The Q&A Archives: Red Japanese Maple Leaves Turn Green

Question: I have a newly planted Inabe Shidare Cutleaf Japanese Maple that has been in the ground since March. It is growing well but the leaves are all green. They originally grew out a beautiful crimson color but are all now green. What am I doing wrong or what could it need to retain the red color it is known for?

Answer: Some nutrient deficiencies lead to color changes in foliage. As long as the leaves are growing to their normal size, shape, and quantity, it's more likely due to light exposure. If your tree is in fairly deep shade, it will produce more sun-catching green pigment (chlorophyll) in order to manufacture enough food for itself. A bit more sun may encourage the protective red pigment to return. If the tree is already in bright sun, then you'll have to dig a little deeper to find out why the color changed. Check soil pH, nutrient levels, and drainage, any of which can affect the appearance of the leaves. I hope this helps!

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