Japanese Red Maple Seems Unhealthy

marmalade

Seed
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Hi there. I recently purchased a Japanese Red Maple bonsai, and have been taking care of it for roughly two weeks. I'm concerned about it because it does not seem healthy. I've been giving it morning sun, and afternoon shade, and watering it very conservatively - I put my finger in the dirt to see if it is damp, and if it is I don't water it - so roughly a tablespoon or a little more of water every two to three days.

The following pictures are what it looks like currently.




Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

Warpig

Shohin
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As stated above the tree need to be kept outside. That and your soil mix looks decent meaning it has good drainage. If so a tablespoon of water is not nearly enough, water it till the water flows from the drainage holes.
 

marmalade

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Ahh yeah, it's been inside. I suppose Japanese Maples aren't suited for being indoors then? There are no drainage holes in this pot, and I was warned about fungal issues. I considered that I might need to change the pot.

Also I live in Los Angeles, specifically it's in Santa Monica. Decent light, but a bit cold around now.
 

Warpig

Shohin
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Ahh yeah, it's been inside. I suppose Japanese Maples aren't suited for being indoors then? There are no drainage holes in this pot, and I was warned about fungal issues. I considered that I might need to change the pot.

Also I live in Los Angeles, specifically it's in Santa Monica. Decent light, but a bit cold around now.
Your best bet for a inside bonsai would be a tropical. If you live in LA it will have little problems holding up outside. Remember, it is a tree. I would give it a healthy drink of water and find a place at the house where it can get good morning light but shade around mid-day. The good news is it being a maple it is winding down to go into dormancy for the winter. Once it does it will require less water. Just make sure it doesnt dry out completely and come spring you should have plenty of new buds.
 

coltranem

Shohin
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Can you drill holes in the pot? Also check the dormancy requirements for a Japanese maple. I am not sure you can provide that in LA. Hopefully a local expert will chime in.
 

SouthernMaple

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maples have to live live outside. I would make sure it gets alot of sun, especially because its almost fall over there and it needs as much energy as it can get to survive winter. Just try to protect it from hot or cold winds, but LA is pretty mild in the winter I think so. Also put holes in the bottom with a knife or drill and check the water often until the leaves fall off.
 

rockm

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Ahh yeah, it's been inside. I suppose Japanese Maples aren't suited for being indoors then? There are no drainage holes in this pot, and I was warned about fungal issues. I considered that I might need to change the pot.

Also I live in Los Angeles, specifically it's in Santa Monica. Decent light, but a bit cold around now.
"A bit cold" in Santa Monica? Japanese maples need seasonal COLD (like below freezing or thereabouts) to remain healthy. It is also autumn. Maples lose their leaves in autumn. This tree is definitely not healthy, but keep that "deciduous" part in mind as you go forward and put it outside. Keeping it inside (depending on how long it has been inside). You've had it a few weeks, so was it kept outside before that?

Also, because the tree drops its leaves in the fall, new growth at this point, is NOT a great thing...
 

Forsoothe!

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It's autumn somewhere, and JM wants to rest sooner or later, but the leaves usually get a used-up appearance this time of year, somewhere, and just beause California has an endless summer doesn't mean that deciduous plants grown there won't act as deciduous plants do when grown in places that have "winter". While the growing season may be extended in California for JM, I'd bet that the leaves get even more beat up than they do in places with milder summers. They are thin-leafed understory trees of cooler, wetter regions. Others with experience can comment on that.
 

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