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Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Posted by merseygal none (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 17:55

I have just bought 2 acers, approx 30cms high, I have put them outside in their original plastic pots. Quite a few of the leaves have gone brown & brittle & withered looking, there are some new purple shoots coming through at the bottom. I don't know what to do, do I leave them to adjust to their new conditions & hope they come back better next year or is there anything I can do right now? I water them when the soil feels dry, they have good drainage, it is quite sunny in my garden but I thought the purple/red types would be ok in sunlight, they don't get sun all day but the sun dues come into the garden midday till late, I don't have anywhere that would give "dappled" sunlight as someone else suggested.
Any help would be appreciated, also I've fed them with miracle grow fortnightly up to now, I've had them just over a month.
One more question, do I leave them to grow freely or do they need support, I have them loosely supported on bamboo canes but don't know if I'm doing the right thing!! Never had a garden before so I'm a complete novice!!!!
Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Picture of acer


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

You're feeding them way too much. In fact, until you plant them in the garden, stop feeding them miracle grow altogether and stick to water.

If you can find an area with just morning sun till about noon, then place them there for the time being until you decide where you are planting them. And keep the soil regularly moist. Don't wait for it to dry out before watering since they are in pots, they are far more prone to drought.


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

I don't have any area in the back that gets early morning sun, apart from where a corkscrew willow tree is so there is no room there!
Are these slow growers & should I keep them in the containers until the are established more? They don't look too good at the minute! I will stop feeding them as suggested & there are new red shoots coming through so fingers crossed, I would like to plant them eventually but wondered how fast they grow etc


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Atropurpureum will take quite a lot of sun but I would transition them into that situation slowly. Nothing wrong with keeping them in containers until later in the season - late summer/early fall is a better time to plant usually, anyway. Until then you can keep the containers in a partially shaded area, gradually moving them into more sun.

And watering regularly is the only other thing you need to do :-)


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Hi
Thanks for the reply
I have put them in an aware that gets sun but it gets shaded later in the day, it's the best I can do for now as my garden gets sun all around really, but it's rained here for the last few days so I haven't watered them at all.
My garden has poor drainage & is very clay based so I was going to keep them in containers but repot them each year, I've read they need peat to repot them in? Hoping they do well as they are lovely when grown, but they so look a bit miserable right now :-(


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

No peat (or very little) - a very textural, bark-based potting soil is preferred. And you may want to read the attached link from the Container Gardening forum. Growing plants - and JM's in particular - in containers is vastly different from growing them in the ground. Pay close attention to recipes for the "gritty mix" - this is the ideal formulation.

You can also do a search on this forum about growing JM's n containers. There's been many discussions on that topic. I grow most of my collection that way as well :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: trees in containers


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Thanks for that, they are beautiful trees but I don't seem to be having much luck, quite a lot of the leaves are dried & shrivelled & now the wind has gone & broken one of its stems with new growth on :-( we're not having good weather here, I should have bought more established acers rather than these, but I guess you learn by your mistakes, I so wanted them to do well but I fear they won't with our awful weather in the UK!!!


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Yes I'd say wind is the main enemy here in UK,though obviously sun compounds the problems.I've had 100's of un-named red seedlings(I use them for rootstock)and as you say they look very nice,infact here are better coloured than the big red named varieties....however there is a pay-off.They are an unknown entity,you can't guarantee how they hold up in wind&sun,unlike the named varieties.In a sheltered spot they're fine but I've planted a couple because they look so nice and they're struggling just like yours.I'm hoping in time they'll get strong enough to withstand the weather but there's no guarantee.As you say,perhaps a bigger example would be better or a strong named variety in that size wouldn't cost an arm&a leg.


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

I'm a little surprised by these comments re: wind tolerance. I live on the water - not coastal, Puget Sound - but I get a LOT of wind. More in winter than in summer but living on salt water, wind is always a presence :-) And I grow a lot of JM's, all in containers. I have not found wind to be a problem at all unless combined with a lot of sun. Then that combination of heat/sunlight and desiccating effects of constant wind can cause problems. But if I can keep the majority of my JM's out of full sun, the wind causes me no issues.


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Ah,Hello GG how are you?...Yes I'd agree throughout the growing season the maples are OK.As you know sun isn't really a problem here in UK,however springtime up until the leaves have fully matured is a very tough time for tiny plants like the one here(I know I've lost plenty)We usually get hit with strong northerly cold winds at this time and the poor little things haven't always got the resilience to withstand it after all the energy they've spent...it just comes at the wrong time.Even a lot of garden centres etc. don't put their 2/3 year grafts out until mid may because of this(actually june this year for some).We also get hit with a lot of rain at this time too which doesn't help.I'd say it's over now but only recently and I can relax but it is a frustrating time of year,and everything is especially late this year,some are only now just starting to get going.Although I actually prefer these lighter coloured seedlings and grafted Atropurpureum,I have always found it very hard to avoid this sort of damage on the 1st set of leaves,though I admit I've never had one of significant age.

