Young JM not fairing well indoors.

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Boz, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Boz

    Boz Member

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    About four weeks ago, I purchased a young JM from a plant stall from a summer block fair. It's about 1'6". At the time, the top part of the maple already had leaves that were turning red. The bottom bunch were green.

    I was told that JMs can be kept indoors in pots, and after a little research, found corroboration for that on the internet, so I decided to take it with me to the office.

    I repotted it, not knowing the condition of the soil it had come with. I kept it in indirect morning light for the first two weeks, watering it about once every two days. The tips of the top red leaves have started to droop and brown. The bottom bunch have started to turn red and droop a little as well. No new growth has been noted, the bark looks fine, so I assumed that I was perhaps overwatering it or giving it too much light.

    I've taken it out of the light (the room is bright, but it's well away from the windows now) and started to wait until the soil is dry before watering it again (so once every 3-5 days). Still no new growth, and the leaves are still drooping.

    I honestly have no idea what to do to help this little guy grow. Any suggestions? I can try to take pictures if needed.
     
  2. emery

    emery Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Boz, a picture is always helpful. It is also very important that the pot be free draining and not have a saucer underneath it that holds water. Maples hate wet feet.

    But the real news is that it won't live long indoors, even if that's not the immediate cause of demise. This is an outdoor plant that needs to go dormant over winter. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    -E
     
  3. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Not much you can add to that I'm afraid :(
     
  4. Boz

    Boz Member

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    Aha! I'll put blocks under the pot immediately. I'd been putting it on paper towels and then on a saucer to give it some drainage, but perhaps it wasn't quite doing the job.

    I've attached pictures of the whole tree, the top leaves (w/ circles to highlight some of the wilting) and the bottom leaves. Not the best, but I'm working with my crappy camera phone -- you have my apologies.

    As for eventually needing to transfer it outside -- I do plan to, once I move to a block that lets people plant things. I do, however, know of folks who've kept them indoors for years with enough success, so I was hoping that it was simply a matter of my doing it wrong. :(
     

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  5. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    One thing to keep in mind, vis-a-vis indoor growing conditions, is that even light that seems very bright to us humans, whose eyes can adjust to varying degrees of light and darkness, will probably seem very feeble to the plant. A large window, where it can get (at least) bright indirect light all day, would probably be the minimum it would need, I should think.
     
  6. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Simon and Garfunkle sing a well known song 'The Boxer'
    I quote:
     
  7. prairiestyle

    prairiestyle Active Member Maple Society

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    Japanese Maples are definitely not indoor plants. In addition to natural light, they appreciate humidity - which is lower indoors than out.

    Not sure where you heard that they could be grown indoors (there are other threads here of people with struggling trees trying to be grown indoors), but they cannot grow on indefinitely like a tropical plant - they need a dormant period. And unless that indoor location gets and stays near freezing in the winter, the tree won't go dormant and will struggle.

    Your tree will hang on for awhile inside, but if you'd like to keep it around longer, listen to the good advice here and find somewhere (in a pot or in the ground) for it to go outside. :)
     

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