small tropical evergreen plant or shrub, native to southern Asia, also called the del Fukien or the Korean tea, in nature it reaches 10 m in height. It has dark green, shiny oval leaves; small white flowers in spring, followed in late summer by rounded green fruits, which turn purple when ripe; the bark gray-brown, smooth, and becomes wrinkled in the plants of many years. This plant is widely used as a bonsai, having very small leaves and soon reaching the appearance of an ancient tree, with twisted branches and wrinkled bark; it needs a lot of care in cultivation, being the climate of the countries of origin very different from the European one.
Pruning: it can be pruned all year round, by topping the shoots when they have reached 5-6 pairs of leaves, leaving only 2-3 pairs; the wire can be applied from March to October, but it is better not to leave it too long so as not to cause scars on the bark.
Exposure: loves very bright positions, but not the direct rays of the sun. In hot weather, it is best to place it outside in partial shade; in winter it must be hospitalized at home, as it fears the cold very much, possibly near a window. In spring, it can be exposed to the sun’s rays for one hour a day, towards evening.
the carmona native to tropical climate areas, therefore it loves very humid environments, for this reason it is good to water it often, however waiting for the soil to dry slightly between one watering and the other to avoid water stagnation. To increase the ambient humidity, on the hottest days and in winter, it is advisable to nebulize the leaves with distilled water every day. For the same reason, in winter it would be better to place the carmona away from heat sources, which excessively dry the environment. Add bonsai fertilizer to the watering every 20-30 days in the summer, more rarely during the cold season. Avoid the excesses of fertilizers that can cause spots and yellowing of the leaves, it is advisable to halve the usual doses of fertilizer and to double the frequency of administration, or it is possible to use slow release fertilizers.
Soil: Any well-drained bonsai soil is fine, but we can make an excellent compost by mixing peat, sand and clay in equal parts. Repot every two years or so, preferably in late winter, just before vegetative growth.
Multiplication: occurs by seed, using the fruits of the previous year in spring. Or it can be multiplied by cutting in spring and summer, with about 5-7 cm long cuttings, which are to be planted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, to be kept humid and sheltered for about a year; the seedlings are repotted individually the following year in spring. Pests and Diseases: the carmona suffers a lot from excess water and also lack, which quickly cause yellowing of the leaves. It is attacked by cochineal, aphids and red spider mites; in these cases it is preferable to try to remove the insects before proceeding with the spraying with insecticides as the leaves of the carmona are particularly sensitive to the chemicals that could stain them.
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