Why is my Japanese maple turning brown and how do I fix it? –ISBUZZLE

Japanese maples are known for their colorful foliage. The striking color becomes even more beautiful in the fall.

However, it becomes alarming when the beautiful leaves turn brown, as their color is the most striking feature. If your maple is facing the same problem and you need help, we are here!

Your Japanese maple can turn brown due to lack of water (drought or drought), excess fertilizer, or physical damage to the roots of the tree.

It can also be due to overwatering, limited space, or exposure to high winds, all of which damage the plant and make it more susceptible to injury.

But don’t worry as we have listed all the problems and their solutions in detail to help you out. So read on if you want your Japanese maple to stay healthy and colorful.


Why is my Japanese maple turning brown?

A Japanese maple leafThe delicate, colorful foliage of Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) is enjoyed throughout the growing season and well into fall.

Depending on the variety, this rather small, slow-growing plant can reach a mature height of 4 to 30 feet.

Although the tree flowers in early summer, the palmate leaves with tubercles with five, seven or nine teeth stand out.

Most Japanese maples are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8, with some surviving in zone 4 when grown in wildlife preserves.

Japanese maples thrive in limited sunlight and well-drained soil. Plant them in zones 7-8 in partial shade or a dappled location. sunlight to protect the green from the summer heat.

Many popular varieties have red vegetation, but some have vibrant green or golden hues. Although there are many contexts for choosing a Japanese maple, most people plant this plant for its leaves.

Here are some reasons why your maple is losing its beautiful foliage:

1) burnt leaves

In their natural habitat, Japanese maples grow under tall trees.

Excessive sun exposure can cause Japanese maple leaves to turn brown. This condition is known as leaf scorch.

Even trees exposed to too much sun can turn brown in a hot summer, especially if other troublesome factors are present.

As for the symptoms, it is a matter of degree. Only a few leaves will turn brown, and only around the edges, the mildest cases.

The upper leaves are mainly affected. Too much sunlight can also cause stress-induced color changes, leading to wilting.

How to fix it:

Panic leads nowhere, so calm down first. There’s no doubt that your precious Japanese maple is losing its leaves and turning brown, but that’s just the result of the hot, dry summer.

In the summer, the juice from any plant will leak out if exposed to direct sunlight, so don’t worry. The plant may be bare, but don’t consider it dead yet.

The plant will bloom its second set of buds and new leaves will appear. Do not spray it with fertilizer; instead, the remedy is to move the plant to an area where it can get some shade.

Place the plant near a window that receives direct sunlight, or if outdoors, near a taller tree for shade.

The tallest tree will protect the plant from the scorching rays of the sun. Additionally, the shade of the tallest tree can mimic the natural habitat of the plant it receives in the forest or natural breeding area.

2) Less water

If your Japanese maple is in a shady spot or if you have now moved your tree to a new location, the plant will still become dull and the leaves will turn brown. heat and lack of water are likely to cause the burn.

Japanese maples are small, but can dry out quickly without hydration. So do not forget to water your beloved tree regularly.

How to fix it:

During dry periods, be sure to fully hydrate your maple tree. Deeper watering done less frequently is better than shallower watering done more frequently.

The goal is to keep the soil moist but not soft. Instead of trying to set up a completely foolproof watering schedule, check your soil between waterings to make sure it isn’t completely drying out.

You may also be interested in: Japanese Maple vs. red maple

3) Excess fertilizer

Fertilizers and mulch retain moisture. This will keep your tree sufficiently hydrated. However, do not over-fertilize the trees. You should fertilize the soil as needed.

Provide the tree with enough micronutrients (iron or manganese) if it lacks a specific nutrient. Think about your plant and get to know it better by doing some research.

How to fix it:

Follow directions carefully when using fertilizer. In general, the best time to fertilize Japanese maples is in early fall or early spring.

Only use compost if you don’t want to worry about your fertilization regimen. The compost is not harmful to the plant and can be used at will.

4) Exposed root system:

If the roots are exposed and allowed to dry out in shallow soil, the plant becomes susceptible to drying out and may turn brown as a result.

How to fix it:

Use mulch and spread it around the plant. This protects the root system. However, when exposed to air, the plant can quickly dry out and turn brown and eventually die.

5) Root rot:

Japanese maple red leavesRoot rot is also known as verticillium wilt. Japanese maples are relatively susceptible to fungal pathogens. Verticillium pathogens that affect Japanese maple grow in moist soil.

