My $12.50 Ukigumo

blue_velvet_elvisJune 14, 2007

I was at Lowe's today and was supposed to be picking up a plant for a friends wedding gift when I saw a Japanese Maple in the 75% off bin. The poor guy is raggedy, his leaves are dry and dead in spots and he was in quite a need of a serious drink of water.

Now what? I have it at home, what should I do to make it happy and comfortable in it's new surroundings? Pink leaves? Really? The picture on the Lowe's tag shows a bit of pink but nothing like what I saw on some image searches. What soil will it like? Full shade? Good or bad? I've only ever had regular old midwestern maple trees in my yard.

Helpful advise, pointers and tips would be much appreciated.

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myersphcf(z6a IL)

mine weathered both the winter and freeze fine ot was surprisingly hardy ... it should be in mostly shade and filtered sun with most sand dusted JM's it will need some sun to show best but with that sun it will burn ,,hummmm,, anyway keep it in a protected area out of wind summer ( also subject to leaf wind burn ) and winter . Since it is severly "LOWES" stressed... following the above is even more important if you want to have it past this summer !! David

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 6:58PM
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I have a lower shelter section of yard that needs color. It has a regular maple to shade it and is fenced by a tall privacy fence. It would have little to no sun there. Bad spot? It would be protected though.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:13PM
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It is difficult to say just how it will look in a spot like that, but it sounds like to me you will have more of a whitish variegation rather than pinkish in that shady spot.

Keep in mind that the variegation is usually only prominent in the spring and on older wood. New growth will usually have splotchy green leaves, while in spring you can have almost entire leaves white with pink intermixed.

Personally, I would leave it potted up in a shady spot for the summer so that you can determine how it will do before planting it out. 'Ukigumo' is normally considered a collecter's item as it is sometimes a bit finnicky. But at that price, it is well worth taking a chance on.

If you leave it potted up, it will need a decent amount of water. My 1 gal maples need watering daily, but I am in the southeast where it is usually in the 90's during summer. If you plant it out, it will need much less.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:45PM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

I am not sure how well it would do with little or no sun...if you are space "challenged" or optimal space "challenged" maybe you should containerize it and move it around til you find a place you like and plant it out next spring ...that way you'd also be more assured of it making it through the winter by bringing it in your garage this winter ...just a thought David

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:49PM
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I've repotted it and it's under our pair of oak trees. Will it be happier in dabbled morning or afternoon sun? I'd never thought about having a tree in a container before.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 12:27PM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

morn. sun is usually best but mine gets mostly aft sun and is doing fine ...i think the amount of direct sun and how hot your area of the country is in summer is more injurious to it. David

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 2:03PM
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I've actually moved my little guy out in a bit of direct hot sun to test its tolerance. I'm in the southeast where it is dangerous to do this, but so far a direct morning sun until a little after lunch followed by filtered shade seems to be the way to go.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:46PM
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As my gardening isn't my day job, Mr Floating Cloud must stay whereever he's put all day. There isn't any money in the budget for plant day care lol I've been trying to watch the sun pattern where he is. Yesterday it didn't help as it became overcast during the late afternoon. It is near where I sit to stay out of the sun in the late afternoon though, so hopefully his spot is as good as mine.

Now, to his leaves. I'd say 90% of them are damaged. Most of them are dried and dead on about 1/2 the leaves. I crumbled off the dead parts, is that ok? Too late I guess if it's not. The branches look good and strong and are a very nice color though.

Should I fertilize? Use any miracle gro? I think that this little tree is my new favorite plant and I have many. This could be potentially dangerous :~)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 7:01AM
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