Ask a Question forum: my potted japanese maple thinks it´s spring!

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CQ
Jan 16, 2017 9:45 PM CST
Hello! I am looking for Japanese some maple guidance. I live in New York City and bought a Japanese maple last April that I kept in a large pot on my terrace all summer-- it flourished! Winter came and I did some reading and waited until several freezes before bringing it inside. I don´t have a garage or a barn, so I pulled it into the hallway near the common roof deck thinking it would be cool enough. Alas! I poked my head outside and after two months indoors it seems to think it´s spring even though there is no natural light! It has started to bud and has some green leaves! I´m not sure what the best course of action is-- do I leave it in the hall where it doesn´t get enough natural light, do I bring it into the apartment where it gets natural light and is warmer or do I bring it back outside so it can reharden/frost? If I leave it outside, I´m afraid it will be too cold. I´m not sure how I could keep it warm enough when it gets below freezing, though I could buy a bag to keep it in so the snow stays off of it. It is very difficult to move around, so bringing it in and out regularly with the weather isn´t really feasible. Thank you for any help or guidance you might have!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 16, 2017 10:16 PM CST
If there is a glass door leading out to your terrace, you could put it out there, right near the glass, and if there are extremely cold nights coming, cover it with a blanket or something to hold the heat emanating from the glass door.

That way it will get some light at least, and remain cold but not freeze entirely. You may lose the leaves that have already started but it will put on some new ones.

Japanese maples are actually fairly winter hardy and need some cold weather to go dormant, so you most likely didn't need to bring it inside. Pulling it in close to the building, especially near the glass is probably enough winter protection for it. Snow is actually an insulator, so if it gets snowed on, so much the better. Some mulch on top of the soil, like leaves, grass clippings, hay or wood chips will help keep the root ball from freezing. Water very sparingly, only when the weather warms between cold fronts.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jan 17, 2017 1:03 AM CST
Yes, you are going to have to find some light for it now. If you take it outside, you will shock it and possibly kill it.

I have several Japanese Maples in pots and I never bring them in or cover them. The smallest is a bonsai I've had for at least 30 years. Its pot is only about two gallons and right now, it is frozen solid.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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CQ
Jan 17, 2017 7:10 AM CST
Thank you!!!! I DO have a glass door-- I can put it quite close up against it. Do you think it will shock its system as Daisy mentions and kill it though? It's supposed to be above freezing over the next week, as high as 54-55 withs in the mid to high 30s, so perhaps a good time to get it back out there?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 17, 2017 8:23 AM CST
That does sound like you might have a window of opportunity this week to "do the deed". Put it out in the morning, so it will warm up during the day then slowly cool off.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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