Be the first to know about our new products, updated availability, and sale items. Acidic Soil, Mulch & Red Maples. * Do not use any kind of potting soil that contains fertilizer or water holding crystals. These should be discarded. It is important to know where the graft union is on your tree and promptly remove any new growth below the graft union. We do not replace frost damaged trees. End the planting process when the new soil's surface is even with the top of the root ball. What do most growers around here use as a potting mix. The soil must also have good drainage. You can use our Reference Chart page to quickly explore sun exposure requirements. Extra care will be needed to make sure the roots do not dry out during the first summer after you have planted it. Japanese Maples don't generally require pruning, but, if needed, prune when they are dormant to remove any dead, dying, or crowded branches, or to maintain shape. If you purchase a Japanese Maple in winter, it is important to protect it from temperatures much below 30F. Constantly soggy soil will lead to root root rot, which is the most prevalent killer of Japanese maples in containers, and in the ground. We are here to help. Japanese maples like moist not wet soils. Just snip off the dead portion of the branch with pruners. When digging the planting hole, it is important to dig a hole that is 2-4 times wider than the root ball. The drawback of this mix is that it's highly inorganic; the only organic part being pine bark and that decomposes slowly too. Spread the bottom of the root ball apart gently to spread out the roots. This simple mix will greatly increase the drainage. Water when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Japanese Maples prefer a slightly acidic soil so potting compost for Rhododendrons, Azaleas or ericaceous plants is suitable. 3. For the best growth and performance, Japanese maples prefer a rich soil high in organic materials but drains well. Japanese maples won't survive in soggy soil. “Japanese maples” are a whole field (or forest) of horticulture in themselves. It is always tempting to give your new tree lots of fertilizer but with Japanese Maples, less is more. Then on another page, i read that they do not like Peat Moss based Potting Soil which is actually lightly aciding (pH=5.8). In summary, Forest Potting Soil from FoxFarm was our best soil for Japanese maple in a container. A low dose of time-release fertilizer in spring or early summer is also very beneficial. If you search the internet about the best soil for potted Japanese Maples, you will see a lot of different opinions but one thing they will have in common is a soil that is well-drained. Mix one part well-draining potting soil with one part compost to formulate the best soil for a Japanese maple in a container. Japanese Maples grown in pots often experience some branch tip dieback in winter. Place the Japanese maple into the center of the new container with the roots fanned out at the bottom. The best time to repot an acer is when it is dormant. I got three tiny Japanese maples (10-12") and I treated myself by getting three super huge pots to plant them in and let them grow (maybe 2' diameter. How-to: Planting and Caring for Japanese Maple Trees. In the warmer climates, Japanese maples prefer dappled shade, according to the North Carolina Extension, though some cultivars can tolerate full sun. The Missouri Botanical Garden recommends keeping the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. * Do not use fresh livestock manure when planting your tree. Move the tree to its place in the landscape using a hand truck or dolly. CARE for Japanese maples by watering regularly for the first three years. Japanese maples will benefit greatly from being planted a few inches above the surrounding soil in a 50/50 mix of organic matter (pine bark mulch, azalea mix, landscaper’s mix, etc) and your native soil. Try not to use any potting soils with added fertilizers or wetting agents, and never use topsoil or soil from your garden bed- it will be too "heavy" for your maple in a pot. 2.5' tall). Soils to use when planting in the ground include screened top soil, bagged compost, Peat Moss, and Composted Pine bark. Alternately, add a shovelful of well-decomposed compost to the pot and cover with a thick layer of mulch, pulled 4 inches away from the tree trunk. How to Fertilize Japanese Maples. When growing Japanese Maples in pots, the correct soil is key. This is called "reversion". (soil from your back yard, bagged top soil, bagged compost). Use a trowel to stir the materials together and break up any large chunks. Bulk potting soil is available, usually around $55 a yard, but worth it. A mix of these ingredients will yield a very good planting mix. Although most Japanese Maples have a wonderful natural branch structure, pruning is a great way to form and train your tree to fit the look you want in the landscape. Mulch will protect the root system by holding moisture in the soil and also provide nutrients as it decomposes. The combo of potting soil and bark/perlite pretty closely approximates the gritty mix referred to above without having to go through the effort of finding all the individual ingredients, which sounds like it could be tricky in your location. The