poppymaple

Seed
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hi everyone! I’m new to bonsai (honestly new to long term plant care in general) and I’m not sure what to do for my maple sapling. My boyfriend gave this one to me at the beginning of August and we potted it in this pot at that time. I’m worried about drainage as I live in the PNW in a North facing house and now that the weather is turning cold I’m worried the soil won’t dry properly. My pot also doesn’t have drainage holes at all. Should I repot into a container with holes, or is the plant too fragile?
Also I’m not sure what to do about these spots on the leaves. The leaves used to be all red. Is this normal colour change or something to be worried about?
 

Attachments

  • E5BEDB83-B3F0-470B-B7CA-171E70ED07F2.jpeg
    E5BEDB83-B3F0-470B-B7CA-171E70ED07F2.jpeg
    173.5 KB · Views: 50
  • A74F1193-84F3-4DB4-82DF-1D4E369A446E.jpeg
    A74F1193-84F3-4DB4-82DF-1D4E369A446E.jpeg
    161.7 KB · Views: 52
  • 6FCAB10A-9A32-43C6-B267-5DF4DAABF727.jpeg
    6FCAB10A-9A32-43C6-B267-5DF4DAABF727.jpeg
    148 KB · Views: 46
  • 81867286-9E9C-4E1F-AF52-74522A94F545.jpeg
    81867286-9E9C-4E1F-AF52-74522A94F545.jpeg
    244.5 KB · Views: 46

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
30,928
Reaction score
42,572
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
Welcome to Crazy!

You might be able to just tuck it in a dry corner for the rest of winter, and Repot it in spring.

Unless you have a month or more without frost yet.

Sorce
 

BonjourBonsai

Shohin
Messages
400
Reaction score
408
Location
Maryland, USA
USDA Zone
7a
My pot also doesn’t have drainage holes at all
That's kind of a problem. What about finding a larger pot with drain holes, getting some decent draining soil and slip potting but also breaking the soil a little too allow the old and new soil to mix.
 

Shogun610

Omono
Messages
1,203
Reaction score
1,369
Location
Pennsylvania
USDA Zone
6B
You need a pot that has drainage.... never ever use pots that have no drainage. Maples can grow in about any soil really. Ideal would be some compost , peat and mulch . But they can grow in any soil medium with good drainage or else mildew occurrs. The roots need oxygen and you’re drowning it with no aeration. It also needs to be outside in full sun, not inside so it drops leaves and properly winters as a seedling.
 

TN_Jim

Omono
Messages
1,690
Reaction score
1,937
Location
Nashville TN
USDA Zone
7a
You need a pot that has drainage.... never ever use pots that have no drainage. Maples can grow in about any soil really. Ideal would be some compost , peat and mulch . But they can grow in any soil medium with good drainage or else mildew occurrs. The roots need oxygen and you’re drowning it with no aeration. It also needs to be outside in full sun, not inside so it drops leaves and properly winters as a seedling.
The last thing I would do is put this plant in full sun -many Japanese maples will not thrive or even live in full sun over time depending on the variety abiotic conditions etc., we don’t know the variety here...not something I’d attempt with a weakened plant this small
 

MrWunderful

Omono
Messages
1,446
Reaction score
1,888
Location
SF Bay area
USDA Zone
10b
You need a pot that has drainage.... never ever use pots that have no drainage. Maples can grow in about any soil really. Ideal would be some compost , peat and mulch . But they can grow in any soil medium with good drainage or else mildew occurrs. The roots need oxygen and you’re drowning it with no aeration. It also needs to be outside in full sun, not inside so it drops leaves and properly winters as a seedling.

“Ideal” is something much more open and draining, especially in the PNW. Like akadama, lava or pumice. Maybe some pine bark. Not compost and peat.
 

Mapleminx

Chumono
Messages
799
Reaction score
1,232
Location
Germany
USDA Zone
8
The last thing I would do is put this plant in full sun -many Japanese maples will not thrive or even live in full sun over time depending on the variety abiotic conditions etc., we don’t know the variety here...not something I’d attempt with a weakened plant this small
I agree with that, dappled sunlight is ok but full sun depending on what zone you are in can be really tough on some cultivars. I have some that handle full sun better than others but there is no way I’d leave them in it all day every day. Dappled sunlight/partial shade so they are not exposed all day works better for something so young. Older more established trees can handle full sun better.
 
Last edited:

Shibui

Masterpiece
Messages
4,123
Reaction score
8,040
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
My boyfriend gave this one to me at the beginning of August and we potted it in this pot at that time.
Maybe a new boyfriend is in order? Pick someone who will give you something worth while!
So maybe he is a cheapskate but otherwise OK? You can repot this little maple now. Small seedlings like this can be repotted almost any time and you probably won't be cutting many or any roots so repotting should be OK.
The spots on the leave s could be many things - dehydration from too little water, dehydration from root rot from too much water, fungal from too much PNW humidity or just end of season leaf decline. The good news is that leaf damage is really common on maples in late summer ad rarely a problem for long term viability. The trees are ready to drop these leaves soon and will start with a whole new lot next spring.

