Fukien Tea in a Non-Tropical Zone?

Hello Bonsai Mirai community,

I made the rookie mistake of acquiring a Fukien Tea tree while living in Washington, DC (Zone 7A). We have nasty winters so I am keeping it inside under a fluorescent grow light and watering appropriately until it is warm enough to put it outside. The leaves still seem healthy but I am concerned that the flower buds are dropping dead without blooming first.

Is there any hope of keeping it alive until spring?

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Hi @Rob
It looks healthy from here.
Plants will often set themselves up to flowers 6 months before you see the bloom. In that time there are any number of factors which may cause them to adopt. It takes a lot of stored energy for them to flower, so it usually only happens when they are happy or they think they are going to die.

Thanks Andy, that’s very helpful.

I kept a fukien indoors for years, without a grow light. The leaves were a little bigger than I wanted, but the tree did well and grew strong.

Watch the watering and don’t sweat it too much. If the tree was outdoors and you recently moved it in, it will likely shed a bunch of leaves, and grow new ones better suited for indoor light. The older ones will have a cuticle that’s too thick for indoor light. So don’t worry if it does drop leaves, just adjust the watering appropriately. Make sure the light isn’t creating too much heat. Fukiens do like it on the cooler side.

If you fertilize, go with a lighter dose. You aren’t watering as much indoors, so it takes longer to wash out from ther pot.

They are very forgiving, but are slow growers. I’m sure it will be fine.

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Thanks el_cheezer. By the way, it has a couple hard roots sticking slightly above the soil. I could be wrong but I suspect this is because they have filled the capacity of the pot and have nowhere else to go. Could that mean it needs to be repotted in the spring?

I would say that unless you are losing percolation, you want to restyle or really change the aesthetic, or you believe you have root issues, don’t mess with it. You want the tree to fill the pot, and unless it becomes detrimental to the tree, you let the restriction from the pot give you the fine foliage and ramification to refine your tree.

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I have a fukien tea in potting soil, indoors, what are people using for potting media?

So, @Rob , what was the verdict?