Maple cultivation

Maple cultivation

Maples are very beautiful but equally delicate ornamental plants that deserve particular attention in the different phases, from planting to cultivation. In addition to treating these plants with the utmost delicacy, maples should always be planted at ground level and never too low because they are plants that do not tolerate stagnant water. To strengthen the drainage of the soil, it is possible to place stones or other draining material on the bottom of the hole before burying the plant. Once planted, the maple plant should be covered at the collar with soil and compressed in order to compact the soil but without exaggerating. Finally, we abundantly water the maple at the collar once the operations are finished to favor a rapid recovery from the transplant.

The fertilization of this plant must be done before or after the winter depending on whether we use organic fertilizer or chemical fertilizer. The best time for maple pruning is the beginning of autumn, a period in which a containment and cleaning pruning is usually done on these plants, to shape the maple and eliminate dead branches.

Japanese maple cultivation

L'Japanese mapleand it is an ornamental plant grown in almost all gardens due to the elegance of its posture and the beauty of its thick foliage which turns red in autumn.

  • Features Japanese maple
  • Flowering
  • Japanese maple cultivation
  • Exposure
  • Ground
  • Watering
  • Fertilization
  • Japanese maple: cultivation in pots
  • Repotting
  • Multiplication of the Japanese maple - Acerum palmatum
  • Planting or planting
  • Pairings
  • Pruning
  • Pests and diseases of the maple
  • Cures and treatments
  • Variety of palmate maple - Japanese maple
  • Japanese maple variety Dissectum Garnet
  • Crispum Japanese Maple
  • Uses
  • Is Japanese maple toxic?
  • Plant language
  • Curiosity
  • Photo gallery Japanese maple


As for the arrangement of the plants in the garden and the possible combinations, it is necessary to start from the assumption that each Japanese maple is always in itself a unique plant with a high "architectural value" so it often lends itself to being used as a solitary specimen, to make highlight some areas of a garden or in pot cultivation, or to create bonsai, it being understood that for each of these uses there are more suitable varieties and others a little less for many reasons. It is also very important to remember that varieties of Japanese maple, apparently identical in certain seasonal moments, can produce totally different color variations in others and it is therefore fundamental know the behavior of a variety throughout the year and not just when you want to buy it!

Seasonal effects and color variations are very noticeable revealing unimaginable color changes. The following two photos are very eloquent and show the same area in spring and autumn.

In case you want to associate Japanese maples with each other, my advice is to choose different varieties (and not create groups of identical varieties as is often done for other species) that can always provide variations of shapes and colors over the course of the seasons. In my case, also due to the large number of different plants, caused by the collection of the varieties themselves, I designed important patches, composed of Japanese maples interspersed with paths and paths.

These groups, which we could also call "islands", are each made up of Japanese maples chosen and combined on the basis of different criteria:


in each "island", presumably in the foreground depending on the main views, there must be at least one hanging form (usually a dissectum), or a dwarf or semi-dwarf variety, perhaps with a compact habit, as well as two or more erect forms and two more enlarged or coniform.

With regard to the "dissectums" I would like to underline how the close-ups of a border can be very interesting those grafted to the foot. In short, they do not form the classic "umbrella with handle" shape but can be guided and set upwards, as desired. This involves the development of "well dressed" shapes right from the ground and above all the creation of "unique" pieces. Obviously, a little patience is needed but these operations give a lot of personal satisfaction within a few years, especially to those who are really passionate about plants and want to create something unique. This parenthesis that I opened serves to open new creative paths to those interested in interacting with plants: with the due "distinctions" it is a bit like creating bonsai even if we are talking about very different things. It goes without saying that these forms grafted to the foot are much more widespread abroad than in Italy, but in our nursery they are often available.


The colors of Japanese maples are varied and more importantly, they can vary greatly depending on the seasons

therefore I prefer to specify the colors according to the seasons

TO) spring

  • Red. Each island must have at least one spring red (or purple) color. If the reds were more than one, since it is not good to exceed with this color, especially in spring, it is better to differentiate them for the posture or for the shape of the foliage (for example a dissectum and one with palmate foliage), taking into account specimens of medium-small growth, precisely in order not to inflate the color in the group.

  • Orange and Yellow Gold. This is a possible option that gives a lot of brightness and attractiveness to a group. If you choose to insert this color, it is not necessary to limit yourself to a single maple of this type per flower bed in order to bring out its colors to the maximum. Check with any reds to insert the best possibilities of contrast.

  • Varied. The same applies to reds, bearing in mind that often the color effect has a less strong impact especially from long distances, so they can also be inserted in greater numbers on an island, perhaps taking care not to insert them in close contact, so to be able to stand out better and not squeak with each other. If possible they should be inserted in darker positions to better illuminate the area and stand out better but also because in many cases the varigated cultivars like partial shade areas. Many variegates can easily "pick up" the purplish hues or shades of color found in other maple trees of a different color

  • Green. The green coloring in Japanese maples is anything but monochromatic! There are dozens of shades of green that create fantastic color contrasts or shades of the same, without forgetting, then that many Japanese maples with green colored foliage, at the moment of the emission of the buds have pastel colors, ocher, amber, orange more or less intense and even parts of foliage such as the terminal part of the lobes, brightly colored in orange or red and many leaves retain veins and shades of color before turning green for at least a couple of months. All this is very important to create contrasting effects or harmony with the other maples which is one of the main reasons of attraction both in the views from medium distances and in the detail of the foliage.

