The Q&A Archives: Japanese maple trees

Question: The leaves on my Japanese maple trees are turning brown. They are young plants in pots on our patio.
I moved them from another location that was quite windy...could that be the problem or over/under watering?

Thank you,

Answer: For the most part, Japanese maple trees prefer shade from hot afternoon sun. They'll grow best in morning sun and filtered afternoon shade. Hot summer wind can burn the edges of the leaves, as can too much fertilizer or not enough water. It's easy to under-water and over-fertilize plants in pots. Watering thoroughly can present a problem if soil in and around the roots becomes overly dry. When this happens, water rushes through the potting soil without actually rehydrating it. To overcome this, try immersing the pots in a larger container of water and letting it set for 10-15 minutes. This will drive the air out and fully saturate the soil. Do this once every 2 weeks or so and you should see an improvement in your maples. When you fertilize plants in containers, it is safest to use a half-strength dilution of water soluable fertilizer (Miracle Gro, Shultz's, Peter's, etc.) and apply every 2-3 weeks. This will provide a constant source of nutrients without the concern of burning the plants with a high dose of fertilizer.

Hope this information helps!

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