Monday, April 11, 2011

While It Lasts

I went through a period of a few years when I was enthralled with Japanese Maples. Who wouldn't be? They are beautiful and graceful and perfect to collect because of all the different varieties. Only one problem. They aren't really very happy here. They do look lovely, like this 'Waterfall' that is one of the few that I have left, but only for a few weeks in the spring when they first bud out. As summer starts and the gardens in Southern California become dependent on sprinklers to quench their thirst, the alkaline water turns the tips of these delicate leaves brown. Not pretty. I guess if you took the time to neutralize the water every time you watered they would do well, but that is just not going to happen in my garden. I've learned to just say no to temperamental plants like this no matter how lovely they are. I will enjoy this pretty little thing for a few more weeks and then just look the other way!


Shirley said...

That's too bad. I truly love Japanese maples but we can't overwinter them here in zone 3, unless someone knows of a variety that is hard here. Typically I see they are a zone 5. Alas. we have alkaline soil and water here too. Another reason to move west! ;0

ONG said...

I am becoming obsessed with these trees but I have no shade an poor draining soil so almost positive I would kill them. Maybe in a large container?

Laguna Dirt said...

such a shame! i love japanese maples and think they would fit in so well with my bamboo. i'm in denial that they don't thrive in my non-draining clay and sandstone. thanks for the gentle reminder to resist planting them here (zone 10).