Japanese maples are trees which are particularly admired for their leaves which come in various shapes and colors depending on the variety. Many of the maples grow into full sized trees, but there are smaller varieties than can be grown successfully in containers. These dwarf varieties would be ideal for someone who does not have room for a standard tree, but still wants to grow one of these elegant plants. I found an article by Todd Boland over on Dave’s Garden website in which he describes the dwarf varieties of Japanese maple and includes instructions on planting and aftercare.
Why not try growing them in containers! There are many dwarf to semi-dwarf cultivars that lend themselves beautifully to growing in pots. Nothing looks more elegant than a potted Japanese maple in a secluded courtyard or enclosed deck or just about anywhere! Read on to learn how to grow them and which selection work best.
It seems that these days gardens, as a whole, are becoming smaller. However, as gardeners, we want to grow as much diversity as possible. The way around this is by growing in containers. This is fine for annuals but becomes more challenging if you want to grow woody material. Not all trees and shrubs will take to containers. However, there is one very choice group of woody plants that are ideal; Japanese Maples.
If I only had room for one woody plant in a pot, it would be a Japanese maple (actually I have room for 5 so far, but will get more!). It is difficult to find a more elegant plant, especially among the weeping and dwarf varieties. Essentially, any Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) can be grown in a container, however, some will outgrow their pots more quickly than others. Large standard cultivars like ?Bloodgood’, ?Moonglow’, ?Osakazuki’, ?Oshio-beni’ and ?Sango-kaku’ might only last a few years before they will need moving into the open garden. However there are lots of dwarf and semi-dwarf cultivars (1 to 3 m mature heights) that lend themselves to long-term cultivation in pots. It helps tremendously that these maples have significantly slower growth rates when growing in pots and naturally have smaller root systems than many plants their size.
The main advantage of growing in containers is that you can move the pots around for maximum impact and if you move homes, you can take them with you! However, success in pots takes a little more work than growing them in the open garden. There are several things to keep in mind.