Carmona is a shrub of tropical origin, it comes from China, where it has also been cultivated as bonsai for centuries; the most used species are carmona microphylla and carmona macrophlylla, which differ only in the size of the foliage. These are evergreen shrubs, densely branched, the stems already present at a young age a twisted course and a gray and cracked bark, which also give the specimens of a few years the appearance of an ancient shrub. The foliage is small in size, dark green, bright, slightly waxy and leathery; in spring it produces small white star-shaped flowers, followed by small red fruits, which become black with the passage of time, containing seeds. In Europe the carmona is cultivated mainly as bonsai, and in particular in the apartment.
Plants of the genus Carmona are also called ehreties, so we can also find information about them as ehretia mycrophylla, or ehretia macrophylla.
The appearance of the salmon makes them very suitable for bonsai cultivation, the small leaves, the flowers and the fruits of small dimensions, make them very suitable even for beginners. In fact, however, despite being easily available on the market, they are not cultivated as easily, and quickly a lush carmona in the nursery becomes a dry plant without leaves in the house.
The main problem with these plants is due to humidity; in nature, the carmone develop in areas with a cool and humid climate, which presents abundant rainfall and little changes in temperature. In the apartment instead we generally have a very dry climate, especially when the heating system or air conditioner is active. Furthermore, during the summer the temperature changes between day and night can be very high.
To best cultivate our carmona it is advisable to keep it indoors only during the cold months, and move it outdoors during the summer; we will choose a well-lit place, but avoiding areas directly affected by sunlight or windswept.
Throughout the year we must try to keep the soil moist, but without drenching it excessively and leaving stagnant water in the saucer; the best method to water the salmon is surely the immersion method: get a large basin, place our pot on the bottom and fill it with water up to the edge of the pot; when the surface of the growing substrate will be damp we can remove the jar from the basin and let it drain for a few minutes, before repositioning it in its tray.
From March to October we supply fertilizer every 10 days, using a halved quantity compared to that recommended on the package; in winter we fertilize only once a month.
Carmona - Ehretia microphylla: The problems of the carmona
Generally the carmona plants cultivated by the hobbyists tend to show the same symptoms often: after a short time the foliage withers and dries, and the plant dies.
This symptom may, however, be the manifestation of different problems; often it is a water problem, the soil has always been kept wet, soaked with water, and the root system is emaciated by asphyxia.
The same identical symptoms can manifest instead due to a lack of watering, with a dry and dry soil.
At the same time, the salmon often die due to over-fertilizing, or due to the use of excessively concentrated or non-specific bonsai fertilizers.
We remind you that the best way to get healthy and lush plants is to always respect the climatic and water requirements.
Often, in addition to cultural problems, cultivation in an excessively dry climate can cause the onset of cochineal salmon, which lurks on the underside of the leaves, thus escaping our sight; periodically it is advisable to check under the leaves, especially on the central veins, the presence of these insects, which must be quickly eradicated using appropriate insecticides; it is important to check the fowl often because if you take care of them as soon as a parasite appears you have a limited use of chemicals; if instead we try to cure the presence of a parasite already widespread on the plant we can cause damage to the foliage caused by the chemical product used to kill the parasite, with consequent deleterious effects for the entire plant.