We lived in California and had a small maple tree in the backyard. Evidently a seed fell into a pot that was brought to Arizona. A small twig came up with one leaf on it. It now grows and is watered and sits in my granddaughter’s bedroom window. It has many leaves and is doing well. Will it drop its leaves this fall and will the leaves go from green to a pretty color? As I recall the leaves from the maple in the yard in California were red.
Hello from Illinois. My name is April M. and retired Horticulturist from the Chicago Botanic Garden and will answer your Maple question. From your very cute picture, it looks like you have put the seeding into a shallow container and now your seeding has turned into a Bonsai plant.
I would suggest that you read up on the care of Bonsai plants which includes how to water, prune and care for your Maple tree. I do know that in order for your Maple’s leaves to turn into fall color, you must have a cold period which in Illinois consists of at least one frost. If you keep your plant indoors that won’t happen. That would entail taking the Maple outdoors to catch that fall weather, which I’m assuming you have in your California region (assuming also from your reference to seeing fall color on other maples in your area). Now you cannot take any indoor plant straight outdoors into the hot sun or even part sun without first getting the plant used to the outdoors. So, take your tree outside gradually, first a couple of hours each day in the morning. Increase the time outside each day, maybe a half hour each day until it’s outside the entire day. That way the tree gets used to the outside and the changing weather. Once it gets that cold snap the tree should start changing color. Actually, that red (or fall color) is just under the green color of the leaf and the cold decreases the green with cold as well as the daylight change, then increases the color underneath. Hope this will be helpful and good luck with your really interesting Maple Bonsai.
April – Horticulturist