Oriental Tea Tree Indoor Bonsai (Carmona microphylla)

Oriental Tea Tree Bonsai - Carmona microphylla

Description
The Oriental Tea Tree is a simple and elegant bonsai ideal for growing indoors. This bonsai has pretty white flowers during summer months and lovely green, shiny and waxy foliage. The leaves are unusually shaped and well proportioned. The leaves grow in neat clusters allowing the flowers and branch structure to be highly visible. A highly appealing and artistic bonsai.

Care

  • Your bonsai is a living tree and with the right care it should live for many years. We hope that your bonsai brings pleasure to your home.
  • The Oriental Tea Tree (Carmona) likes a warm position. It does very well in warm lounges and kitchens.
  • During winter place your bonsai in the brightest place possible, trying to avoid hot objects like radiators and televisions. Good daylight is essential to the trees health. In summer time beware of hot south facing windows, a little sunlight morning or evening is beneficial, but too much and your bonsai could over heat.
  • To aid the health of your bonsai place it on a humidity tray. This will catch the water draining through the holes in the bottom of the bonsai pot. This water will create some humidity around your bonsai. Please take care that the tray does not overflow onto your furniture and make sure that your bonsai does not sit in the water.
  • Watering is the most important part of growing bonsai. Check your bonsai morning and evening to see if it needs watering. If the soil looks dark and feels wet then it will not require watering. Only when the soil looks light brown and feels damp will your bonsai require more water. Water thoroughly all over the soil until the water drains through into a tray or saucer. Never let your bonsai dry out and avoid keeping it constantly wet. The soil should go from wet to damp between watering. Remember the hotter the position the more water your bonsai will use. If the soil surface becomes hard during hot weather simply submerge your bonsai in water, to cover the soil surface, for about ten minutes.
  • To maintain the artistic grace and beauty of your bonsai it will need to be pruned regularly. Once new shoots have grown to about 2-3cm, using a sharp pair bonsai scissors carefully cut back to the first pair of new leaves.

39 thoughts on “Oriental Tea Tree Indoor Bonsai (Carmona microphylla)”

  • Carolyn butler
    Carolyn butler 23rd May 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Can I use any part of the Carmona microphylla for tea?

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct
      Bonsai Direct 23rd May 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Dear Carolyn,
      I do not believe that the Carmona microphylla is suitable for making tea.
      Kind regards
      Sarah

      Reply
  • Nicola Saville
    Nicola Saville 4th May 2015 at 2:51 pm

    What type for feed is recommended for this species?

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct
      Bonsai Direct 4th May 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Dear Nicola,
      Please use a general bonsai food for a Carmona (Oriental tea Tree).
      Other plant foods can be too strong and scorch the roots.
      Please see the link below:
      http://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/item/1851/liquid-bonsai-fertiliser--t92-?ref=3177
      kind regards
      Sarah - Bonsai Direct

      Reply
  • Lyn Burrow

    Does the. Carmona weep. There seems to be à sticky patch on the glass under the bonsai. I have spent a great deal of time examining the tree for an infestation but there are no greenfly on thé tree.

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Hi Lyn,
      I am not aware of the Carmona weeping, it could just be residue from the bonsai feed.
      If there was an aphid problem the stickiness would be on the leaves , so this is unlikely.
      Sorry that I cannot be of more help,
      kind regards
      Sarah - Bonsai Direct

      Reply
  • Natalia Dainton

    any rescue tips for bonsai that wasn't watered for 3 days and most of leaves are dry? is it dead now?or is it worth to keep watering- is there a chance for it to revive even when current leaves are gone? I am devastated, loved my tea tree..so mad at myself..

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Dear Natalie,
      If your bonsai has dried out it will drop all its leaves; it is trying to reduce its need for water and save the branches, trunk and roots.
      The fact that all the leaves have died does NOT mean that the tree will not recover.
      Please stand in water for 5 mins so that water covers the whole pot and then leave to drain.
      Then go back to checking for water daily; this does not mean you need to water daily. Only water when the soil is barely damp. Do not water if the soil is wet.
      The bonsai will need less water until it has new leaves on it!
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

      Reply
  • Fraser

    I recently just bought a tea tree and I was wondering how to set up the humidity tray? Also is misting the tree in cooler temperatures OK? Finally what is the best way to transport the bonsai?

