My First Japanese Maple

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21
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Location
Dallas, TX
USDA Zone
8a
#1
I am pretty green to the art of bonsai although I have been interested in it for years. This summer I decided to jump right in and get some trees. One of those trees is a japanese maple. I live in Dallas and understand that it may be difficult here with the warm weather. I saw a japanese maple at my local bonsai nursery and decided to bring it home.

When I got it home I noticed some aphids under the top leaves. I decided to spray with Bayer's Rose and Flower Insect spray. That seemed to take care of them for now. I will spray again 7 days later. I also gave it a light dose of Jack's 20-20-20 at a 1/4tsp per gallon a few days after I bought it.

I am going to repot it for root growth before the winter. I thought about putting it in that pot sitting next to it on the table but, I am thinking I should just plant it into a normal 12" container instead for more growth. I would like to plant it in the ground to beef up the trunk. Unfortunately I live in an apartment and don't have that option. I also thought about putting it into an inorganic substrate. I have never grown anything that way so it makes me nervous to go ahead with it.

My patio gets a few hour of direct sun in the afternoon, unfortunately. I know that more would be much better for vigorous growth. I would keep the tree outdoors for the most part and especially during winter, but I am curious if I could bring it inside for a time under some T5s or HID or maybe even a LED grow light. I will be building a small stand and light area for my tropicals over the winter anyway. Would a good 14-16 hours of light inside help speed growth up over the few direct sun hours outside?

For the most part I posted this to keep track of my maple's growth and to jump into the community. I would love some suggestions on repotting, lighting and fertilizing. Thanks!
 

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Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
8a
#2
HI there. Good that you got started!

I am just assuming here, but.. If this is your first tree I would not repot anymore. Leave it as is, and take care of it. Then in spring, consider the repot. Repotting will not give you much new this year.

Do not. I repeat, do not, keep it indoors.
 
Messages
21
Likes
10
Location
Dallas, TX
USDA Zone
8a
#3
Ok so I would be better off keeping it in that tiny pot it came in? It wouldn't go dormant until probably the first week of November in this area I'm guessing. I was hoping maybe to get some root growth by then. I will do some more research on this. Thanks for the info though. I'm glad I asked. I almost repotted it last night. It's not using water very quickly so I think you are right.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#4
I think the tray under the pot it is in now after drilling some holes in it is a more appropriate container if not putting it in something a little bit wider to let them roots run but yeah spring.

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 
Messages
21
Likes
10
Location
Dallas, TX
USDA Zone
8a
#5
Thanks Sorce. I will let it grow until spring and worry about repotting then.
 
Messages
21
Likes
10
Location
Dallas, TX
USDA Zone
8a
#8
Thanks ajm55555 I'll remember that in the future. That makes sense. I could have easily took the little suckers out myself. I saw bugs and freaked out haha. I can't pinch this little guy to get him off my plant unfortunately. When I checked my plants after work I found this lizard hanging out on my maple. I've noticed him around the patio for a few days now. He has his tail and one leg chopped off :( Still looks nice and healthy though.
 

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Messages
21
Likes
10
Location
Dallas, TX
USDA Zone
8a
#10
Excellent reason to stop using poison in your garden. This fellow will help you keep your garden insect levels down.
This is a good point. I will research other ways for the future. A little bud opened up over night. First growth I've seen since I brought it home so that was reassuring. I've been watering with Superthrive lately. Should I be fertilizing this maple right now?
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,164
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Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#11
I call that a reverse placebo...

Makes you think it is helping so you keep dumping it on when you get bugs or fungus and your tree dies because you didn't solve the actual problem.

Some folks just call it Snake oil.
Or a waste of money unless you stole it.

They sell it because they know no average human can do the experiments needed to see if it actually helps.



Sorce
 
Messages
21
Likes
10
Location
Dallas, TX
USDA Zone
8a
#12
I guess I should clarify that I was using the superThrive just as a feeding regimen not as a fix to a problem. I do see what you mean though. Someone once told me that it's a good idea to use superthrive on your bonsai so that is the only reason I have been using it. I will do some research on fertilizing Maples but I'm open to any tips that might not be quite as obvious.
 
Messages
21
Likes
10
Location
Dallas, TX
USDA Zone
8a
#13
Had to put my Maple in my car during the cold weather. I live in an apartment and I don't have a garage. It might have been alright, but I didn't want to risk it.