I need help with Japanese Maple seedlings
Hey guys, I need some help! I tried posting about this in the maples forum, but they haven't been helpful yet. Just some copying of an earlier post about stratification of seeds, which is the part I already figured out fine. So, I'm turning to my friends here who are much more helpful on all things gardening!
Here's my problem: last year I sprouted nine Japanese maple seedlings from seed. It was not easy to do! I was so proud of getting those little trees to sprout! But then they didn't grow much at all that summer, and some died along the way. Then, I left them outside too long at the beginning of winter, and I think it froze too hard for their little roots in small pots. Anyway, I had a few surviving this spring, and I added a few seedlings I found in the garden, and I've been trying to grow them on my back covered deck in mostly shade. Now, all are dead but one lonely seedling. And it's struggling along with almost no growth.
What am I doing wrong? What do these little trees need? They're only getting maybe 3 hours of morning sun and then open shade after that. I water them every two days, although sometimes when it's really hot, they've gotten it every day. Once in a while I give them some half-strength Miracle Gro.
Have you ever grown Japanese maple seedlings? How do you ensure their survival? How much water do they like? What do they need in terms of fertilizer? Any other clues on how to make them grow and survive? Thanks!