How Long Can You Keep A Lace Leaf Japanese Maple In A Pot Or Container?

Filed Under: Trees, Planting, Container Gardens · Keywords: How, Long, Can, Keep, Grow, Japanese, Maple, Red Dragon, Pot, Container · 1138 Views
How long can you keep a Japanese maple in a pot instead of planting in ground?


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Answer #2 · Brent Wilson's Answer · Like John, I grow a lot of Japanese maples in containers on my back deck, which is partially shaded. I have several varieties that have been growing in the same pots for upwards of 8 to 10 years. Some have outlived the pots they are in! These are dwarfs with a very slow growth rate and the pots are about 18 to 24 inches or so in diameter at the top. All I do is prune the trees once a year in late winter and snip a stray branch here or there when necessary. Other faster growing varieties I've had to shift up to larger containers or transplant into the landscape. Slow growers like Red Dragon should last many many years in a container provided the container is of fairly large size. If you don't want to have to shift up to larger pots, I'd recommend sticking with varieties that are known to be slow-growers or dwarfs and start out with a large pot to begin with. I always plant some type of evergreen groundcover in the container with the Japanese maple and, during the first few years, even add in some annual flowers. Small ivies, creeping jenny, blue star creeper, low-growing sedums, and dwarf mondo grass are some of my favorite groundcovers for containers.

Here's an excellent article about growing Japanese maples in containers:

http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/892/How-To-Info/Planting/Growing-Japanese-Maples-In-Containers/default.html

Much success with your Japanese maple container garden!

Brent)



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Answer #1 · John Heider's Answer · Hi Shirley-Many Japanese maples will grow in pots for many years. With proper care such as providing correct well draining soil, and repotting every few years during their years of growth they can live their whole life in a container. Once the tree becomes more mature root pruning is needed to keep the plant healthy and allow it to continue to survice in the same size pot for the rest of its life.

It is important to select a Japanese maple cutlivar that will thrive in a container. Some that have a faster growth rate and naturally grow to more mature heights will out grow most easily handled container sizes, this not being true of bonsai growing of maples, but this is another very exacting way of growing. There are many cultivars to select from for container growing. The Red Dragon does very well grown in containers. Two in my maple collection are Red Dragons and now approximately 4 and 6 foot tall and have grown in pots since purchasing them four years ago. I have several Japanese maples that are approximately 10 years old or older that are also doing very well in large 20 - 25 inch pots.

Hope this has helped answer your question.

John)


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Shirley White

Shirley White · Gardenality Sprout · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
John, thank you so much for this info. From your pictures, I could tell you knew your stuff when it came to Japenese maples. I have such a strong attraction to them and just drool over pictures of lovely gardens such as yours. I am going to give it a whirl and we will see what happens. I have just joined this garden sight and I can already tell.....it might just make a real gardener out of me! Thanks again...

1 year ago ·
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John Heider

John Heider · Gardenality Genius · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F
You're very welcome. Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you may have.

1 year ago ·
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Answer #4 · Shirley White's Answer · Great advice. I think in the past I had fallen into the rut of buying low quality plants and hurrying to get planted and not preparing the dirt correctly...only to be disappointed. I am learning and thanks to the advice of experienced gardeners, I think I am on the right track. I am just in 'awe' of both John's and Brent's beautiful gardens. I just can't imagine looking out my windows at such beauty and knowing that I created it! I think one of my biggest obstacles is trying to figure out what to plant with what to get the most beauty and something blooming in the yard every day. Will keep reading and learning from guys like you......Thanks so, so much!)


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Brent Wilson

Brent Wilson · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
You're very welcome, Shirley. After 30 years designing landscapes and gardens the things I focus on most when deciding how plants will be arranged in a garden is texture, color and form. Basically, I alternate leaf textures placing plants with small leaves next to large leaves and shiny leaves next to matte leaves. I use a lot of ornamental grasses as well to provide unique texture. Then I use analogous and complimentary flower and foliage colors together and often mix in some neutral color. Then I alternate upright plants with mounding plants.

Here's a couple links to articles that provide some good design tips:

http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/977/Garden-Types/Container-Gardens/Tips-And-Ideas-For-Designing-Container-Gardens/default.html

http://www.gardenality.com/Articles/413/How-To-Info/Design/Do-It-Yourself-Landscape-Design/default.html

I'm glad you brought up "quality plants." There's a HUGE difference between the plants you'll find at a reputable independent nursery and garden center and big box stores...not to mention the quality of advice and the difference in care of the plants before you purchase and plant them in your garden. If I went into detail here about the differences in plant quality it would be several pages. Maybe I should write an article on it?:-)

Oh, by the way, here's a tip. When you have a comment to make, such as in responding to this comment I just made, rather than use the "Post An Answer To This Question" box, you can use the "Comment about this answer link" to respond to this or any other answer or comment another member has made. We need to make it where these different links are more visibly noticeable:-)

1 year ago ·
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Answer #3 · Shirley White's Answer · Thank you Brent for the information and the time you took to share with me. I long for a beautiful garden like those I see in the pages on this awesome web site. I am getting started late in life (60"s) enjoying gardening. Wish I would have done it in my younger years as I now know what pleasure and joy I have been missing. Thanks also for the web site link for info growing J. maples in containers. I like the idea of planting something of interest in the pot as well. I feel confident in the answers you and John have given me as the pictures you share are a testimony as to the knowledge, love and work that has
been put into your awesome landscaping/gardens. Thank again!!)


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Brent Wilson

Brent Wilson · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Shirley - There's no better time to start gardening than now. My dad didn't start playing golf until he was in his 60's and he's still going strong now at 79...and also does a good bit of gardening. I'm finding out that the difference in gardening now to when I was in my 20's and 30's is that I have to be more patient...and that's a good thing. I used to go with quantity over quality and would rush to plant everything as fast as I could. These days I'm taking more time to choose the best plants, doing soil preparations, and caring for the plants...which is all important in gardening. Maintaining and caring for plants is the greatest pleasure to me. I hire out younger folks to do any heavy digging and such, as anyone can dig a whole to any certain size. But I do the rest. Am also growing more in containers and have built a much smaller vegetable garden that is more easily manageable. All in all, I'd say that later in life is the best time to get into gardening! Don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have and we'll be happy to answer them for you.

1 year ago ·
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John Heider

John Heider · Gardenality Genius · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F
Wow, Brent is right on. The patience I have at 67 definitely helps to produce a more beautiful and rewarding garden than that of years back. Back then I wanted more in the landscaping and wanted everything to mature now. Half of those plants always seemed to die. Now I can take the time to look for quality plants, plant them correctly, care for them properly, and watch with greater rewards as ALL of them survive and thrive well. Unfortunately I can't say the same about my golf game.

1 year ago ·
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