Growing Japanese Maple Trees in Containers

Japanese Maple trees make up some of our most popular ornamental trees and our customers regularly ask us if they can be grown in containers. The great news is that they can!

Acer palmatum Atropurpureum in a beautiful shade garden

Acer palmatum Atropurpureum in a beautiful shade garden

A large number of our beautiful Acers are suited to container growing. There are of course, certain parameters to consider when growing Japanese Maple trees in pots.

  • Use a loam based compost with good drainage
  • Every other year, re-pot into a slightly bigger container in either April or September
  • Plant at the same level as in the original pot (just covering the roots)
  • As the tree is growing in the same soil year on year it will require supplemental nutrition so make sure you feed in spring with a slow-releasing fertiliser
  • Check the soil is evenly moist (not sodden) from April to September
  • Try to keep pruning to a minimum. The natural shape of Japanese maples is much more graceful when left to its own devices
  • It is safe to prune away crossing branches between November and February as dormant plants don’t ‘bleed’ sap

From our experience, Japanese Maples prefer to be relatively snug in their container. A good rule of thumb is to use a container no more than double the size of your root mass. The more excess soil surrounding the roots means more chance of the soil becoming saturated which can cause root rot.

Container grown Japanese Maples are a great solution if you have a small garden, or for patio planting. There’s an ornamental tree for every type of garden! For further help and advice, visit our website.

Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Garnet’

Acer palmatum Dissectum

Acer palmatum ‘Shin-deshojo’

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