid putting it outside in cold weather, but we can keep it outside from late spring to late summer. The ideal should be to keep it at a temperature around 20 degrees and avoid lower temperatures (never below 12 degrees). During the winter, we can keep it on the windowsill inside, but with the heating on it is possible that the dry air can damage the leaves and make them fall. To deal with this problem, place a large saucer with gravel or expanded clay under the pot of the bonsai and fill it with water to give the tree moisture when it needs it. When opening the windows to let in fresh air in winter, it is important to avoid exposing the Carmona bonsai to freezing. Projections can be lethal.
• Watering: how to water carmona bonsai? Bonsai Carmona does not like dry soil, but it does not like too moist soil. It is important to water frequently when the soil is dry. If the pot is very small, the soil dries quickly and in summer it may be necessary to water it twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, but the conditions may vary according to the climate. The ideal is to immerse the vase in a container with a few centimeters of water for about three minutes, to give the soil time to absorb the liquid well by capillary in a uniform way. It is important to avoid water stagnation, therefore the pot of our bonsai must always remain raised in respect of the saucer, above a layer of gravel. If there is too much water, the leaves turn brown and fall off. We also pay attention to the lack of water since bonsai in Carmona does not immediately show the symptoms of dehydration, but then the leaves wrinkle and fall.
• Fertilize Carmona: we administer the fertilizer every 2 weeks from spring to fall and once a month during the winter. If we use liquid fertilizers, it is important to carefully dose them in half the dilution recommended on the package and apply them to moist soil, that is, half a day after watering. The ideal is to use a liquid organic-mineral fertilizer specific to bonsai, which nourishes the plant without stimulating its growth too much. These specific fertilizers can be easily purchased online from bonsai shops.
• Pruning: when and how to prune Carmona? We are not talking about the training cut of a bonsai, but the maintenance cut that serves to preserve the shape and harmony of a bonsai plant that we have already bought. Maintenance pruning is used to eliminate unnecessary branches and out-of-shape shoots. It also helps distribute sap evenly throughout the branches. The best period for this operation is from spring to summer, avoid cutting the thick branches, but keep in mind the goal of giving the plant back shape. We cut the misplaced shoots from when they have 6 or 7 leaves, leaving only two leaves on the branch. In practice, too long shoots, with 7 or 10 leaves, are reduced to 2 more leaves to refine the shape of bonsai, in order to give the whole plant a harmonious, preferably triangular, appearance. For this operation, we use sharp bonsai scissors.
• Repotting: when to repot the carmona. We repot the plant in early spring every 2 to 3 years. If we want to keep the bonsai the same size we bought it, we do not increase the size of the pot. Conversely, we buy a bonsai bowl just two centimeters wider than the previous one. We remove the plant from the pot with its small pieces of soil, we crush the outermost soil with our fingers to make it fall and then we cut the roots for about a third of the length, no more (the carmona does not like to lose too many roots during repotting) and we do the same with the crown, reducing the new shoots. Then we put the bonsai in the new pot (or in the previous one) filled with new soil, cover the roots well and press with two fingers, then wet and keep the plant constantly moist for the first the week
Carmona bonsai: its needs in brief
• Expose: it requires a lot of light, even two hours of direct sunlight in the morning is fine.
• Land: a specific soil for bonsai.
• Temperature: The minimum temperature tolerated is 13 ° C.
• Water: it wants constant watering but well-drained soil. We water when the soil is dry.
• Training: every 2 weeks in summer, once a month in winter, with liquid fertilizer for bonsai.
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