B) autumnal

In this case it is possible to be a little more tolerant in the insertion of color, taking into account that the autumn colors, however beautiful and constant, in certain varieties, leave more and more space for shades (each year the intensities and saturations can vary. of the colors themselves, as well as the moment of maximum coloring can vary even slightly and not coincide with that of the neighboring plant) and are easily associated with each other. It is therefore possible to insert red, yellow and orange with a certain ease even if it is very important to foresee a certain alternation of color in neighboring plants and try to avoid the same autumn color (at least in the same intensity, brightness and color saturation) in plants with close contact or, if you make this choice, you know with certainty a time lag in the autumn coloring in order to have, in this case, a certain continuity of color.

Associations and supporting plants

As for the associations with other plants it must first be said that the Japanese maple is usually not an invasive nor competitive species and that it goes well with other plants that have the same cultural needs and in any case are not too invasive towards water and light. Having said this, it is also necessary to provide something that will attract attention in the winter period where the fallen leaves leave a dense intertwining of bare branches, often very pleasant even so especially if you have inserted pendulous or very well structured shapes. In case you are looking for attractions in the winter months, insisting on the choice of Japanese maples you can go to varieties with very colored bark (coral red or with streaks in pink, green or yellow) or widely wrinkled and chapped like those of pines. In case you want to resort to evergreen species, I found the use of dwarf conifers very useful and holly, (the latter suitably contained in case it expanded too much), all these insertions create very pleasant backgrounds and contrasting elements also in the others. seasons.

They can also be interesting in the spring season, bulbous such as daffodils, variegated and solid-colored hostas, ajuga, aspidistra, epimedium but also spiree (japonica Gold flame in particular), heuchera, herbaceous or arboreal peonies (often the foliage of these is sufficient last to create pleasant squares) ground cover ivy in varieties, suitably contained, violets, columbines, all obviously chosen with taste and with particular attention to colors. In the autumn season, the careful and prudent use of some non-invasive grasses of medium-low size can form original scenarios and contrasts.

Other aceraceous or in any case deciduous trees of different bearing and foliage can also be very useful, as well as colored berry plants in the autumn period.

In general, these islands must be able to avoid radical and light competition but at the same time make sure that the plants can interpenetrate with some branches in order to enhance the differences, the contrasts and the nuances. The important thing therefore is that these plants can be put in a position to grow and settle easily, the scenarios will come accordingly since the Japanese maples are undisputed examples of spectacularity.

Multiplication of the Japanese maple - Acerum palmatum

The multiplication takes place by stratification of the seeds but can also be done by soft wood cuttings in October.

With well-sharpened and disinfected shears, twigs fifteen centimeters long carrying at least one bud are removed. An incision is made at the base of the cuttings and buried in soil composed of peat and sand in equal parts. Once rooting has taken place, the new seedlings can be planted directly in permanent residence or in pots.

Planting or planting

The maple should be planted permanently from October to March, in holes that are twice as deep and twice as wide as the earthen bread that surrounds the roots. The soil must be rich in humus and well worked.


Japanese maple plants can be planted as single elements or in well-spaced groups or they can be combined with flowering plants such as: Kalmia, Azalea, Rhododendron and even dwarf conifers.


The Japanese maple should be pruned in autumn only if you want to contain the development of the foliage. Dry branches and those broken by the wind are cut cleanly by making oblique cuts on thicker branches.

Growing maples

Growing maples it is very easy, because it is about rustic plants and requiring little care. They prefer a well-drained soil, but constantly wet: this allows the shrubs to develop better, compared to poor and arid soils.

There nature of the soil varies by species: some maples grow well with a pH tending to alkaline, while others prefer some acidity.

As for the winter temperature there are no problems, as most of the western species it resists well even down to -20 ° / -25 ° C. Some are a little less rustic oriental maples less known, for which winter protection is needed.

L'display of maples most suitable is that in full sun or, in warmer areas, in partial shade, bearing in mind the wise rule that how much more intense is the amount of sunshine the wetter the soil must be. Furthermore, it should be remembered that generally the variegated leaf varieties less tolerate prolonged exposure to sunlight.

The watering for maple are needed when the plant was recently planted, but it should be noted that theexcess water is harmful at least as much as its lack.

If you feel the opportunity to fertilize maple , fertilizer must be added to the soil in the middle of the year, around June. There pruning of maple it is essential only if you want to give the specimen a beautiful shape. In this case, the operation must be done in full growth, to ensure that the wounds heal quickly.

Read the other expert answers at MAPLE TREE:

Video: Can you root Maple cuttings?