Japanese red maple (Alexandria, VA)

MiloM1224July 25, 2012

Greetings group! This is my first posting. I live in Alex, VA and am in a high-rise condo bldg. I have a container garden on my balcony which faces north to northwest. NOTE: I get full afternoon sun from April-Sept. I have a Japanese red maple that I bought from K-Mart (believe it or not, was only $15), five years ago. The first two years it was a beautiful cherry red color. During the winters I bring it inside and it looses all it's leaves. Around March, I start giving it warm water still indoors. It grows these awesome granny smith apple green leaves! Some of them turn bright red. This year, all the leaves grew in dark green and only a few have a hint of red/burgundy on the tips. What happened? Is it the lighting? Needs more Miracle Gro? Please help. Thank you.

FYI - I also grow lantana on my balcony, a gorgeous pony tail palm, desert rose, hibiscus coccineus, anthuria, and a few succulents, all doing extremely well.

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I have one also in Fairfax. Mine gets red in the summer when it is hot. I don't know if it is the heat or the sun. My guess is that it is the variety of tree. There are some upright varieties that are known to hold their color really well all season, and these are usually propagated by grafting a piece of the desired plant onto a small Japanese Maple grown from seed. Two of the more popular upright varieties that hold their color really well all season are "Bloodgood" and "Oshi Beni". Some varieties lose their color as the growing season goes on.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 7:06AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Not sure that Miracle Grow is the right fertilizer for your tree. In fact, you may be overfertilizing. I would stop by one of our local nurseries-depending on where you live...Greenstreet Gardens in Alex City at the convergence of Quaker Lane, Braddock Road, and King Street, Campbell and Ferrara on Little River Turnpike (got a notice they are moving, but not sure when or where), several down Route 1 south, Behnke's in Beltsville or Potomac (my favorite other than Greenstreet which is so much closer), and Merrifield. Just make sure you talk to one of the tree folks, not a worker bee.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 12:03PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Oh, also, I would just insulate the pot in the winter rather than bring it in the house. Maybe a windbreak as well if you are up high.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 12:05PM
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