best time of year to re-plant a Japanese Maple tree is in late winter to early spring. Red maple trees (Acer rubrum) emblazon fall landscapes with their fiery foliage. Fill the new container one-fourth full with the growing medium. Winter is a great time to ship Japanese Maples because they are dormant and not easily stressed from the shipping process. Check your local Garden Center or Nursery for composted pine bark, perlite, pumice, or small lava pebbles. One example is mixing regular potting soil 50/50 with composted pine bark. Fertilize lightly with a low-nitrogen fertilizer formulated for Japanese maples in early spring before the new leaves appear. More Japanese die from too much water than from too little water. Maples prefer acidic soil with a high air content. * Do not use freshly milled (green) bark products in your mix. Planting and growing your Japanese maple in soil that is properly prepared is necessary for its success. The Best Japanese Maples for Landscapes. Plant the root ball and top of soil … The soil also provides a medium to deliver nutrients, moisture, and oxygen to the tree. Tip the Japanese maple's pot to its side carefully so as not to jar the tree. This type of fertilizer provides too much initial feed. North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox: Acer Palmatum, How to Plant Coral Bark Maple in a Container, Care Instructions for the Adansonia Digitata Bonsai Tree. A well drained medium will result in a well-aerated mix, which is so important with woody ornamentals, and especially important with Japanese Maples. Heavier pruning can be done every 2-4 years which includes general shaping and removing cross branches. Im really confused about trying to determine the right soil type for my Japanese Maples in containers. Apply a water-based fertilizer, diluted to half-strength, when growth begins in the spring. Simultaneously, an acre potting mix from Mother Earth took our Japanese maple planting, transplanting, and potting soil runner up position. It’s not that hard to start growing Japanese maples in containers. Be sure to raise the soil level a couple inches so the new maple is planted on a slight mound. * Do not use a container without drainage holes. Good soil drainage is critical and proper watering is especially crucial when young trees are working to establish a root system during the first two years after planting. Though some varieties can handle full sun. The best time of year to repot Japanese maple is at the beginning or end of the dormant season. Wet feet, root rot, is the most prevalent killer of Japanese maples. Both the potting blend is 100% organic. Over-watering a young Japanese Maple is the fastest way to kill it, especially during the cooler months. Slide the tree's root ball out of the pot. When you start fertilizing Japanese maples, your goal should be to maintain a constant low level of fertility. If a tree is planted correctly it will grow twice as fast and live at least twice as long as one that is incorrectly planted. Placing the tree in full sun or strong wind will often result in severe shock to the tree. Happy Frog ® Japanese Maple Fertilizer is specifically formulated for use on Japanese maples, lilies, evergreens, hydrangeas, junipers, dogwoods, flowering ornamentals, and other low pH feeders. If you have clay soil, remove as much of it as possible. Inadequate soil preparation and improper planting are two frequent causes of plant failure. The soil should be very low in soluble salts and should have a Ph between 5.5 and 6.5. * Do not continuously water a freshly planted Japanese Maple. Make two or three cuts, 4 inches deep, into the bottom of the root ball with a knife. Use quality potting soil — but not one that contains slow-release fertilizer that might burn roots. The first step toward having a container grown Japanese maple is to determine a … One example is mixing regular potting soil 50/50 with composted pine bark. The UK contains a huge variety of soil types and conditions- as outlined below in this map from Cranfield University, and understanding where your garden lies is vital to choosing your planting strategy. Always use ericaceous compost for acers; Whether you call them maples or acers, you need to make sure your soil is right before you plant. A high-quality container soil mix that has shown to be dense enough to support my Japanese maples, has good nutrient holding capacity, is well draining allowing water and air to pass readily, and at the same time retains adequate moisture. This is because the roots are free to grow horizontally and find air pockets and nutrients. Storing the tree in an un-heated garage or shed is the best option. The problem is I'm not really sure what the best kind of soil… This is a recipe that will accommodate the vast majority of woody plants in a container growing situation. If you have further questions about Japanese Maple care, please use the contact us form. Below find our detailed maple fertilizer reviews and buyers guide. Fertilize sparingly. