Carmona is a very beautiful ornamental plant and is ideal for growing bonsai. The tree is quite unpretentious and well suited for people who do not have experience in growing single compositions.
What it is?
Bonsai is called the popular Japanese technology, which is to create miniature copies of different trees using home plants. Formed in this way, they bring Asian flavor to the room and transform the interior. Moreover, bonsai creates a state of mental equilibrium among those present and a special psychological microclimate. The presence of such a plant in the room promotes relaxation and provides optimal conditions for reflection and meditation.
According to Eastern philosophy, a bonsai personifies the symbol of life and helps maintain faith in the living essence of trees, positioning them as the foundation of the universe.
Bonsai technique is very popular all over the world and is ideal for creating a natural corner in urban apartments. Many types of plants are used as the subject of the composition, but carmona is considered the most suitable of them. This is primarily due to the morphological characteristics of the plant, namely: a powerful trunk and fast-growing decorative foliage. In addition, the tree quickly acquires the desired shape and forgives mistakes in the care of beginning flower growers.
Carmona, or tea tree, is an evergreen shrub belonging to the family of borage. The plant received its official name in honor of the German scientist Georg Eret, who discovered and described it. The native land of the species is southeast Asia, where in a natural environment the tree reaches a height of several meters. In room conditions, the plant barely grows to 50 cm.
Carmona has a thickened, bark-covered trunk that, in adult plants, cracks and makes them look like large trees. Glossy leaves on small petioles are oval and reach 2 cm in length. Thin villi are present on the upper part of the leaf plates, and due to their shape and dark green color resembling boxwood, the plant received a second name - boxworm erethia.
Flowering of the tree occurs twice a year: in June and December, but when creating especially favorable conditions it can continue all year round. Blooming Carmona is covered with small white flowers that exude a pleasant aroma. Fruits are represented by round yellow or red inedible berries that remain on the branches for a long time.
More than 60 types of pockets grow in the natural environment, but only two are used for indoor cultivation.
- The first of them - small-leaved carmona (lat. Ehretia Buxifolia) is characterized by somewhat slow growth, too dark leaves and shade tolerance.
- The second type - large-leaved carmona (lat. Carmona Macrophylla), quickly builds up green mass and lends itself well to crown formation. For the bonsai technique, both types are used, however, for beginner gardeners, the second is most preferred. This is due to its accelerated growth, in which a person will quickly see the result of his labors.
How to grow?
Caring for karmona at home includes choosing a soil, watering, fertilizing and replanting a plant, as well as observing the conditions of light, humidity and temperature conditions.
When growing pockets, it is better to use a special soil for bonsai, which includes Japanese clay, organic compost, pumice and volcanic lava. If you can’t get such a mixture, you can use a home-made substrate. It is prepared from burnt clay chips, peat or compost, large river sand and fine gravel, taken in equal parts. The resulting mixture should be friable and neutral acid, with a limited organic content.
Planting a plant in garden soil due to its too high density is not recommended.
Temperature and humidity
Carmona does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature. The optimal thermal mode for the plant will be +20.24 degrees Celsius, which is recommended to be maintained all year round. In summer, the tree can be put on the balcony, placing it away from drafts and direct rays, from which it experiences stress and discards foliage. The tree needs daily irrigation with warm water and constant cleaning of leaves from dust.
During the heating season, a tray with wet pebbles or expanded clay should be placed near the plant. You can hang wet towels on heating radiators, and periodically turn on a humidifier near the plant.
Carmona needs adequate lighting and may begin to fade from a lack of light. The daylight hours should be at least 12 hours, so in winter it is recommended to use a fluorescent lamp. In summer, the plant needs to provide diffuse lighting, avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
Carmona needs regular watering and does not tolerate prolonged drought. The plant should be moistened immediately after drying of the upper centimeter layer of the substrate. In this case, it is necessary to equip good drainage and ensure unhindered outflow of excess fluid. In the summer months it is allowed to immerse the pot in a basin with water.
However, during such irrigation, measures should be taken to ensure that the upper part of the substrate does not float away. To do this, use a fine mesh, which wrap the pot. After 1-2 minutes, the pot is placed on a pallet, and after another 20 excess fluid is drained from it.
They feed bonsai from pockets with solid mineral fertilizers, which is associated with high sensitivity of the roots. The introduction of additives is performed from March to October with a frequency of once every 2 weeks during the growing season, and once every 6 weeks - during the non-growing season. Moreover, in early spring, emphasis is placed on phosphorus-containing preparations, and closer to autumn they switch to potash fertilizers. The use of nitrogen-containing complexes in spring is not recommended. Excess nitrogen leads to the rapid growth of the crown and complicates its formation.
Bonsai is transplanted in the spring every 2-3 years, while removing no more than 20% of the root processes. A transplant is often not recommended, which is associated with a long restoration of the roots. It is impossible to fertilize the plant within a month after the event.
Carmona easily takes the desired shape. To do this, it is enough to shorten the central stem in time and monitor the deviation of the lateral branches. The more often cropping will be performed, the thicker and more interesting the trunk will look. In one pruning, no more than 2-3 leaves are removed, pinching the growth points in accordance with the desired shapes.
The main formation of the crown is performed in spring and summer, during the period of active growth of green mass. Point shape adjustments can be performed all year round: the plant does not fall into a state of rest and tolerates winter and autumn pruning well. The main thing is not to forget to treat the slices with an antiseptic, such as chopped charcoal or garden var, and try not to use a wire that hurts the trunk and branches.
Beginners often complain that bonsai begin to fall off the leaves. The main reasons for this reaction are:
- excessive moisture or, on the contrary, lack of watering;
- the air in the room is too dry;
- the presence of drafts and daily temperature differences;
- attack of pests, which are often spider mites and whiteflies.
If the plant is experiencing one of these problems, it is necessary to eliminate the flaws in the care, spray it with “Epin” and destroy the pests with insecticidal agents.
Useful tips for the care and formation of bonsai see below.