Japanese Maple Suggestion

dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)April 4, 2010

My granddaughter wants to buy a JM to grow outside in a big pot. We were talking about the many varieties, size, colour, and growth rate. They would like one that is red and grows at a reasonable rate but the eventual size is not too big for a pot. I look forward to suggestions that I can pass along to them.

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

weeping or upright?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 7:19PM
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Any would be worthy of a pot. If it dies it can be easily replaced by another.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 9:05PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You forgot to include "as these often do" after "if it dies".

Try to get a cheap red seedling somewhere, maybe at a charity plant sale or wherever these might appear. Maybe even dug out of the yard of a friend or neighbor. Red-leaved specimens often give off a percentage of red-leaved seedling offspring, when a garden situation is allowing Japanese maple seedlings to come up and grow for a time.

Much cheaper than a grafted named selection.

And much more likely to grow well, without blighting off.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 11:04PM
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There is no earthly reason why a Japanese maple cannot grow well in a container, provided proper care is given. They are popular bonsai selections and many collectors (myself included) grow various JM's long term in containers very successfully.

Look for 'Pixie' or 'Red Pygmy' - both are smaller, compact forms well-suited to container culture but there are many others. Your local garden center should be able to help with other selections.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 11:20AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have several in containers, some years old but they aren't red.

'Butterfly' is outstanding but not red.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:21PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The earthly reason as that much grafted stock (of Japanese maples) becomes visibly diseased after being purchased by the final consumer and fails nowadays. Whether in a container or not.

There is also a problem with some long-established landscape specimens becoming afflicted and failing.

Planting one in a pot would have the advantage of providing better drainage than in the ground - if it was planted in well-aerated potting medium all the way through, with no field soil ball left on it.

And the potting medium was replenished periodically, not allowed to become mucky.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:42PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Thanks for the responses. Gardengal, I will pass along your two suggestions for them. I have been growing JMs in pots for 25 years -- one is potbound and not doing well, the other is a dwarf variety and is very happy. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of either. I find them to be a lovely potted plant that are easy to care for and add interest to my patios.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 4:58PM
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bboy, I have no idea where you are buying your maples from that seem to have so many problems. That hasn't been the case with any JM's I've purchased nor has it been with all those clients and customers who I've assisted over the years.

For that matter, you seem to come into contact with a great many plants that are insuffciently hardy for you or that seem to fail for whatever reason. I wish you better gardening success.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 6:55PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Acer palmatum ---Japanese Maple
Verticillium wilt is becoming too common. If it were not for this sad fact, I would likely rank this a five-star tree. It is unparalled in its diversity of form, color, leaf shape, and role in the landscape. Many dozens of different kinds are sold in nurseries. But I am tired of hearing from people whose prized specimens are on the decline. For whatever reason, this ugly disease has become more prevalent in the last decade

Here is a link that might be useful: Overplanted in Seattle

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 10:36PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Most Japanese maple cultivars such as 'Sango Kaku' and 'Oshi Beni' are highly susceptible

Here is a link that might be useful: Maple -- Bacterial Leaf Spot and Dieback

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 10:53PM
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blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)

Hello, Dotty.

If your GD would like to see the broad range of possible Japanese maples available, see if your public library has a copy of J.D. Vertrees' book on these beautiful acers. Now, while I am certainly way too sophisticated and classy to use that cheap expression, "garden porn," to describe his work, some lesser beings, I daresay, would not so hesitate.

As Gardengal pointed out, JM's are popular choices for bonsai treatment and the Vertrees book indicates which varieties are best for the same. Such would obviously be happy in a pot.

Good to hear that the garden bug acorn didn't fall too far from the grandma tree!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 2:12PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Thanks for the name of the book Rain. I knew there was one "all about JM" but didn't know what to ask for. I'm going to replace one of mine that's been in a pot for about 15 years and is looking quite sad this year so I'll be using the reference too. I love this forum for all of the help I get.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 4:35PM
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goofyisgreen(Z8 PacNW)

I'm somewhat of a Japanese Maple fan, both when I lived out East and out here in Puget Sound (5 years now). I have about six different varieties, including Ever Red (I had Tamayukama out East). I've never had any problems with either the purchased, grafted trees, or my "rescue" seedlings I pull out from sidewalk crack situations (most of these are offspring of either Seryu or Bloodgood).

For a weeping red, Tamayukama is a classic, ancient dissectum grown for many hundreds of years in Japan. I do think Maples of virtually any variety can do wonderfully in a pot, just make sure they have the conditions they want, and if necessary, do a judicius root prune 1x a year.

For what its worth, my maples are in a drier situation than most in the Pacific NW (under Doug Fir canopy) and have limited but not overabundant sun, and pretty good protection from prevailing winds from either the house, a fence, or other plants. These all seem to love coffee grounds, which I periodically put mix in (thank you Starbucks).

I wonder if the disease problems are, as was suggested above, perhaps related to excess moisture or draingage issues, or both?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 6:39PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I think the reason most maples die in a pot is from lack of water. I know Dwarf Alberta Spruces do.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 8:11PM
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