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.
They’ll eventually need repotting, so don’t forget to watch our video on when to repot an acer.
More advice on growing acers:
Best soil for Japanese maple in container
Japanese maples need nutrient-rich soil that’s moist but well-drained. They tend to do best in slightly ericaceous soil but, for pots, a loam-based soil like John Innes number 2 or 3 is needed for soil structure and moisture retention, so a 50:50 mix of John Innes and ericaceous compost is ideal.
My potted acer keeps dying – why?
In this Quick Tips video, Kate Bradbury, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, explains how to provide the best growing conditions for potted acers, and how to keep them looking their best:
Follow our step-by-step guide to planting an acer in a pot, below.
You Will Need
- Large pot
- Compost, equal-part mix of ericaceous compost and John Innes No.3
- Decorative mulch
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 – this will help to avoid water loss in summer. Water well.