The word bonsai is a combination of two words "bon" and "sai". It simply means "a plant in a tray". Carmona is a flowering plant of the borage family. Carmona species are often used in bonsai.
Short history of Carmona bonsai
Carmona is also called Fukien Tea. It is tropical plant native to Southern China, named after Fuijan province. It is preferably kept indoors because it is not very hardy. The plant is difficult to find as well.
General description of Carmona sub-species
CARMONA MYCROPHILLA is a plant of small size and thin bark. It has beautiful tiny flowers which later turn to berries. The leaves are small, shiny, and dark green. They are covered with tiny hairs.
CARMONA RETUSA is evergreen shrub to small tree. It has a thick trunk. Its flowers are white and bloom almost all year round. Retusa also grows red, green or black fruit. Leaves are of small oval shape and dark green colour.
Leaves and trunk
Leaves are tiny, oval, shiny and dark green. Trunk is of grey-green colour. As a young tree Carmona has light brown bark, but within years it cracks.
Flowers and fruit
Carmona bonsai trees produce beautiful miniature white blooms which later turn to black berries.
Tolerance to sun
For the most of the year this bonsai is kept indoors because it prefers temperate climate and heat. The plant will thrive as long as it gets enough sun, water, and humidity. Do not keep Carmona bonsai in shade. It prefers luminous position. The temperature should not fall below 15 degrees because Carmona bonsai does not like cold weather. If you decide to bring the plant inside after keeping it outdoors during summer, you should do that very carefully and avoid shocking the plant. You may place it in cooler temperature, for example on the porch, and only then move it indoors.
Repotting is needed every two years in spring as it is the beginning of growing season. It is fine to use basic bonsai soil mix for repotting. Soil should stay wet for long.
During spring, summer, and autumn period water Carmona bonsai when the soil becomes dry. Probably you will need to water it every other week. During winter Carmona needs feeding once a month.
Pests and diseases
Carmona bonsai leaves may turn yellow due to over watering and constantly wet soil. It is rather resistant to insects and diseases. Yet sometimes fungi can be a problem, thus you may use organic insecticidal soap to deal with it.
Shaping fukien tea bonsai
You can do pruning all year round as long as the tree is in healthy condition. The plant can be pruned into desired shape without using wiring techniques. Simply pinch new shoots when they appear in undesirable places. This is called pinch and grow method.
You can use any style of Bonsai for Carmona regardless of size.