Bonsai - Maple Bonsia Care and Fertilizer - and Bonsai Tree

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Maple Bonsia Care and Fertilizer

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Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum)I thought this was an interesting discussion on a common problem. It also shows what can happen to some some bonsai ethusiasts, especially those less experienced. They treat one thing that then causes another problem, not their fault, but it shows the advantages of a little research prior to jumping in.. It proves the old adage:

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

(Image by cliff1066™ via Flicker)

Japanese maple care and recovery……… covering my bases

Post  izzmogizz Today at 6:12 pm

Ok so I have a small collection of japanese maples I have been either growing from seed or from grafts over the last few years. All are in larger nursery pots or modified nursery pots adequate to the size of the tree for root/nabari development and growth for another few years at which time I hope to have some more grow out room and can plant them in the ground to develop further as bonsai or landscape trees. At this stage of growth I use a modified soil blend of organic potting soil, sand, perilite, vermiculite, decomposed granite to provide good drainage while still maintaining the moisture needed for growth in larger containers. Over the last 3 weeks, our neighborhood was stricken with a plague of aphids which quickly found my maples and did a number on the new growth. Through safe soap treatments and the addition of praying mantis and several thousand lady bugs to my garden I think I have gotten rid of or at least gotten the aphids under control, however all of my trees still seem to be barely hanging on, with new growth curling or turning black, brown spots on leaves. I stopped fertilizing a few weeks ago to help get rid of the aphids. I guess I am wondering when I should start to see some progress or if I should be concerned something else may be the problem as I seem to be loosing some leaves here and there on various trees?

1.What is the best fertilizer regime for japanese maples in containers? Have been using a j. maple balanced fertilizer at half strength for a few years, plus slow release blood and bone meal twice a year for the last few years with good results but everything you read seems to contradict itself so advice is welcome.

2. Could this be damage from over watering or aphid treating and not just the aphids?

3. Aside from not over watering, over feeding, under watering, letting them dry out, and providing some afternoon sun protection on hot days for the next few weeks is there anything else I can or should be doing to help in their recovery?

Post  JimLewis Today at 6:39 pm

If I had to guess, your leaf problems stem from using a soap treatment on the aphids — especially if it was a home-made soap spray, and even more especially if you gave them repetitive treatments. Many maples react badly to soap sprays. Commercial soap sprays like Safers are a bit better, but the sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids, with strong alkali component found in soaps can raise hell on maple leaves. Worst affected are trident maples, but Japanese maples (and others) are susceptible, too.

As for fertilizers, you trees will not care and there is NO SUCH THING as a maple fertilizer (except perhaps in the fertile imagination of fertilizer marketers). Anything with NPK and especially trace elements will work just fine….More at Re: Japanese maple care and recovery – Internet Bonsai Club


So remember if you have a problem or an issue with your tree do a little research to make sure that you are taking the right action. It would be a shame to loose another fine young or established bonsai tree. A little TLC can work wonders for bonsai.

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