Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:28 am
Location: England

Red Canadian leaf bonsai - First time grower

Hi all, first post :)

I've just bought a Canadian Maple bonsai starter kit from ebay and the instructions that came with it are a bit vague.

There's 3 seeds in a small pot and the instructions read as follows

'Remove all plastic wrapping and water well, then place outside for 8 weeks, then bring into a warm greenhouse or room in the house to finish the germination process, grow for 1 year in the bonsai pot'

Now outside here the temperature is fluctuating quite a lot as most people living in England at the moment will know.

Will this pot be able to handle cold/freezing temperatures for 8 weeks? Would I be able to just grow them in my room? My room averages about 44% humidity and 20c. Will I need to water it again? The soil is pretty much soaked at the moment.

Also as the pot is so small will the 3 seeds all be able to grow or should I separate them before I put them outside? It say's they are 'pre-sown sugar maple bonsai'

Thanks for any advice :D

Green Thumb
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:05 am
Location: Elizabeth, PA

A lot of temperate species need a couple months of cold in order to start growing, this is called stratification. Did the instructions say anything about putting it in the refrigerator? I would probably just go ahead and put them outside and wait, they'll be outside for their entire life anyhow. In the meantime you may want to think about buying something a little older once spring rolls around. That way while you wait for the seeds to mature and grow you can have something to work with and improve your skills. Growing from seeds can take a long time, but can be worth it. If you work on older material in the meantime, by the time you are able to do anything with your seeds you will have the skills and knowledge to make all that waiting worthwhile.

lifted from wikipedia's article on maples "Most species require stratification in order to germinate, and some seeds can remain dormant in the soil for several years before germinating"

Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:28 am
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA

Hi and welcome to the forum. Please be aware that Canadian red leaf maple is not an indoor tree for bonsai - as you have chosen the "indoor bonsai" section of the forum. You might want to check out the more general "bonsai' forum for your tree type. Large leaf plants do not make good bonsai.
Indoor trees refer to those from warm tropical regions of the world and when we attempt to grow them in colder, temperate, places we must do so indoors to mimic their native environments. And we must give them lots of light and moisture (humidity). :roll:
You might want to check with a local nursery for recommendations for a suitable plant to use as a starter bonsai, or a bonsai club in your area.

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