Following these forums and others advise I defoliated my Fukien tea 100%, every leaf. The tree is very healthy and full of new huge leaves. I left it in the same spot where it gets a couple of hours of direct sunlight and indirect bright light the rest of the day. I could defóliate again because the tree is very healthy but I’d like to hear first if anyone has had experience with this species reducing its leaves.
I am curious who recommended total defoliation?
Ok, I cannot find a direct quote on this site but it is recommended as a leaf reduction technique on many sites for healthy trees. Here is one from dlnursery:
“ When you defoliate cut every leaf off, leaving any leaves, especially the young tips, will encourage them to grow instead of others re-sprouting. You should cut at the base of the leaf, leaving some of the leaf stem. This will protect the dormant bud at the base of the leaf stem.”
A few months ago my Fukien Tea also shot out a flush of really large leaves. But it wasn’t a result of defoliation. With mine, a few months went by without me fertilizing the tree. I just completely forgot. I realized this when I noticed it had been a while since it pushed out any new foliage. So I hit it with some liquid fertilizer. A few days later the growth started to push. And nearly all of the new growth was abnormally large leaves. Different situation than your tree, but same result. I wonder if there is a common thread here.
I should note that my Fukien Tea is one of a few trees I keep indoors under grow lights.