Maple Bonsai Care

Japanese Maple Bonsai Trees are best known for their unique leaf shape and seasonal changes. Due to their deciduous nature, maple trees lose their leaves during the winter and sprout back during the spring.

The success of your bonsai depends on a variety of factors, most notably watering and light. Below are some species specific guidelines to follow that will help ensure that your bonsai will stay healthy and happy.

Pruning Tips:
Maple bonsai trees can be trained easily using the clip and grow method. Maple bonsai trees back bud at the nodes. To keep internodes shorter, prune back longer internodes to reduce them over time. Maples will also back bud to the trunk if you do heavy branch cutting. We recommend waiting for woody growth prior to cutting back to ensure bud growth. Maple bonsai branches can be brittle. Take care if you are applying wire. A good technique for training maple bonsai is to use guy wire along with the clip and grow technique.

Fertilizing:
We recommend fertilizing your bonsai tree every month with a bonsai fertilizer. Time release granules are the easiest to use and can be added every season. Reduce the amount of fertilizer during the winter. Take care to not over-fertilize as this can cause your leaves to burn or grow too leggy.

Lighting:
Maple Bonsai trees thrive best with natural sunlight. We recommend filtered natural sunlight. If placed in full sun, take care to manage your watering to prevent your tree from drying out. Also, full sunlight and warmer conditions can lead to some leaf burn.

Temperature Requirements:
Maple are quite hardy to many climates. Due to their deciduous nature, the tree will go into dormancy during the fall / winter and lose all of its leaves. Sprouts and new growth will appear in the spring.

Watering Requirements:
Maple bonsai trees require moderate watering. We recommend using a soft spray to soak the soil. Ensure that water penetrates not only the topsoil but also into the roots by checking that draining is occurring on the bottom of the pot. Keep the Maple moist at all times.

Repotting:
Maple bonsai trees can be repotted during spring and fall for highest success rates. Avoid winter repotting as colder temperatures will make it harder for roots to recover. During repotting, we recommend trimming off older roots to promote new growth. After repotting, place tree in a shaded area for 2-3 weeks prior to placing back in full or partial sun. Maples prefer more acidic soil.

Indoor / Outdoor:
Maple bonsai trees thrive best in outdoor conditions. During the winter, trees can be overwintered to protect from freezing.