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Plant Diseases/dwarf japanese maple


I purchased a dwarf Japanese maple tree around 7 weeks ago, when I purchased it the leaves were crimson colored, but now the leaves are green and the very tips of the leaves look dry. I try to water it often and fertilize, what can be the problem?

Dear Anthony, Some Japanese maple trees actually do have green leaves, but the new leaves will start off crimson.  However, I suspect that you did indeed purchase a crimson leafed Japanese maple whose leaves are now greening up.  This is due to the plant being placed in a much shadier place than the area where the tree was originally sitting.  Do you perhaps have the tree indoors?  If you do have it outdoors, I would try to find a sunnier location for it, or if you can remove nearby branches of other trees to allow it to have more sun, that would also work.  As far as the leaf tips being dry - this is a classic symptom of the plant being underwatered.  For trees planted in the ground, I would water every two or three days until the surrounding ground was damp.  You should put several gallons of water on even a small tree.  You don't want the surrounding ground to be mushy afterwards, but water thoroughly, especially on a newly established tree and during the summer.  If the tree is in a pot, you need to water enough so that the ground stays evenly moist.  The entire root ball should get wet.  Don't leave water standing in a saucer under the pot and pour off any runoff.  You should water the tree when your finger inserted in the soil doesn't find water until the second knuckle or about two inches down.  These trees can be grown indoors although they really need a good light source.  I hope this information helps.  Write back if you have more questions.  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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