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Simply place the drip tray beneath the bonsai. If it is deep then you could fill the gravel with gravel or small pebbles. You need to keep a small amount of water in the drip tray but ensure that the bonsai does not sit in the water. You can, of course, drain the tray if it gets too full. Misting the bonsai is great, but more important when the air is dry when the central heating is on. Please be aware that the Tea tree does not like cool temperatures. It likes a warm position. I hope this helps, kind regards Sarah - Bonsai Direct

      Reply
  • Fraser

    Thank you for your above help, a couple other things I'd like to check though are, how often should I be misting the tea tree? And will it cope with a couple of hours transporting via the train ? Thanks

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      I would mist the bonsai daily, especially when the central heating is on. This is in addition to keeping the soil damp.
      Simply water the bonsai before you travel and allow to drain; it will be fine travelling for a couple of days. :)

      Reply
  • Fraser

    Thanks again this is all really helpful, but finally can I ask, should I be feeding it weekly or fortnightly ? And if it's not really hot in my house do I need to mist it every day ? Thanks so much

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Please feed weekly, especially during the growing season, or follow the instructions on the bottle - it does depend upon the strength of the fertiliser.
      Less frequent misting will be fine if the air is not too dry.

      Reply
  • Fraser

    It's says mix 5ml of the feed with a litre of water, but surely I don't have to use a whole litre each time I feed it ? So can i make the litre up , feed appropriate and then just keep what's left and use it to feed it in another weeks time ? Or will the feed go off once mixed and left?

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Yes, that is totally correct. The left over feed can be used subsequent weeks. I hope this video helps:
      https://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/p/how-do-i-feed-my-bonsai-tree-
      kind regards
      Sarah

      Reply
  • Bryony

    Hi
    I was just wondering what the best type of soil to use for this bonsai is? The soil it's in just now holds the water and causes a small amount of mold to grow on top.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Hi Bryony,
      This depends a little on what variety of bonsai you have.
      You can mix your own soil by mixing John Innes compost, loam and horticultural grit but the proportions vary depending upon the variety of bonsai.
      If you just want a great bonsai soil which you can buy by the bag - we use the top quality Japanese Bonsai soil called Akadama.
      This is great because it has great drainage so does not become water logged, it is clean and easy to work with and encourages the firbrous feeder roots that you need to grow strong, healthy bonsai.
      https://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/item/1256/akadama-bonsai-potting-soil--t79-
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

      Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Sorry I did not read that you had a Carmona. You would need to use 60% John Innes no 2 with 40% fine grit if not using Akadama. This variety of bonsai has very fine roots so do not disturb the original root ball too much. It likes a warm position with an even temperature and likes to be just damp (not wet).

      Reply
  • Fraser

    I think I'm doing ok with looking after my Carmona Microphylla but I was just wondering why it seems to shed leaves quite often? It seems to be growing new ones but I think it's loosing them weekly but when I trimmed a branch I can see green inside so it must be alive? Any tips or suggestions to stop it shedding leaves? It may be a little cool or shaded but this is only temporary and it will be in its proper home in a month , will it tolerate this ? Thanks

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Hi Fraser,
      I suspect this is caused by the temperature being too cool. This bonsai likes a warm position with even temperature.
      The fact that it is growing is a great sign, of course it could be the old leaves dropping before a growth spurt. This is not uncommon at this time of year. It will not affect the new growing tips but the older leaves may go yellow and drop. If you think this is unlikely please could you let us know if the leaves change colour or show any other symptoms.
      many thanks
      Sarah - Bonsai Direct

      Reply
      • Fraser

        I think it may be a little cool but it is growing still so it might be managing , and the leaves seem to lose their gloss before they drop and some of the leaves have dark black markings on the underside of them , it seems to be smaller leaves that are dropping and the bigger ones and new leaves are staying attached , hope this helps in diagnosing a little more

        Reply
        • Bonsai Direct

          Usually if the leaves lose their lustre this is caused by being too cold. Do you have somewhere warmer? Please do not over-water, this variety of bonsai like to be just damp (not wet).

