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We bought this Acer a few months ago,planted it in  Ericacious Compost in a pot.It was beautiful.Now it looks like its dying....leaves are turning brown & look dry,even though compost is damp and it has been watered regularly through the dry spells.

What have we done wrong ?? 



  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    I didn't think acers needed ericacious compost. John Innes No2 I would have thought & they don't like having wet feet especially when in pots. But I'm no expert.

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    They need a sheltered spot - I wonder if the leaves are suffering wind burn. If the soil is damp and the leaves browning and look dry then it sounds like wind damage.

    They need well draining soil. There are a large variety of Acers and all prefer but do not need acidic soil as KEF has said. If the pot is waterlogged then you tend to also get branch dieback, though wind damage can also induce that.

    I would check drainage and make sure your Acer is in a sheltered spot. It should put out new leaves in early spring.

  • SingySingy Posts: 206

    Most of my acers in pots have started to drop leaves, one in fact is almost bare, i dont think there are any problems and the well established ones at my parents look much the same.

  • I think there is a virus affecting acers this year.   One of mine has died as have two acers of various friends.  I bought another recently and this ia already developing white tinges to the end of the leaves and I think it is on the way out.   Can anyone actually explain what this virus is and is there a cure?



  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Moved this back up for Sarahsgarden to find.

  • We were told to put it in ericaceous compost at the garden centre,so am very confused now!! shall we put it in John Innes 2 now or wait until Spring ?

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    Debbie, no do not pot up now as that can cause drainage issues by overpotting and the Acer dies. I would leave it until early spring then repot if needed. I would not change the soil needlessly either. They just prefer acidic soil rather than need it, so the GC was kind of right though they did sell you expensive ericaious when it did not really need it.

  • I found the thread! according to Titchmarsh in this month's mag,  " the ideal soil is fertile slightly sandy loam containing plenty of leaf mould or other well rotted organic matter - any good garden soil as long as it's rich in humus" it goes on to say Japanese maples prefer lime free & slightly acidic... I've been growing them for some years from tiny trees to very large ones - I think the key is to protect them from the extremes, sun and wind being the worst. I think I'll wait until February to replant now.

  • Acer LadyAcer Lady Posts: 1

    I am passionate about Japanese acers.


    I fell in love with them during my first visit to a famous Roninsonian garden called Mount Usher

    I was friendly with the head gardener and we went in after hours when it was quiet I looked up through them and their serenity touched me. Since then I have become also passionate re Japanese and zen gardens which reflect my interest in Buddhism and gardening as a calming meditation practice

    Unlike other gardeners I do not believe that acers are centre pieces- i believe they like being protected by walls or taller trees and spread an ambience of serenity.

    I almost feel bad saying I have five potted Japanese acers that are truly magnificent. I have them in a south facing courtyard that has a light breeze running through it but no big winds. I have paid careful attention to the soil used. I have been know to break my china to use in the base of the pots for drainage I always pay more and buy Ericaceous compost that is free draining. I feed about once every three weeks with an organic vegetable liquid feed (i use Lidls which has been brill) and I dont water every day. Every few days unless it's ridiculously hot and always in the evening. Some will cope with sun but most prefer shade or a bit of both. I Shelter from the north and east actualloy all winds but have let them over winter even right down to -4 C and below with icy snow covering the pots. I pot on to a bigger container but not an enormous one , unless it has grown big enough for one. I go about 6 inches bigger diameter each time and certainly no more than a foot bigger. Dont be in a big rush to snip about winter die back. It leaves them vulnerable to pests. I once had a bit of mealy bug or possibly scale which i washed away with a careful soap and water mixture on the crotches of the branches. Always soap and never detergent. Then my mother told me of a mix which my uncle ( a gardener born in 1918) used on peach leaf bug that had destroyed well establishes red current bushes that we relied on.The remedy was Black walnut husks. When walnuts fall they have a green husk, a shell and a nut. You use the green part. He just threw them on the ground under the red currants that had the problem and they have been perfect for 30 years now. I got dried walnut husk online made a boiled tea, cooled it and sprayed the acers and threw the remains onto the soil in the pots with some of the tea going into the soil. Many plants will die from contact with black walnut so check online before applying. Remember alway evening time for treatments. I was using it as a deterrent for nasties on my mum's recommendation. Acers do well under walnut.

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