Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree Care Sheet

General Description:

The Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree from our online nursery is a dwarfed version of its counterpart found in nature, a tree that shares many of the favorable characteristics with maples around the world, but is native to only Japan. These trees are known for their unique and vivid colors in the spring and fall, and they are especially hearty when properly cared for. Because this bonsai is a dwarfed version, the tree proudly displays a densely branched and compacted foliage, with miniature maple leaves that range in color from green, to reddish-green, to bright red to bright orange. With every changing season, you are sure to witness the spectacular change in color that accompanies it. For all of these reasons, Japanese Maples are clearly favorites in the bonsai realm and many of the oldest and most treasured bonsai specimens in Japan are in fact Japanese Maples. You are sure to love it! Please be sure you check out our full selection of wholesale bonsai trees for sale from our online nursery after you have read up on the Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree.


Japanese Maple Bonsai Trees love the sunlight, but be careful not to allow the leaves to be “sun scorched” during the summer. The ideal location would provide full sun in the morning and evening, but slight shade or dispersed light during the hot afternoons. With Red Maple species in particular, you have to make sure they are given adequate light or the leaves could gradually revert back to green. Also, your maple will be healthier if placed in a location where there is not excessive wind.


These bonsai trees are outdoor trees and require a dormant period in the winter. However, their roots do need protection from the frost, so be sure to move the tree into your garage or shed during the winter – a location that is cold enough to spark the tree into entering its natural dormancy state but not too cold that the roots are at risk of freezing. Feel free to display your tree indoors when you have guests over (especially when the color is brilliant!), but always remember to return the tree back to its location outside.


We recommend that you water your Japanese Maple in the morning, or before the heat of the day, to ensure that the tree does not dry out during the day. These are not drought tolerate trees, so the soil should not be allowed to dry out. You need to check the soil for moisture daily, but also be weary of not overwatering which could cause root rot – you need to find the balance! If you are planning on taking a trip and will be gone for a few days, it is best to make sure someone will be able to water the tree for you. Good luck!


We recommend that you fertilize your Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree every two weeks in from spring to summer using a balanced fertilizer to encourage healthy leaf growth. You should not fertilizer directly after repotting, as that can cause root burn. Rather, you should wait until you see new growth appearing which is a sign that the cut roots are beginning to regrow and are ready to be fertilized.


When new, undesired shoots begin to appear in the spring, simply pinch them off using two fingers to help retain the desired shape of the tree. If there are long internodes, we recommend that you trim those off to help the tree retain the “miniature” look. Internodes are the sections of tree in between the leaf and the node, where the node is where the leaf grows out from the main branch. Be careful not to cut back a branch too far, as you could possibly loose the entire back. If you choose to wire your tree, which is best to do in the spring just before it begins to grow, be very careful not to damage the bark. The bark is delicate, so make sure that as the tree grows, the wire is not cutting into the bark – you will need to re-wire if you run into this.

Potential Pests:

Japanese Maples, when healthy, are very disease and pest resistant. However, if your tree is stressed or not as healthy as it should be, they might before infested with scale of aphids. Weevils, bark beetles, and spider mites could also attack the tree if it is unhealthy. To remove them, simply rinse the tree with a mixture of 1 quart warm water and 1 tsp dish soap and thoroughly clean the tree. Be sure to rinse the tree off with clean water.

*If you see caterpillars, remove by hand immediately as they can quickly eat all of the maples beautiful leaves.


We recommend that you repot your Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree in every two or three years in the spring, replacing the old soil with a sandy soil that drains well. Click to read more information about when to repot.

We also recommend that you do not cut away more than half of the root system when repotting. Click here to watch a video that shows you how to repot a bonsai tree.


*Click here to view our entire list of bonsai tree care sheets!