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Sick Acer shirisawanum 'Aureum' - Suggestions for potting?

Posted by lucygreenthumb 4/5 Iowa (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 30, 07 at 12:32

Sick Acer shirisawanum 'Aureum' - Suggestions for potting?

Hi All,
I posted below about a new Aureum that arrived with spots which seem to have been caused by too much water before it was shipped.

It's doing better after a weekend on a shady, breezy deck. But now I'm considering putting it in a pot this year to better control its moisture levels. I can run it inside if we have a long rainy spell forecast. I have a cold basement to overwinter it in, but as this was not the original plan I need help.

What type of soil? I use regular Miracle Gro for everything, would this work, or be too rich? I'm thinking clay pot to allow those roots to breathe? It's in a gallon nursery pot now, how big a pot for optimal root growth? Aureum is very slow growing. I just want to give this beautiful little tree the best shot possible. And after the stress its been in, planting in a raised bed in a damp part of the yard may not be my best choice at the moment.

Many, many thanks in advance - I've already fallen in love with this tree.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sick Acer shirisawanum 'Aureum' - Suggestions for potting?

I planted the same tree in my garden 4 years ago. I never saw the spots you are seeing but it hasn't been thriving and there's been quite a bit of die-back. I decided I had to do something so this Spring I dug it up and replanted it in a container. It's really perked up and has never looked better.

There are lots of posts regarding soil on this website (check out the container gardening forum), enough to make you realize that there are a lot of different formulas you can use and they're probably all pretty good. I ended up just taking potting soil and adding some fine orchard back and a little more pearlite.

I thought I was going to have to give up on this little fella - repotting it has saved it's life!

RE: Sick Acer shirisawanum 'Aureum' - Suggestions for potting?

Thank you Skeets!
Since I've just gotten it and it IS in it's nursery pot I'm wondering whether repotting it now or later would stress it out more?

Does it make sense to use a clay pot that's just slightly larger than the plastic one it's in now?

I'm not even going to think about fertilizing it now and I'm guessing I might just add cactus mix between it's current soil and the new pot. Am I reasonably on track so far? Thanks for the advice and your reassuring experience. This is new territory for me.

RE: Sick Acer shirisawanum 'Aureum' - Suggestions for potting?


I'm also pretty new to this, so I can't give you are very seasoned answer. But from what I've read - and this is what I've stuck to - it's best to do repotting while the tree is dormant, before "bud break". So if you think you can leave it in the pot it's in, that might be best. However, if you think the problem has to do with it's present environment (soil is not so good and/or the drainage is poor) it may be worth taking the chance to repot it. I would just be careful and baby it the rest of the year.

I've also heard that adding Cactus Mix to the soil works well, and that upgrading to a slightly larger pot (no more than 4 inches or so?) is the best. Going to a much larger pot gives the roots too much room and may cause root rot, or so I've read. And clay pots I think are better than plastic - it seems that maples like to be watered lightly and frequently and clay drains better.

good luck!

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