Fukien Tea Bonsai Losing Leaves (Explained)

If you ask why your Fukien tea bonsai losing leaves, we will help you find the answer. In this article, we will describe the main characteristics of this plant, the necessary climatic and pedological factors of cultivation, and care measures during the growing season.

After explaining all the basic requirements this plant needs, we will point out the problems that growers often face. Due to inevitable mistakes during the vegetation period, the leaves may fall off. We will also do our best to answer the most frequently asked questions about this culture.

All About Fukien Tea Bonsai

The name Bonsai means trees in a pot. The design and cultivation of bonsai require a lot of horticultural skills, but there is also a great emphasis on the artistic preferences of the grower themselves. The main goal is to grow miniature trees that usually thrive in average size in nature.

1. History

The purpose of growing bonsai and decorative properties is also to establish a balance between man and nature. Succeeding requires a lot of care and attention, but the well-deserved reward is inner peace. The Bonsai plant was not popularized until the 14th century, when it became part of Japanese culture. In the 18th century, this tree was at its peak and was highly prized. Over the years, various techniques have been developed, and strict rules of cultivation and shaping have been established. Today, bonsai is a world-renowned horticultural art.

2. Grow methods

fukien tea bonsai dry leaves

Bonsai can be grown in several ways:

  • From seed
  • Cuttings
  • By extracting a suitable specimen from nature.

Each of these methods has certain advantages and disadvantages, and the best way is the one that suits you best.

From Seed

Seed cultivation as one of the oldest cultivation methods is still used today. Namely, it is a method that is long-lasting because it takes about ten years to achieve a natural bonsai.


In the method of growing from cuttings, one branch is separated from the parent plant, from which an entirely new plant is formed. A technique called margoting involves a process in which we select the most suitable part of a plant’s branch, which we then revive until a new separate tree is created.

Extracting a suitable specimen from nature

Extracting plants from nature is a technique that is not recommended for beginners due to its complexity. An adequate specimen is found in nature, most often a stunted plant due to difficult living conditions. This plant is carefully removed and planted in a shallow pot.

It is essential to mention that not every plant is a bonsai. In the true sense of the word, a bonsai is just a plant that appears as a dwarf of the old plant. Natural bonsai plants are miniature copies of real plants from nature. If you have not grown bonsai plants before, it is recommended for you as a beginner to buy pre-planted bonsai in a pot. It is advisable to look for additional literature to provide all the care your favorite plant needs.

3. Placement and Temperature

The Fukien Tea bonsai is the most often bonsai that is grown indoors. According to the characteristics of the enclosed space, you can guess which factors are in question. Namely, Fukien tea bonsai requires an ambient temperature of around 70 °F  or 20 °C. This bonsai can also be grown outdoors if located in warm regions.

It does not tolerate low temperatures, so you should keep the room temperature above average. If we grow it in the open, we must pay great attention to frosts. This bonsai requires a large amount of light for its growth and development. It is recommended to grow on windows that are lit all day. If we cannot provide that much sunlight, we can install additional light lamps.

4. Watering

Fukien tea bonsai is very sensitive to water surplus or deficit. If there is a lack of water, the plant will develop much more slowly and not be decorative enough. Other problems can occur if we overwater the bonsai, such as leaves withering. Keeping the humidity constant but not overdoing it with water is necessary.

5. Fertilizing

Fukien tea bonsai responds well to organic solid and liquid fertilizers. It is recommended to feed it during spring, summer, and autumn while going into a dormant phase during the winter. It is best to look in the store for special fertilizers made exclusively for bonsai plants because of their composition.

6. Pruning and wiring

The Fukien tea bonsai tolerates pruning very well. We achieve that beautiful shape and irresistible canopy with the pruning method itself. Pruning bonsai is quite a demanding job looking for great skill. When pruning, we need to pay attention to our tools to be adequate and sharp, not to damage the plants. This miniature plant requires tenderness with every touch.

7. Repotting

It is recommended that Fukien tea bonsai be transplanted every two years into a new pot. Care should be taken when transplanting and pruning the roots as the plant has a sensitive root. The new dirt should have good water-air properties and organic matter. The best period for transplanting is in the spring.

