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Help Please, What's wrong with my Japanese Maple?

I'm a newbie, I've had my Japanese Maple about 4 months and there has been plenty of new red growth, but the new red leaves are all crooked. There are also grey patches on green leaves. 

Please look at the photos and I'd appreciate any advice  


Many Thanks Alison


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,129

    Hello Alison

    Was only chatting to one of the team the other night about Acers ; try to contact Robert343 , he seems very knowledgeable re:- Japanese maples .

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353

    It's often due to lack of water, especially earlier in the year, and if you're in an area where there's been long spells of hot ,dry weather over spring and summer, it can cause distorted growth. Acers in pots need a lot more attention re watering than ones in the ground too. Alternatively, over watering can cause issues too. it can be difficult to tell from a photo sometimes!

    It looks like it's in a big pot for the size of the plant too. They're better not over potted and gradually potted on using a pot only slightly bigger.

    Also - what did you use to pot it up in? Has it got some soil in there? Compost alone isn't good for long term planting. You'll need something with a bit more substance if it's not going to be planted out image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Paul B3 thank you for your advice. I'll ask Robert343 what he thinks  

    Fairygirl thank you too. I'll do the changes you've mentioned. 

    This is the first time I've ever had Japanese Maple too. ?

  • image

    Hello Alison.

    First, Fairly Girl is correct about the pot being a little over large. I see it is one of Morrison's spindly plants. They do not care for them much. They are exposed to all sorts of temperatures. From the photos it looks like wind and sun scorch and from what I can see some mildew. We have had extremes this year. Red hot then high humidity. Not the best for Acers.

    Okay, here goes. Try and get a long plastic pot just big enough to contain the root ball. The roots will find there own way down. Tease them out. If you can, get a free florists type black bucket from any of the supermarkets. Put the long pot inside it and fill around it with pebbles or small stones. This will prevent it from getting knocked over in the winter and will also protect it from harsh weather. Make sure you put some holes in the bottom!

    Good news. Treated with care it will flourish next year with new leaves.

    I'll repeat a post I made earlier

    Treat it to two parts of John Innes No.2, 1 part sharp sand and a good handful of sharp grit to help with drainage. They enjoy being moist. If you have any ericaceous soil add some of that because they like it on the acid side.

    If you can't get hold of the above ask somebody if they have a good loam compost. The stuff they sell at supermarkets is no good for Acers. Too powdery, no body and not moisture retentive.  It's essential it has good drainage and isn't allowed to dry out. But not too wet in winter in case it freezes.

    Make sure to give it a good soaking when you move it into a new pot. No need for feed until next Spring.

    And finally....Acers are very slow growing but if you care for them they will reward you year after year. Here are some of mine in Yorkshire Pots.

    Good Luck

    p.s. Look at the little but tall plastic pot in the photo. That's what I mean.

    Last edited: 01 August 2017 20:36:41

  • Alison, Just had another look at your photographs and noticed some algae on the top of the soil. Suggests it has been overwatered and kept too wet. 

    Best thing anybody who keeps plants in pots is a moisture meter. You can get one on Ebay for no more than £5.00 stick the sensor in in the soil and it will tell you if it is dry-moist-wet. Use it over and over for all your plants. Alternatively stick your finger in!!! ?

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