The Q&A Archives: Leafburn On Acer Palmatum Dissectum

Question: If salts in the soil are the cause of this leafburn, how do I prevent it and cure it? I live near the Pacific shore. The maple is in a large ceramic pot. Are the salts coming from the air, from the faucet water, or from the commercial potting mix used? If I can't stop the source, leaching is only a temporary treatment. If so, how often must I leach?

Thank you.

Answer: Salts can build up in soils if the water you use has a high concentration of salt. In a ceramic pot, I'd guess the salt build up might be fertilizer residue and/or high salt concentrations in your water. Collecting rain water to use for watering your containerized plants is one solution; using distilled water rather than tap water is another. To leach a pot, flood the soil with water until it pours out of the drainage holes. Wait 30 minutes and flood it again. Wait another 30 minutes and flood it one more time. This should effectively remove excess salts. You'll probably want to leach the salts out every 2-3 months.

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