Japanese maple - ideal for the balcony

Japanese maple - ideal for the balcony

Suitable types for the bucket

The Japanese maple is not a homogeneous species, but rather a collective term for various types of maple from the Far East. In addition to the actual Japanese maple (Acer japonicum), the Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) and the golden maple (Acer shirasawanum) are also included in this group. What they all have in common is the small growth, the characteristic strongly pinnate leaves and the intense autumn color. Basically all species are suitable for keeping in a bucket, but especially the dwarf ones.

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Choosing the right vessel

Since the Japanese maple is one of the shallow roots, you should not only choose a bucket that is as large as possible, but also as wide. At best, it is so big that you can leave the slowly growing little tree in it for up to five years. As a rule, repotting is only necessary after this time has elapsed. If you want to overwinter your Japanese maple outdoors, you should also choose a frost-proof container - not that the material breaks apart in the cold season and endangers the tree in it.

It's all about drainage

The Japanese maple prefers a slightly moist substrate, but it cannot cope with waterlogging at all. For this reason, when planting the newly acquired sapling, you should pay particular attention to good drainage:

  • Choose a planter with drain holes in the bottom.
  • These are covered with larger stones / pebbles to avoid silting up.
  • A layer of clay granules or some other material several centimeters thick is then placed on top.
  • The bigger the pot, the thicker this layer is.
  • On it fill a nutrient-rich and permeable substrate,
  • which ideally consists of a mixture of earth and sand.

There should never be standing water in the coaster, it should always be removed.

Proper care of the bucket maple

The following rules apply to the care of the bucket maple:

  • Choose a location suitable for the selected variety.
  • This should also be protected from the wind as possible on the balcony.
  • Water regularly but moderately.
  • Fertilize once a year with a depot fertilizer or organic fertilizer.
  • Do not cut back the maple.
  • Protect the pot and plant from frost in winter.


Japanese maple and some of its varieties are particularly suitable for the balcony, for example the filigree variants “Butterfly” and “Kamagata”.