The Care of Dwarf Japanese Red Maples


Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are attractive, deciduous trees. Often used as ornamentals, these graceful trees are desirable for their delicate leaves, multiple trunks and compact growth. Many varieties of the Japanese red maple are dwarf, meaning they mature at around 7 feet tall. Home gardeners often choose to grow these smaller trees in containers. Some of the more popular dwarf varieties include Abigail Rose and Wabito, which does not have fully red leaves but rather leaves edged with red margins. Dwarf Japanese red maples have the same care needs as their standard-size cousins.

Step 1

Plant your dwarf Japanese red maple in a location where it will receive some shade. This tree grows best in part sun and part shade, according to information published by the University of Florida. Morning sun exposure followed by afternoon shade to protect from the intense rays of the sun can help prevent leaf scorch.

Step 2

Provide soil that is high in organic matter for your tree. Acer palmatum requires soil rich in nutrients, according to information published by the University of Connecticut. Amend the soil with leaf mold or other organic compost if you have poor soil.

Step 3

Keep the soil around your dwarf Japanese red maple cool and moist but not overly wet. These trees do not like hot, dry conditions, but they also can develop root rot and other fungal issues if the soil is too saturated.

Step 4

Monitor your Japanese red maple for insect pests. Aphids in particular are known to favor maple trees, according to information published by the University of Florida. Heavy infestations can cause premature leaf drop. In such cases, spray your tree with an insecticide.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Insecticide


  • University of Florida: Acer Palmatum Japanese Maple
  • University of Connecticut: Acer Palmatum

Who Can Help

  • Wildwood Maples: Dwarf and Semi-Dwarf Acer Palmatum
Keywords: Japanese red maples, dwarf Japanese maples, Japanese maple care, Acer palmatum trees

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.