This post was edited by houzi on Wed, Jul 3, 13 at 13:31


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

In response to the above comments, do I just leave them alone & hope they come back next year? They have got some new shoots coming through but they have taken a real battering off the wind & rain lately, they are placed in front of the fence to try & protect them a little, Bless them, they look very pitiful right now :-( probably not a good buy for someone as inexperienced as me, I just think they are lovely & wanted to try & grow them.


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

They should continue to produce new growth this season. I would try and protect them as best you can - out of as much direct wind as possible and with perhaps just filtered sunlight. Keep properly watered and fertilize once more in August with a half strength liquid fertilizer.

If left in containers this winter, you will want to find some sort of suitable winter storage for them. While Japanese maples are quite hardy, roots in containers are rather vulnerable to cold temperatures and can be easily damaged if it drops much below freezing.


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Thanks for all the help, it is very much appreciated! Sorry to ask what will probably seem like a stupid question, but when you say "suitable winter storage" what do you mean, at the minute, they are in the original plastic puts that they came in, cos the wind kept blowing them over I've placed them in a bigger pot, weighed down with gravel, so would I insulate the bigger pots with something, leaving them in the smaller pots inside to protect them or bring them inside for winter?


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Perfectly reasonable question - not stupid at all and I even considered suggesting some storage possibilities but sometimes I think I give too much info and just confuse folks :-)

You want to place the pots somewhere where the container soil is unable to freeze. Insulating in between the two pots could work very well, provided your temps do not drop much below 0C. Otherwise, you could use a garage, unheated greenhouse, a storage shed with some burlap wrapping. You get the idea :-)) I grow all my maples in containers and provide no winter protection but my containers are large and it seldom drops much below freezing in my area. Small containers and younger plants will be more vulnerable to cold damage.


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Thanks for that, I only have a shed to put them in, we can get well below 0c here in winter, we got quite a bit of snow & ice last winter so I think the shed might be the best place, another other silly question but what about light, my shed has no windows. I'm sorry to be such a pain, but the garden website I bought them from said they were easy to grow etc & for a beginner, I think I've been hoodwinked there lol
It must give you such joy to be able to grow jm's, they are just lovely, I'm going to keep trying, maybe I should have bought the bloodgood variety, I saw some after I got these & they were much bigger, they would have stood a better chance, between my lack of knowledge & the wind, they've not had a good start :-(


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

They don't require light in winter when they are dormant so no worries about the shed :-)

Japanese maples are not that difficult to grow, as long as you provide them with the conditions they require (good drainage, some protection from the harshest weather (winter winds, blazing sun) and sufficient water). However, growing anything in a container is somewhat more complicated, just by virtue of the plant being limited by those conditions - much easier to grow them in the ground!

FWIW, atropurpureum is as hardy - possibly even hardier - than Bloodgood. Sure, the age of the plant will have some bearing but it is actually easier to establish from a smaller, younger specimen than it is from a larger, older one.


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 6, 13 at 10:29

I would recommend to repot the tree into a much larger pot so it doesn't dry out so fast. Being new at gardening, that's the most common way to lose a plant by letting it dry out.
Personally, I would plant it in the ground. Plants in pots take a lot more time and knowledge to grow successfully. GardenGal has given you very good information. I grow about a hundred Japanese Maples in containers, and about that many more in the ground, and can vouch for what she has said.
You mentioned that you have a Corkscrew Willow in the back yard and that doesn't leave room for much of any thing else.
Willows do have an aggressive root system and I'd be leery of planting anything but a groundcover near or under it, but consider combinations of plants rather than lining up specimens along the fence. Here's what I did with a red leaved Japanese Maple and a rhododendron.
Mike


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

Hi Mike
Thanks for that, that's lovely what you have done, really pretty, I don't think I'm ever going to get there with gardening!!
I have another section of grass away from the willow where I could plant them but I don't know if there's enough space for the acers, I've posted a picture to see what you think, do I still need to use a bark based soil if they go in the ground as GG suggested?
I've got a fuchsia shrub near the willow tree, I'm thinking that wasn't a good move now, it's grown fine but appears to have stopped producing any new buds, I'm wondering if its the willow, I cut it back a few weeks ago & it's grown again already, lots of new leaves shooting everywhere, the developers planted it not me!!


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

The acers are in the original small pots, placed inside larger ones as the wind blew them over, this is how they look now, I'll oust a close up, I've kept them out if the hot sun that we ate having at the min but they do look awful ;-(


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RE: Help with a acer palmatum atropurpureum

This is a close up of the worst acer


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