Red Japanese Maple

ytnok(6)June 5, 2007

My wife just bought me a red Japanese Maple, about 9 inches tall in a banzai pot. It was very healthy when I got it and it still looks healthy although it is showing brown spots on the leaves and a couple are turning toward a shade of green.

I've never done this before and have idea on watering or light. It's on my kitchen table next to a large window getting a full day of indirect light. I water when it starts to feel dry.

Any ideas?

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Yup, a few. Maple trees belong outdoors for life and will die quickly indoors (it's about more than just wattage of light and water) - it's not optional. Indirect light won't do it either, though when you put it outside now, start off in light shade (and in fact, Japanese maple can stay there just as happily as other trees are in full sun), and water only when 1/4 to 1/3 of the mix is dry. However... you will mostly have a stick in a pot for a long, long time unless you treat it like a real bonsai (not banzai!) in training, and that means get it out of the pot, into the ground (a gritty-ish location is better than a rich loamy one made for roses) and water well for this summer, though within reason (that's about frequency, not amount). Let it grow for a couple of years, then you'll be able to chop it right back, watch new smaller branches and foliage grow out and begin training it for shape, etc. Your best bet for more learning is a local bonsai club, and lots of reading.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 7:25PM
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Thanks, that actually makes it easier since I really want an outdoor Jap Red Maple. It looks good right now while we're selling the house so when we move at the end of the summer I'll transplant it at my new location.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 12:28PM
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It may not wait that long, and you're cheating it of all the goodies it needs in summer to survive the winter. Get another plant to help sell the house!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 4:14PM
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I think Japanese maples are more foregiving than lucy is making them out to be. I bought a Japanese maple at Wal-mart 7 years ago for a dollar. As you might guess it wasn't well taking care of and they were trying to get rid of it. I took it home and potted it into a 12 inch pot. At the time I lived in an apartment and I left it on the balcony for the winter. Next spring it leafed out and I removed 2 dead twigs. I fed it monthly with a balanced fertilizer and didn't allow it too grow to tall. I wasn't ready to put it into a bonsai pot yet but I didn't want to trunk chop it either. So then I moved to my first house that fall. I decided to put it into the ground for a while. I hardly did anything to it for the next few years. I recently moved again and I dug it up and put it into a trash bag. Do to all the unpacking and other landscaping problems I've had, it was forgotten about again. So the roots sat in the trash bag all winter freezing and thawing and this spring it budded out. I finally put it into the ground and it looks better than ever. I plan on taking it out when I pick a pot and having a nice bonsai. My point is I couldn't kill this Japanese maple if I tried. So if you want to take the Japanese maple with you when you move, I say go ahead and good luck.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 10:43AM
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HELP HELP I started to grow red maple bonsai seeds but none of them are growing. I germinated the seeds like the kit said to. I moved them to the pot and dirt so far no sprouts what DO I DO!?!?!?!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 11:55PM
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