Japanese Maple Starter Bonsai

We have just received our largest selection of Japanese Maple cultivars to date in dwarf and semi-dwarf sizes. Japanese Maple are grown worldwide for their attractive forms, leaf shapes, and spectacular colors. Japanese Maples have many characteristics that make them practical options for container potting and bosai. They have smaller root systems than many plants their size and have significantly slower growth rates when growing in pots. The main advantage of growing in containers is that you can move the pots around for maximum impact and care. You can decorate your patio and deck in the summer, bring inside to liven up your house as the leaves turn magnificent colors in the fall, and move it to the garage for six weeks during the winter for their winter dormancy. Developing a Japanese Maple into a bonsai tree is a fun project and the branches of the tree are flexible, making the tree well suited to bonsai training.

Japanese Maple can also be planted outdoors and can survive the harsh Colorado winter months with some proper planning and attention. If you go this route, be sure to plant in a location where it will receive ample water and protection from intense sun and drying wind. Although they are not the easiest plants to grow, they are incredibly beautiful and are very satisfying when grown successfully. Be sure to speak with one of our experts for advice on how to provide the best conditions possible for your Japanese Maple!

Here are some beautiful varieties to look at:

Mikawa Yatsubusa Japanese Maple

The delicate leaves of this multi-branched, compact Japanese maple grow closely together and overlap one another like roof shingles, producing a dense leaf cover and nearly spherical form. New yellow-green foliage has red tips and turns medium green with age. In fall, brilliant fiery red and darker red leaves create a dramatic show.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 3-6” per year
  • Garden Size: 6’ H X 4’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial to Full Shade

Golden Full Moon Maple

The Golden Full Moon Maple is a delightful small tree whose yellow leaves can brighten a shady spot or add beautiful contrast to dark green or blue conifers. When protected from afternoon sun, its leaves stay fresh looking all season long.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 6-12” per year
  • Garden Size: 10’H X 7’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial to Full Shade

Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple

This outstanding dwarf variety develops dense branching and a unique sphere-shaped form. The leaves start off bright red in the spring and then darken in the summer. Their autumn foliage is a dazzling orange to red, and when the leaves do fall, the compact structure along with dark red stems add excitement to the winter landscape.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 3-6” per year
  • Garden Size: 6’ H X 6’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial Shade

Shindeshojo Japanese Maple

Fire engine red or iridescent scarlet are phrases that only attempt to describe the spring leaves of this small tree. Summer sun cools the color down to a pleasant reddish green, and autumn gives a blend of red and orange to the tiny leaves. This is an excellent maple for patio containers and bonsai.  

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 12-15” per year
  • Garden Size: 20’ H X 15’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial to Full Shade

Butterfly Japanese Maple

The Butterfly variegated Japanese maple will add elegance to your garden. This small vase-shaped tree has tiny, creamy, white and green variegated leaves. Its early spring leaves can be tinged with pink. In autumn, look for a lively change to bright magenta coloring.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 6-12” per year
  • Garden Size: 15’H X 12’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial to Full Shade

Coral Bark Japanese Maple

The brilliant coral red bark on the twigs and branches of this small tree make the winter landscape come alive, especially against a background of snow! In the spring, the delicate leaves emerge a bright green with a reddish tinge on the edges. One of the first maples to show fall color, the leaves change to golden yellow with apricot-rose tints. The Coral Bark Japanese Maple is invaluable for the small garden and along walkways, patios and pools.

  • Growth Habit: Broad Upright
  • Growth Rate: 12-15” per year
  • Garden Size: 20’H X 15’W
  • Cold Hardiness: -20 to -10F
  • Sunlight: Partial Shade

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