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How to plant an acer in a pot


Japanese maples, or acers, are ideal for pots as they're slow growing and make stunning focal points. As well as being easy to look after, they'll reward you with feathery plumage all summer that slowly changes colour as the weather turns colder. Look forward to a blaze of fiery reds, russet browns, oranges and butter yellows.

How to do it


Gather together everything you need and put a layer of crocks in the bottom of the pot.


Half-fill the pot with compost, then remove the acer from its container and position it in the middle of the pot.


Fill in around the plant with fresh compost and firm it in gently, making sure it's planted at the same depth as it was in its original container.


Top the compost with a layer of decorative mulch, such as pebbles or crushed shells, and water well.

Our tip

Acers like moist soil in semi-shade, and need to be protected from winds and late-spring frosts, which can damage their leaves.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to plant an acer in a pot
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cskourte 24/11/2011 at 15:27


Could you tell me about the after-care for these acers, specifically how to manage a tree that has reached the pot boundaries, but I do not wish to increase the size of the pot it sits in. I have heard that during the acer's dormant period, I can lift the tree and cut back it's roots, is this true?



muddybut 24/11/2011 at 15:27

hi, could you please tell me how to get rid of moles, ive even got mole hills on top of one another, they are destroying my lawn. I live in the countryside in aberdeenshire,I have 3 acres, mainly trees and grass, am I beyond help,

marymcmahon 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I have an acer in a pot, it is about 3-4ft high, would it be possible to transfer it back into the soil and if so when would be the best time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Aceraddict 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Please can someone tell me when to prune dead branches from an Acer Palmatum. It is quite a large tree but keeps dying back on one side. I really need to remove them now to enjoy the tree over the spring and summer but don't want to loose it. Will it kill the tree if I carefully cut off just the dead branches now? Aceraddict.

surrey13 24/11/2011 at 15:29


I have a white almost fungal growth on the bark of my acer. The plant does not seem to be affected - iti is over 20 years old. Any assistance much appreciated on what the problem is and how to get rid of it

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