          Reply
          • Fraser

            I'll try find somewhere warmer and I won't water it too much then , don't think I have watered it too much , I hope it survives as it is a present for someone, although all this would have been solved if it hadn't arrived 2 months early, I had asked for it to be delivered from you on the 4th of April and I got it on the 4th of February instead :/

            Reply
  • Kathy

    Hi,I have a new carmona bonsai and some of the leaves are turning yellow and falling off,I have not seen any new growth yet,is it ok?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Hi Kathy,
      Is it the old leaves which are turning yellow or the new growing tips?
      If it is the old leaves, then I would not be overly concerned; it is probably just re-acclimatising to its new position.
      Please keep the soil damp (not wet). It will take a few weeks at this time of year to see any new growth,
      kind regards
      Bonsai Direct Team

      Reply
  • Mary Pat

    I was wondering if it was bad that my bonsai is having quite the growth spurt, shooting out a branch that is almost half as high as the current plant. It appears very healthy, should I prune it?
    Thanks,
    Mary Pat

    Reply
    • Bonsai Direct

      Hi Mary Pat,
      It is not uncommon as we enter spring for a bonsai to produce long and strong shoots.
      It is important to feed the bonsai with a bonsai fertiliser such as the one in the link below:
      https://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/item/1851/liquid-bonsai-fertiliser--t92-
      Yes, please do prune it back in shape. If you do not all the growth will be on the outside and the bonsai will start to lose the inner leaves.
      I am not sure what variety of bonsai you have but I hope these videos will help you with pruning:
      https://www.bonsaidirect.co.uk/p/pruning-bonsai
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

      Reply
  • Mary Pat

    Thank you, but mine is the tea tree carmona. I'll check out the video later
    MP

    Reply
  • Barbara

    Good afternoon.
    I have often considered acquiring a Bonsai, but i travel yearly out of the country for at least 2 wks at a time. Is there such a thing as a timed, self-watering device I could buy?
    I thank you.

    Reply
    • bonsaidirect

      Hi Barbara,
      There are definitely programmable watering systems on the market but I regret do not have any experience of them. They will be available if you search on the internet.
      I am sorry I cannot be of more help,
      kind regards
      Sarah

      Reply
  • Barbara

    Thank you, Sarah, for the information.

    Reply
  • Rob Wilkinson

    Hi,

    I have had my Carmona a couple years now with no issues until recently. Over the past couple of weeks a lot of the leaves have slowly turned yellow into brown. Any ideas?

    Reply
  • Bella

    Hi!
    I bought a Carmona Bonsai about two months ago. It is growing fine, but the buds don't want to bloom, they turn a bit yellow/brown and fall off...
    It's on the window, not getting direct sunlight, and I water it every day or two, depending on the soil. I put some water in the tray too, and use a flower fertilizer (bonsai fertilizer is not available) maybe twice a week.
    Do you know why the buds don't want to bloom?
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • bonsaidirect

      Dear Bella,
      This could be the fertiliser. Some fertilisers are too strong. A bonsai feed would be preferable.
      I will also check with my colleagues to see if they can think of any other reason.
      kind regards
      Sarah

      Reply
  • Josh

    Hi I got a carmona bonsai and it seems to be doing well it is in the warmest part of the house how essential is it to be right behind a window to get light because I have it on a table in which it gets light but not direct. Plus very small black spots are occurring on a couple of leaves why does this mean and should I remove them leaves. Cheers.

    Reply
    • bonsaidirect

      Hi Josh,
      As long as it gets light it should be fine; it does not need direct sunlight.
      if the leaves start to yellow then this will indicate not enough light.
      The black spots are probably just a sign of old leaves.
      I hope this helps
      kind regards
      Sarah

      Reply
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