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Place your potted Japanese maple in an area that receives partial shade to avoid overheating. Do you know of anybody in the area that sells bulk potting soil. I'm thinking of equal parts pine bark, Turface, crushed granite, and potting soil, ie … This time of year is best because there is much less sap flow and potential stress. The purpose of this is to prevent drying out during shipping. While space and light are external factors, soil affects the plant internally. Thus, every avid gardener knows the struggle of finding the right spaces, the right light, and the best potting soil for the plants to grow. I have read that Japanese Maples prefer lightly acidic soil. Reviews: 7 Best Fertilizer For Maple Trees In 2020 Reviewed. Few plants can equal the beauty and command of a Japanese Maple in the autumn landscape. * Do not bottom water the soil by leaving the whole pot submerged in water. Continue to add layers of soil around the root ball, tamping each layer down firmly to provide stability to the tree. Therefore nutrients are lacking. The soil mix should hold water evenly throughout the container and allow for goo drainage. Also remember that named varieties of Japanese Maples are grafted onto a vigorous green leaf understock. Fertilizing in late summer or fall is never a good idea. MULCH with 70mm of well-rotted organic mulch, keeping it at least 100mm clear of the trunk. The "soil" you need is half John Innes Number 3 and half ericaceous compost. Japanese maples like moist but not wet soils. A wide, shallow hole is better than a narrow, deep one. Contains phosphorus and potassium to support the needs of these beautiful trees. We sell small containers of time release fertilizer that is specially formulated for Japanese Maples. * Do not create a bowl shaped "water catch" around your tree. The soil anchors and supports the tree while it grows in the container. How to grow Japanese maples. Remember that most of the roots will spread out horizontally from the tree. Unusually, they do best on soils with a slightly lower than average amount of organic matter. Japanese maples thrive on moist but fast-draining soils with high air content. But it’s not readily available in all areas and in most cases you need to send a truck to get it. Although a fresh green shoot growing below the graft union may look pretty, it will be extremely vigorous and eventually take over the tree. It's also important to remember that variegated type Japanese Maples can temporarily or permanently lose their variegation when given too much fertilizer. Japanese Maples dislike alkaline soil and produce the best leaf colour in a slightly acid soil. DO NOT prune your Japanese Maple in winter. WHEN AND HOW TO WATER JAPANESE MAPLES For the first two years hand watering may be required if the conditions are dry. Japanese maples are easy to grow in containers or in the ground, with most preferring a sheltered, shady spot. Many Japanese Maples prefer some shade. It is also very important to mulch around the newly planted tree. The ideal soil mix for a maple in a container is one-half EB Stone Azalea Mix blended with one-half Edna's Best Potting Soil. The most important function of a good basic soil mix is one that will be well draining. You can purchase our premium Japanese Maple potting soil here. Some varieties are more prone to reversion than others. Use quality potting soil but not one that contains slow-release fertilizer that might burn roots. Fertilize sparingly. This moderate fertilization practice will keep your maples healthy. Only composted. Encompassing thousands of cultivars, this enchanting tribe of small trees is the stuff of which lifelong horticultural obsessions are made. Select a container with drainage holes in the bottom and a light color to prevent the root ball from overheating. Container-grown Japanese maples allow homeowners with small yards or poor soil to enjoy these ornamental trees in spite of limitations of their property. The planting soil mix is the foundation for building a strong root system which in turn will help to develop a healthy tree. Water the Japanese maple until water begins to run out the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Small and slow growing with a graceful habit and beautiful foliage, they're the perfect choice for even the tiniest of gardens. Apply a water-based fertilizer, diluted to half-strength, when growth begins in spring. 1.Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes For Japanese Maple Trees 16 … Add additional soil to the pot around the sides of the root ball. 2. As a solitary specimen it is breathtaking, its fall foliage remaining for weeks, then falling into a brilliant pool of crimson, orange, or gold on the garden floor. Tamp the soil down firmly. The best seasonal colour is shown in climates with clearly defined seasons. Japanese maples must go dormant over winter, so they have a hard time surviving in climates where it doesn’t get cold enough. Repot your root-bound tree in November or February. * Do not use heavy soils in your potting mix. Here’s the process: Step 1: Dig a wide hole to break up the soil. Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) work well as focal points in Zen or Asian-style landscapes with their lacy palmate leaves and twisting, gnarly trunks. Some garden centers will sell a bagged "tree and shrub planting mix" and it is always worth the extra expense for premium planting soil. 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