Symptoms of verticillium are blackening, graying, yellowing, and curling or loss of leaves from some branches.

It is a disease that affects the root due to soil moisture. Japanese maples are accustomed to growing soils with a rich organic composition.

The compost should have nutrient absorbing properties, but allow excess water to drain easily.

If the soil drains too slowly, or if the plant is in a soft area of ​​the garden, or if you water it too much, all of these factors will saturate the soil.

Well-drained soil helps the plant thrive and grow well. Therefore, excessive watering leading to root rot and waterlogging are detrimental to plant growth.

How to fix it:

Place the plant in well-drained, moist, not soggy soil. Do not overwater the plant and use fungicides if desired.

6) Exposure to high winds:

Strong winds dry out the plant, which can also darken and dry it out.

How to fix it:

Choose a sheltered location when planting a Japanese maple so that it is not exposed to strong winds.

To help you, see our article on where to plant a japanese maple

7) Insects and Pests:

Japanese maples are quite resistant to pests, but they are still not immune to pest problems. Aphids and scale insects are the most common that affect the plant.

On the plus side, these aphids and scale insects may not kill the plant, but they can turn it brown and cause leaves to drop prematurely.

Leaf browning at the edges, curling, wilting and dying are common problems associated with insect and pest infestations.

How to fix it:

Keep the maple insect free with a quick spray of water and the occasional insect repellent if the problem has not been solved.

8) Chemical Applications

Japanese maples are sensitive to chemical insecticides and fungicides. Therefore, do not contaminate your plant unnecessarily.

How to fix it:

If you need insect control, a mild solution of seven sprays or diluted neem oil can be used to ward off the pests. To reduce leaf scorch, spray early in the morning.

9) Excess water:

Excess water added to the soil can cause soil to weep and root to die in soggy soil.

How to fix it:

Clay should be added to absorb water and restore water balance.

Inkberry, sweet summer, black chokeberry and cranberry bush are shrubs that can absorb excess water when added to the soil.

10) Inadequate soil:

The soil must be suitable if you want the plant to thrive and not turn brown. Always test the soil to make it ideal for your precious maple tree.

11) Iron deficiency

Iron chlorosis is the lack of iron and causes a problem for the plant. Iron is essential and necessary for the plant to carry out photosynthesis normally.

If the leaves appear yellow to brown in color and the veins are vegetable. Later, the leaves dry up and fall off.

How to fix it:

Several steps should be followed to fix the problem. The main thing is to supply the plant with iron, so water it with iron chelators.

However, you should also test the pH of soil and water sources. This number should be between 4 and 6. If both seem alkaline (pH above 7), change them.

In the first case, plant it in pots with an acidified plant substrate or coconut fiber and acidify the irrigation with lemon water or citric acid. Follow directions for use carefully when using fertilizer.

12) Insufficient space.

Growing maple in a pot can also harm the plant. The leaves turn brown prematurely and the shrub or tree will not last long.

The limited space also makes it difficult to maintain the plant.

How to fix it:

If you think the plant needs a bigger pot, transplant it in early fall before it starts to shed its leaves.

Choose a container with holes in the bottom that are 2 to 4 inches larger in diameter and depth.

You may also be interested in: 6 Benefits of Having a Japanese Maple

final thoughts

A Japanese maple leafJapanese maples have striking and colorful golden red leaves which are the most prized characteristics of this plant. The plant is relatively small and grows slowly.

Leaves can turn brown for a variety of reasons, including overexposure to the sun. This is called leaf scorch. The leaves can also turn brown when dry, so be sure to water the plant as needed.

Soil fertilization is also important. Follow directions carefully when using fertilizer.

The trees are susceptible to fungal pathogens and therefore should not be placed in soggy soil. Japanese maples are hardy, but aphids and scale insects remain the most common to affect the plant.

Choosing the right soil is also vital for good plant growth, for example iron deficient soil also causes browning. The last but not the least reason for tanning is the limited space.

Transfer the tree to a larger pot if the browning does not fade. You can prevent your maple tree from turning brown by following these general maintenance steps.

About the Author:

sad gosling

Saad is an avid gardener and a great lover of plants, animals, photography and people. He currently focuses on indoor plant photography and capturing beautiful landscapes. Write and rewrite feature articles on nature and science.

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