Japanese Maple: Is It Realistic to Grow at Home?

Japanese maple is a perennial ornamental plant (small tree or shrub) that grows in southern countries in the open field. In autumn, maple leaves acquire pink, purple, burgundy shades and their combinations. Ornamental varieties rarely grow more than three meters in height.


Planting and Caring

Japanese maple prefers acidic soil. For normal tree growth, it needs to be fertilized once a year (late spring — early summer). The Japanese maple is fond of watering. In summer, it needs to be watered once a week, in winter — every four weeks. With a lack of water, the tree grows very slowly.



Are you wondering how to grow a Japanese maple? First, decide which variety you want to grow. How you plant it depends on it. Some varieties are grown from seed, others from cuttings and grafts.

Before planting, Japanese maple seeds are kept in wet sand in the refrigerator for 4 months. In the middle of spring, germinated seeds are planted in soil with sand pre-fertilized with humus. Continue with plenty of water. The distance between the holes is at least 1.5 m.

The graftage of Japanese maple is as follows: a stalk with two or three leaves is cut off in the summer and rooted in the ground. Living in areas with a predominantly continental climate, you will have to keep the maple (and especially the fan maple) in tubs.

Fan maples grow small and, therefore, grow well in pots that are exposed outdoors during the warmer months. In the cold season, trees growing in tubs should be kept in a cool dry room, and during dry periods, the tub should be moved to a semi-shaded area. Even though Japanese maple loves the sun, it must be protected from direct sunlight to avoid burning the leaves.

When keeping Japanese maple indoors, humidity and temperature should be controlled — avoid dry air and heat. No less essential is the soil moisture level. For the normal growth of a tree in a tub, it must be watered daily in the morning.



The Japanese maple has many varieties with very beautiful (from green to dark cherry) leaves:

  • the fan maple;
  • Bloodgood with very dark leaves;
  • Beni Kawa with light leaves; 
  • Katsura; 
  • Osakazuki; 
  • Nicholsonii.

All these varieties have excellent decorative qualities.


Maple Tree Care

Japanese maple, like other plants of Japanese origin, needs to overwinter in cool and high humidity conditions. For this, balconies or loggias are suitable; in case of frost, cover the tree with whatever kind of canvas. Remember, maple can withstand negative temperatures, but dry air is contraindicated for it.

The crown of the Japanese maple is formed by pruning the branches. This process should be done in the fall. When growing Japanese maples in a pot, it is necessary to feed the plants with mineral fertilizers once a year, otherwise the plant may die. The Japanese maple tolerates transplantation easily. Maple has a small root system. A transplant in a larger pot should be done every 3-4 years.

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