Being the family bonsai expert, I have just (ten minutes ago) received a small fukien tea tree to take care of for my sister in law while she moves. I have skipped most of the discussions about fukien tea because I don't have one, so I just looked up on the Empire care guide and it says it should be 70° ot warmer. I know I should say 20 C, but the care guide says 70.
Usually I think I remember people saying they should stay outdoors, but right now it is significantly lower than 20/70. Should I bring it in?
The care guide on BE just dont work up here. I have failed myself and seen a lot of failures in real life. So maybe I am one of them that should not answer? But whom should then?
I have a few teories I want to explore in the future. I share just to give you posibility to try yourself, dont know if it works.
Looking at fukien natural habitat it seems like humidity is the biggest issue. When it gets cold outside, heater kicks in, indoor humidity drops to as low as 20%. That is not healthy for a plant that likes high humidity.
Humidity is measured in relative humidity. When temperature drops the humidity rises as a consequence, all other factors the same. So to me it seems like chilling it down to the lovest temperature within the trees acceptance should be the way to go. Not to lovest comfort level, but really the lovest it can tollerate without dieing.
For many species the lovest temperature for survival is 0c, the frost point. I dont know if that is the case for fukien. But I will try a fukien in 10c next winter, if succeed I will try 5c next year.
There are another factor that plays a big role in tree health. That is the natural balance between light and heat. All over the world there are a relation between sun awailability and heat. When a plant gets to hot compared to the awailable light they grow much less dense, reaching for the light. This is called elongation and weakens the tree. So if the tree is kept at higher temperature than the suggested, it will need additional light. Obviously more light will dry up the air a little bit more. The solution to this is terrarium. I grow successfully several non tree species from the natural distribution of fukien in terrarium. That is plants that like fukiens dont survive in living room conditions. In my amateur brain it seems logic that if it works for other plants from the same habitat it would work for fukiens as well. Actually the only long term healthy fukien I have seen is grown in a high light, high humidity grow temt that is kept slightly colder than room temperature in winter and outdoors in summer.
Now, I dont have the space for another terrarium or grow tent, so I will try the other option, just to learn. If you want as well, please tell us how it works.