General Information About The Fukien Tea Bonsai Tree

Fukien tea bonsai can look different. While the flowers are white, the leaves are:

  • Dark green
  • Round
  • Great
  • Tiny white dots at the top of the leaf
  • Fine hairs at the base of the leaf

The fruit is:

  • Round
  • Small
  • Green, red, or black berries

The Fukien tea bonsai, in addition to its decorative role, is also used to make tea. The leaves help treat coughs, diarrhea, cramps, and dysentery. The bark is also used as an antidote and cleanses the body.

Why Fukien Tea Bonsai Losing Leaves?

fukien tea bonsai losing leaves

There are many reasons why Fukien tea bonsai leaves may fall off. The most basic reasons include watering, light, humidity, or disease. If it is a disease, you should try to act as soon as possible and save your dear plant. But first, ask yourself if it could be any of the other reasons.

According to the producers of these trees, the main reasons for this problem can be divided into three categories:

  • Too much or too little water
  • Not enough light
  • Low humidity

1. Too Much or Too Little Water

All plants require a certain amount of water for their growth and development. Bonsai requires moderate humidity during all its life processes. If you overdo it with water, the plant’s root will not be able to breathe oxygen, so that you will suffocate it. After the plant cannot absorb enough oxygen, the leaves will fall off. This is the most common reason for falling leaves in bonsai.

Signs of excessive watering Fukien tea bonsai are:

  • The fallen leaves are soft and floppy
  • The leaves form blisters and lesions on the underside
  • The tree begins to rot

All the above reasons are the reason for excessive water absorption in the plant resulting in cell rupture. Eventually, the whole plant will decompose even though it is alive.

Another common problem with falling Bonsai leaves is a lack of water. A plant that grows in real natural environments has a larger surface area to collect water. Namely, there is a certain amount of water in the pots in which bonsai are grown in the house.

The bonsai fights for that amount of water with other factors in the room, such as humidity and heat. Not every home has the same microclimatic characteristics of cultivation. If we notice that the fallen bonsai leaves look very dry and crunchy, we should water them more often because they lack water.

2. Not Enough Light

Another reason for the fall of Fukien tea bonsai leaves is too little light in the room. Sometimes it isn’t easy to achieve an ideal environment for growing plants if it is grown in residential buildings. This bonsai seeks a lighted climate where it is located. Eight hours of light during the day are required for average growth and development. If we cannot comply with that, it would be desirable to install additional light lamps for the plant to provide enough daylight. It is advisable to turn the container around so that all sides get enough light.

3. Low Humidity

Also, another common reason for leaf fall is too low humidity in the room. Fukien Tea is a tropical plant accustomed to excessive humidity, and due to lack of it, it can shed its leaves.

Try to spray your favorite plants with clean water once or twice a day to provide enough moisture in the air. You can do this with ordinary hand sprayers or clean bottles left over from the glass cleaner.


Q: Why are the leaves of my Bonsai tree falling off?

A: The main reasons for the loss of Bonsai leaves are inadequate care measures during cultivation. This can occur due to overwatering or underwatering, low humidity, insufficient light during the day, various plant diseases, and the like. Based on the fallen leaves, you can identify the problem.

Q: How do you know if you’re overwatering your bonsai tree?

A: Excessive wetting of bonsai can cause suffocation of the roots. Due to the lack of oxygen, the plant rejects the leaves, and if it is a more extended period of wetting, the plant itself may die. The symptoms are best observed if the fallen leaves look swollen from water.

Q: How often should you water Fukien tea Bonsai?

A: Fukien tea bonsai likes moderate soil moisture. The best results are achieved if we water it, and wait a few days for the soil to dry (but not entirely). It is crucial to choose the right moment to avoid various problems caused by excess or lack of moisture.

Q: Can Fukien tea grow indoors?

A: Yes, the Fukien tea bonsai can thrive indoors. It is necessary to pay attention that the temperature in the room is around 70 °F (20 °C), that it is in a sunny place, and that we water it enough. It is necessary to ensure no sudden drops in room temperature.


After reading the article Fukien tea bonsai losing leaves, you could get possible reasons for your problem. We tried to describe the life cycle of Fukien tea bonsai and familiarize themselves with this bonsai’s main characteristics according to the external environment.

In the part of the article entitled Why Fukien Tea Bonsai Losing Leaves? we have dealt in detail with the most common cause of bonsai a leaf fall. We tried to present the problem, symptoms, and ways to solve them. We hope you find them helpful information and help you save your favorite plants.


Care guide for the Carmona Bonsai tree (Fukien tea)

Bonsai Care for Fukien Tea (Carmona microphylla)

Leave a Comment