I usually advise that JM is not the easiest species to learn bonsai with so if you are keen please lean on the BF for a much better starter tree for you to learn on.
 

Shogun610

Omono
Messages
1,203
Reaction score
1,369
Location
Pennsylvania
USDA Zone
6B
“Ideal” is something much more open and draining, especially in the PNW. Like akadama, lava or pumice. Maybe some pine bark. Not compost and peat.
If you’re growing a seedling you can literally grow it in any combination . You don’t need inorganic soil until it’s past a pre bonsai stage. In the mean time you can grow it in organic soil or perhaps plant it to thicken the trunk, you’ll never get a thick trunk by growing a maple in a pot it’s whole life.The seedlings I have are growing in mulch, organic soil with pearlite/ peat. They grow under shade nets outside that will be planted in ground next year.... The larger maples I have were dug up from The ground and now are in loose organic compost to transfer in a bonsai pot /inorganic soil. Idk where this notion of growing a seedling in inorganic soil cane from but you’ll never thicken the trunk effectively and faster if it’s not in the ground ,
 
Last edited:

Mapleminx

Chumono
Messages
799
Reaction score
1,232
Location
Germany
USDA Zone
8
If you’re growing a seedling you can literally grow it in any combination . You don’t need inorganic soil until it’s past a pre bonsai stage. In the mean time you can grow it in organic soil or perhaps plant it to thicken the trunk, you’ll never get a thick trunk by growing a maple in a pot it’s whole life.The seedlings I have are growing in mulch, organic soil with pearlite/ peat. They grow under shade nets outside that will be planted in ground next year.... The larger maples I have were dug up from The ground and now are in loose organic compost to transfer in a bonsai pot /inorganic soil. Idk where this notion of growing a seedling in inorganic soil cane from but you’ll never thicken the trunk effectively and faster if it’s not in the ground ,
I’m so glad you edited that last bit 🙂. Yes I agree they do much better and faster in the ground, but if that option is not available to the poster then pots will work just be prepared to tack on some extra years to achieve the same thickness a ground planting could achieve in much less time. You’ll may also end up slip potting into some pretty large containers.

They will grow in pretty much anything when ground planted as any excess water will naturally drain away . I have to add some personal experience here and say that if it’s going to stay in a pot I’d recommend a well draining composition. It will be much easier to care for than if it was sitting in something that’s going to compact down too much, and become over saturated especially in seasons of heavy rain. This is just my experience, others have years more and also I have no knowledge of your zone.

edit: I also have to add, pots need drainage holes! 🙂
 
Last edited:

MrWunderful

Omono
Messages
1,446
Reaction score
1,888
Location
SF Bay area
USDA Zone
10b
If you’re growing a seedling you can literally grow it in any combination . You don’t need inorganic soil until it’s past a pre bonsai stage. In the mean time you can grow it in organic soil or perhaps plant it to thicken the trunk, you’ll never get a thick trunk by growing a maple in a pot it’s whole life.The seedlings I have are growing in mulch, organic soil with pearlite/ peat. They grow under shade nets outside that will be planted in ground next year.... The larger maples I have were dug up from The ground and now are in loose organic compost to transfer in a bonsai pot /inorganic soil. Idk where this notion of growing a seedling in inorganic soil cane from but you’ll never thicken the trunk effectively and faster if it’s not in the ground ,

When did they ask about ground growing?

Everyone knows trunks grow larger in the ground, but the gravity column works different. Thats why normal soil works fine in ground growing.

That is common knowledge, but not relevant to the poster or this thread.
 

penumbra

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,369
Reaction score
8,388
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
The timing for any of this is not good though most of what is said in these posts is right. If the entire root mass can be slipped out of the pot, I personally would do so and put it into a similar sized pot or one slightly larger with drainage. But from the looks of it in the pictures I don't think that is likely. In which case I would carefully drill a drainage hole, or better two or three holes in the pot and wait until late winter / early spring for a repot. I know you said you live in the PNW but that can be quite variable. My advice is for in or around zone 6 where I live. If you are in zone 8, like some of the PNW, I would wait for someone to chime in in your climate. I would not get embroiled in the soil debate for this tiny seedling. Just make sure it drains Very well and grow it on a year or two.
Best of luck with your tiny maple.
 

Shogun610

Omono
Messages
1,203
Reaction score
1,369
Location
Pennsylvania
USDA Zone
6B
When did they ask about ground growing?

Everyone knows trunks grow larger in the ground, but the gravity column works different. Thats why normal soil works fine in ground growing.

That is common knowledge, but not relevant to the poster or this thread.
ok
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom