Japanese Maple - Plant, cut and overwinter

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The Japanese maple is a decorative ornamental and garden plant that draws all eyes with their beautiful foliage especially in autumn.

Japanese maple

The small tree, which can also be planted as a shrub, is also known as Thunberg's fan maple or simply as a fan maple. Altogether, several hundred species of the Japanese maple (Acer japonicum) are known, all of which provide a magnificent color spectacle. In the wild, this species of maple is widespread, especially in Japan, which explains the name of the tree. But even in Germany, the plant can be planted in a pot and perfectly set in scene in a Zen garden, for example. Whether in the garden or on the terrace, in this country many hobby gardeners appreciate the maple as a real feast for the eyes, which, however, requires a certain care.

The Japanese maple introduces itself

In summer, the Japanese maple has bright green foliage. Only in autumn does the plant shine in its dazzling colors, reminiscent of the so-called Indian Summer. From red to orange to yellow, the leaves of the Japanese maple are colored in many bright shades. Just as attractive are the flowers, which have purple goblets and enchant the beholder with their pink petals. In a Japanese themed garden, this plant is a special eye-catcher. Especially with rhododendrons or azaleas, the Japanese maple makes itself very good in the garden.

In this country, hobby gardeners profit from the fact that the plant is sufficiently winter-proof for the local areas. How much sun the tree needs is again dependent on the variety. At least one half-shady location is a must. Not only the bucket, but also the garden is possible, with the maple trees in combination with many other plant species tolerates. The planting as dazzling solitaire is also conceivable. The pretty ornamental tree can also be easily planted, as the tree has a loose, little branched root system with a low proportion of fine roots.

While the tree takes on a shrubby form, you can assume a rather delicate stature. However, there are also varieties that can reach a height of up to ten meters. Therefore, it is important to pay attention when buying.

Which location does the Japanese maple prefer?

As far as the site conditions are concerned, the Japanese maple is quite easy to maintain. Above all, you should pay attention to which subspecies of the Japanese maple you have decided on and which requirements this tree places in the perfect location. In any case, you should take the following tips into account when selecting a suitable location:

  • a location with sun or partial shade to ensure the highest possible incidence of light
  • Sometimes direct sun exposure over many hours is required so that the leaves of the Japanese maple can shine in their full color in autumn
  • There are also some varieties that do not tolerate the direct midday heat, as their leaves would otherwise burn - then please select a shady location
  • a wind-sheltered location so that excessive winds can not damage the leaves of the maple
  • avoid too much draft
  • like to plant near a water body (for example, next to a garden pond), because the Japanese maple loves a high humidity

The right substrate for the Japanese maple

Without a suitable substrate, the Japanese maple does not feel well. An extremely permeable and loose soil is a must. On the other hand, if the soil is too impermeable, harmful waterlogging can occur, which in the worst case even means the end of the plant. A soil that is always moderately moist, however, is ideal. In addition, the plant substrate should have a slightly acidic or neutral pH if possible. In addition, the Japanese Maple estimates soils of the following nature:

  • loamy-humic, sandy, relatively nutrient-rich soils
  • Loamy soils that are too opaque or heavy, so mix best with peat / sand
  • Laubkompost for additional nutrients dazumischen
  • Drainage during bucket maintenance is essential
  • Use a plant substrate especially for potted plants if the Japanese maple is to be planted in the pot
  • additionally apply a layer of mulch, which can contribute to the preferred humidity

Plant the Japanese maple

The planting of this ornamental tree can be done without too much effort. However, a sufficiently large planting hole is enormously important. When planting in the bucket, this means that you should use a sufficiently large pot. Otherwise, the roots of the maple can not spread enough.

Before you put the tree in the bucket or the soil, you should prepare the planting substrate, as already described.In addition, it is necessary to loosen up the soil - and to a depth of about 50 centimeters. This step is extremely important in order to noticeably improve the air circulation and thus to provide even better planting conditions. A site with a slight hill is also ideal for planting. This ensures that the drainage of excess water always works smoothly.

If the site was previously affected by the so-called Verticillium wilt, it is completely unsuitable for the Japanese Maple. Even if you were to replace the soil in the appropriate places, the risk of infection with a fatal fungal disease would still be too great. This could quickly mean the sudden end of the Japanese maple.

Fertilize and water the Japanese maple

❍ pouring:

Especially the roots of this ornamental tree distinguish the plant from the native maple. The Japanese maple has flat roots. This means that it comes to the evaporation of relatively much water near the surface. While a short-term lack of water for older plants is not a big problem, this is different with the young Japanese maple.

If you have recently planted the maple fresh in the garden or in a bucket on the patio, you should ensure adequate irrigation at all times. Without the correct irrigation, the initially delicate tree may not develop as desired. The following tips and tricks should therefore be considered when casting this tree:

  • water a lot and often, especially in the summer
  • best to pour in the morning / evening, when it is rather cool
  • do not pour the leaves to avoid burns

❍ Fertilize:

The Japanese maple is best fertilized in spring. It may like to use a depot fertilizer, which provides the tree throughout the year with many valuable nutrients. In the fall, you should use Patent Kali, as this helps the tree during the winter.

If you have planted the Japanese maple in a bucket, you should bet on another strategy when fertilizing. In this case, it is important that you use a special slow-release fertilizer. One gram of this fertilizer should be used per liter of substrate.

Multiply Japanese Maple - That's how it's done

Japanese maple leaves

Anyone who can hardly get enough of the magnificent ornamental tree can multiply the Japanese maple comparatively easily and cheaply. Thus, other areas of the garden or the terrace can be embellished with the iridescent maple. The optimal time to propagate the Japanese maple by cuttings is from May to June. Proceed as follows:

❶ Cut soft cuttings that are not yet woody from the tree. A slight lignification, however, should not be too big a problem.

❷ Reduce the number of leaves in the cuttings so that less water can evaporate. Two to three leaves are absolutely sufficient. Cut off the tips of the shoots as well.

Lav Use lava granulate, which has a grain size of about one millimeter, to grow the cuttings. If you rely on a rooting hormone, you can also expect better growth chances. Even a warm-humid ambient atmosphere is very conducive to the development of the roots.

❹ When choosing a location, direct sunlight should be avoided. However, the location for the cuttings of the Japanese maple should be sufficiently bright. Drawbars are particularly harmful to young Japanese maple plants and should therefore be avoided, although you should ventilate adequately. You also have to prevent waterlogging at all costs. Nevertheless, the substrate should still be sufficiently moist.

It takes about eight weeks for the first roots to develop.

Does the Japanese maple have to be cut back?

The pruning of the Japanese maple should focus exclusively on dead or sick shoots. For a complete pruning would have a negative impact on the naturally very attractive growth habit of the plant. Only if the ornamental tree hinders other plants, a pruning makes sense. Do not forget the following tips:

  • cut back sick shoots and dead branches as early as possible
  • A pruning for space reasons is best done in June or July - then just shorten the new shoots a bit at the top
  • Shoots that have frozen in winter, just cut off
  • do not pruning in winter - the interfaces can not heal otherwise, so mushroom spores have an easier game

So hibernate the Japanese maple properly

Most varieties of Japanese maple, which are available in stores in Germany, are sufficiently winterized. If it is a rather delicate plant, it can hurt very cold winds. A sheltered location is therefore recommended for wintering. In addition, from August you should no longer fertilize with nitrogen. Otherwise there could be too few mature shoots in the plant, which would most likely not survive the next winter.

Except straw as a cover on the ground is usually no additional winter protection required. You should also cover plant pots. In addition, polystyrene offers. It also makes sense to place the buckets on insulating blocks of wood to ensure better insulation from too much cold. For potted plants, it is also extremely important that the drainage of water works well even in winter. If leaves have already driven out, they should be protected by a fleece in case of late frost.

Pest infestations and diseases of the Japanese maple

As mentioned earlier, Verticillium wilt can cause significant damage to the Japanese maple. It is a serious fungal disease, from which the maple usually will not recover. As for other pests or diseases, the Japanese maple, however, is quite robust. If you suspect an infection with the Verticillium wilt, it can be confirmed by the following indications:

  • dead branches
  • slack, withered leaves

Unfortunately, there is no fungicide that has grown from the Verticillium wilt. Therefore, it is even more important that you ensure that your maple is not attacked. If it is just a few branches that are already affected, you should cut them out immediately. With a little luck, this can stop the spread, which unfortunately is not always the case. In any case clean and disinfect the cutting tool to avoid further contamination.

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