Q.Japanese Maple With Dry Leaves
I have a potted Japanese maple on my balcony which does not seem to be doing too well. When I bought it a few months ago (May), it had healthy green/yellow-ish leaves, bit most of its leaves have started to become dry and ‘crispy’ around the edges. It has also started growing new leaves around the top (facing towards the sun as though not getting enough light) but the new leaves are red and more autumnal, which seems early (the red leaves started growing in August). I’ve had it on a south-easterly facing balcony in a relatively wind-sheltered corner, but it does get some exposure to direct sun in the morning and around noon. I initially thought the leaves were getting burnt by the sun, but the new ‘leggy’ growth suggests it isn’t getting enough sun? Some of the new red leaves have also started to dry. I keep its soil moist most so wouldn’t have thought lack of watering is the cause. However, the soil does remain moist a lot longer than I’d expect (sometimes I only water it once a week). I’m in London so zone 9. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Ah! I see. Yes, this seems like a lack of light, paired with infection from soil that does not have a chance to dry out between waterings.
I would recommend treating with a fungicide, and making sure that the soil has a chance to dry out, pretty thoroughly, down to about 2 or 3 inches between watering. This will stave off any bad microbes that tend to invade this particular soil depth.
Sometimes, a horticultural lamp of 200 watts or greater can be of assistance when lighting conditions are less than ideal. Just be sure to position the lamp at least 2 or 3 feet away from the tree.
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