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Japanese maple as a houseplant?

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by gardengal on May 24, 2004 08:45 PM
My hubby would like to have our little Japanese maple live indoors next to our south facing windows. It would get a good amount of sunlight as that wall is mostly windows, but no direct sun. What do you think? Will it survive? [dunno]

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Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
by Nako on May 24, 2004 08:58 PM
It'll survive as long as you give it the proper conditions. Mist it as you water, and give it atleast a 20 degree temperature change between night and day. you could open the window or something at night. That's what i did when i was taking care of my friend's japanese maple.

When its outside, every morning it'll get its water from the dew, or rain or anything else. So while its inside, you'll have to water it daily. Also, choose a side to be its front, and make that side be the side that faces the public. Most people pick the most complex side (roots all showing, more branches showing etc.) and ya ^.^ you should be all setty. The people i talk to at Bonzai West don't like the idea of growing bonsai's growing inside, but it can be done.

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by gardengal on May 24, 2004 09:41 PM
Thanks for the info Nako. [kissies] I think we might give it a try. We bought it at a youth fair at my sister's school for $3.50 so it's not a big investment if it fails. But hopefully it will make it, the temp change might be the hard part. Wish us luck! [muggs]

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Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
by Nako on May 25, 2004 01:28 AM
Good luck! wow bonsai for 3-5 bux? o.O where do you shop? I'd love to see anything bigger than 3" high for under 20!

I missed a few things ^.^ if you're gonna water your bonsai by soaking it, only do it for a few hours. any unused water should be thrown out. use distilled or rain water as well. Annnnnnnnnnnd i think the place that would have the best temperature change is in a windowsil. Just make sure the leaves aren't touching the window. I think this place might be best because at night, the glass will probably get cold from there being no sun n stuff.

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by gardengal on May 25, 2004 06:51 PM
Its not really a bonsai, or trained to be one, its just a baby maple. They grow so slowly it will be a long time (years) before it looks like a big tree. Its in a one gallon nursery pot right now, its about 14" tall above the pot. We bought it at a fair for FFA (Future Farmers of America) at my sister's high school, that's why it was cheap. Both my hubby and I have always wanted one, they are such pretty delicate trees. We also bought a jacaranda tree about the same size for the same price, but that guy is going to grow much faster, much larger and is going in the front yard!

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Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
by Nako on May 25, 2004 07:55 PM
oooooooh its not a bonsai... sorry >.< in my books its a bonsai lol. but anywho ^.^ if you want to treat it like a bonsai, do all the stuff i said lol. Butttttttttttttttttt since its not a bonsai, the only things you probably shouldn't do is trim it using ur fingers, keep it potbound, orrrrr wire wrap it every year. It'll probably grow pretty well after that ^.^

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by apples on May 26, 2004 06:26 AM
Umm... I don't like to be meen but I don't think it's the best idea. Up here there not even fully hardy and all the bonsai stores, which will tell you it's ok to grow junipers inside so that they die within two or three years and you'll buy a new one, say it's not recomended you keep them inside. They need the close to freezing temps in winter and less light so if you do make it into a bonsai'ish thing then you could put it in your fridge for the winter! It's cold enough so it looses it's leaves and dosen't need light. Furthermore if it's above freezing and it gets alot of light it will be very confused and not know what to do(lots of stress trying to keep going but wanting to loose it's leaves. I'm almost positive if you leave it just on the window you'll see it deteriating and by the time spring comes it will be very stressed.
I'm not trying to ruin your fun or anything it's just it's a deciduous tree and needs to loose it's leaves. The best sugestion I have for you is when the temps start to drop outside put it there untill it looses it's leaves then let it have a nice sleep untill spring when you should put it out till the leaves come back. [Wink]
Bonsai isn't as tough as it may seem! Japanese maples make great bonsai and it's very fun to see that your nurturing this little life that you can hold in your hand that has all the beauty of an ancient tree! If you decide to let the shoots grow out to five sets of leaves and then cut back to two. In a few years it will be very twiggy and pretty indeed!
The rest of Nako's advice is very good, you have to mimic it's natural environment as close as possible.
Here's some good beginer bonsai sites if your interested!
bonsai empire
evergreengardenworks
I personaly favore penjing the chinese form of bonsai that only uses pruning to shape the tree but some times you have to wire a branch to get a convincing shape. If you just use the clipping methode I said about cutting to two sets of leaves then at least it will be smallenough to manage!
Good luck. [thumb]

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The answers will come when needed. Otherwise, I'm guesing time will make me feel silly.
by Nako on May 26, 2004 07:59 AM
I'm still a bit of a beginner with bansai... but i've gone to many sites and tried out a lot of stuff, and the stuff that i suggested worked quite well for me. That's just me though ^.^ different things work for different people. I think you should probably listen to apples. She sounds a lil more experienced than i do [angel]

Here in NH, we have a good amount of temperature change from day to night, and none of the windows get much sun in my house, except for 2, and they only get afternoon sun. The Juniper i was taking care of for a friend stayed in a window that didn't get any sunlight. The only problem i had with it was that it would start to droop, and i'd do something right, like mist it, and it'd perk back up again within a few hours ^.^

But ya, listen to apples ^.^

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by apples on May 27, 2004 04:31 AM
I still considder myself a beginner, just realy adicted!!
My juniper I got for chirtmass wasn't so lucky [tears] I had to keep it inside cause our winters are to cold to just throw it outside. Now it's looking pretty sad. I misted it all the time but by the time it got out side I guess it was to late. I've never tyried it in the window so I had a japanese maple over winter so I don't know for shure. My uncle tried and it was mid winter when I saw it and it still had some leaves. I'm just to fond of trees to take the chance I guess.
One last thing I should add is it needs both the low temps and low light to lose it's leaves. One only will confuse it.

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The answers will come when needed. Otherwise, I'm guesing time will make me feel silly.
by apples on May 27, 2004 04:40 AM
Phoebe, I have to corect you in that I'm a He [grin]

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The answers will come when needed. Otherwise, I'm guesing time will make me feel silly.
by Nako on May 27, 2004 07:00 AM
o_O; sorry about that! I had a friend in a chatroom named apples a while ago that was female lol. Sorry about that *gives you a flower* [angel]

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by apples on May 28, 2004 04:19 AM
Thank you! [grin]

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The answers will come when needed. Otherwise, I'm guesing time will make me feel silly.
by gardengal on May 28, 2004 06:11 PM
After much consideration I think I'll leave my little Japanese maple outdoors where it belongs. Our house stays a pretty constant tempature all year long, somewhere between 68-80 degrees, and that might put a bit too much stress on it.

Thank you Nako and Apples for all of your insight. I really do appreciate it. [kissies]

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Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
by apples on June 02, 2004 05:15 AM
I haven't been in the "house plants" section for awhlie. [Wink] Thanks for giving my bonsai bug a tickle [grin]

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The answers will come when needed. Otherwise, I'm guesing time will make me feel silly.

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