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Container Gardening for Japanese Maples
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Container Gardening for Japanese Maples

The 23rd Annual Spring Garden Show in the South Coast Plaza mall presents a seminar about growing Japanese Maples in containers. The guest speaker, a Japanese Maples specialist, talks about properly growing Japanese Maples with its companion plants. She explains the importance of reduction and root pruning to properly maintain your plants. By planting your Japanese Maples in a container, you can use the basic principles of bonsai to perform reduction and root pruning as well as organizing an attractive garden style.

Japanese Maples make perfect yard decoration because they are always changing colors during each season. But you must do careful research about the Japanese Maples you have because there tends to be diverse types of maples. Research their preference for location, soil, water, and lighting requirements. For instance, the red tree needs some direct sunlight. Japanese Maples tend to have a shallow fibrous root system. But smaller trees are much easier to handle.

It is important to have a container that has a wide space, at least as wide as its depth. The widest area of the container should be the top, open area. A good quality container should have lots of drainage because overwatering maples can kill them. A concrete and composite container with fiber is a good choice.

Use acidic and loose soil, with five parts bark to one part humus. But don't use high nitrogen fertilizer because it isn't good for this tree. Root pruning should be performed in dormancy in order to loosen dirt underneath and make it all a certain level. Then, add new soil. If you are planting Japanese Maples in the ground, consider using gypsum in the soil. Place one cup of gypsum per five gallons of soil.

Its companion plants need moist and semi-acidic soil, but they cannot seem to compete with the Japanese Maples. Such companion plants include tulips, Dwarf columbine, Sedum Ogon, Blue Hoster, and Japanese Painted Fern. Add some stones to decorate your container garden. The rounded stones are better than angular stones because the angular stones don't work well with the softness of the tree. Place the small plants near the stones because stones tend to be insulators, controlling plant growth. Stones should be placed at the edge of the container. Then, place moss on top of them, around the tree. Every two to five years, use B1 for root pruning. It is advisable to mark your calendar in order to remind yourself when it is time for root pruning. For the Orange County area, the month of February is the recommended time to prune the tree's roots. But since each tree type has its own distinctly different characteristics, you must do your research in order to better understand the character of that tree before you prune it. Moreover, reduction pruning is performed depending on the proportion of the container to the particular tree size. Some of these Japanese Maples have spiraling branches that tend to grow sloping downwards. It is advisable to trim these branches in order to create a horizontal movement of the branches.

Then, add desirable miniature props to further decorate your staging scene. Such mini props include a park bench, building, animals and human figures, chairs, tables, and other little pieces that you might find inside of a doll house or architectural sculpture.

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