Bonsai trees

The Philippine Tea

Published: 11/11/2007 (mm/dd/yyyy)

Latin name

Carmona microphylla (Ehretia buxifolia)

Common name

Philippine Tea, Fujian (fu-kien) Tea


This evergreen bush is a one of those plants which at first appearance very much look like trees. They originate from the east being found in such countries as India and China which can make them problematic to grow in cooler climates but definitely not impossible, hence them being classed as an indoor bonsai in temperate regions. It is recommended to grow it indoor during the whole year if the climate is temperate. Small leaves and it's integrated shape make it impossible to use other forming techniques but shearing. Forming with wires is not necessary at all. The tree is characterised by white blooms which grow between shiny leafs during the Spring and Summer. When the blooming season ends and everything goes fine, your bonsai should produce berry-looking fruit, which change their colour from green to red while maturing. We should also mention that this plant's correct name is Ehretia buxifolia, but bonsai hobbyists know it as the synonym; Carmona microphylla.
This plant is not ideal for novices to the bonsai hobby as they can be unpredictable so attempting to grow these should only be undertaken after gaining experience with other species of trees.




Light: Bear in mind that this bonsai requires a bright place, but it should be secured from the hot Summer sun.

Temperature and exposure

The range between 15°C - 24°C is the most suitable. Fluctuations in the temperature can lead to problems so try to keep a constant temperature at all times.

Pruning and forming

It is best to prune prior to the growing season and select new shoots that possess at least 6-8 leaf nodes. These shoots can then be trimmed back to the first two leaf nodes.
Soil and replanting

Repotting should be done every 2-nd year early in the Spring. Use soil which consists of one parts of argillaceous rock, 2 parts of peat, and 2 parts of sand or granulate clay.

Watering and fertilization

Maintain a good watering of the soil while the plant grows. It is recommended to lower the frequency and amount of watering during Winters. Bear in mind that the bonsai must not get totally dry. Fertilization should start in the early Spring once per 2 weeks. Fertilize it once per 4-6 weeks during Winter. The level of watering should be observed closely, a sure sign of overwatering is when the leaves can fade to a yellow colouration and are dropped by the plant.


Anytime from seeds planted in greenhouse or similar constructions. It is also possible to grow a new bonsai if you have green cuttings which develop during Spring and Summer.


Carmona is suitable for all styles and sizes.


Philippine Tea bonsai Philippine Tea bonsai, picture 2

This is a place for pictures of real Ficus bonsai trees. If you have any, send us them and they will be published with your copyright and link to your site if necessary.

This article has been viewed 20987 time(s).

We recommend you to visit: