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Which Japanese Maples Grow Well In Pots?

Growing potted trees is a very fascinating activity. In this article, you will find the varieties of Japanese Maples that are best suited for pots.

Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple

best japanese maple for a pot

Acer palmatum ‘Geisha Gone Wild’

Geisha Gone Wild is probably one of the most interesting Japanese maples for containers. It has variegated leaves. The central part of the leaf is purple while the edge is bright pink or even red.

By summer, the edge is creamy and the center part is greenish. If you move the pot into the partial shade, the pink and purple colors can be maintained longer.

This maple reaches 7 feet in height after 10 years of growing. But if you want to, you can control its size by pruning.

The Geisha Gone Wild is frost-resistant and can withstand a zone 6 climate. However, in this zone, you have to protect the maple for the winter. For more on this, see the article – What do you do with a potted Japanese maple in the winter?

Bihou Japanese Maple

which Japanese maples grow well in pots

Acer palmatum ‘Bihou’

Bihou is a wonderful variety of small sizes. It reaches a height of 10 feet and a width of 6 feet. In a container, however, it will have a more modest size.

The color of the leaves is green or yellowish-green depending on the amount of sunlight. In the fall, the leaves turn a red-yellow color. The interest of this variety gives red young branches which contrast with the leaves.

The excellent frost resistance of this maple allows it to be kept in a pot from 6 to 9 zones. It does best in partial shade.

Mikawa Yatsubusa Japanese Maple

best japanese maple for a pot

Acer palmatum ‘Mikawa Yatsubusa’

Mikawa Yatsubusa is a wonderful maple with a very slow growth rate. At maturity, it reaches 5 feet in height and a little less in width. It is an ideal variety for container growing.

Another advantage is the foliage. The number of leaves on the branches is more than usual. As a result, the crown is much thicker compared to other maples.

The color of the leaves is bright green, which in itself looks great. In the fall, the leaves are bright orange, which is also wonderful to look at.

The excellent hardiness of this variety allows it to be grown in most states. Mikawa Yatsubusa can grow in full sun as well as in partial shade.

Jordan Full Moon Maple

which Japanese maples grow well in pots

Acer shirasawanum ‘Jordan’

Jordan Full Moon is a very interesting maple because it has different leaves from most Japanese maples. This difference is due to the fact that it belongs to a different species of maple.

The leaves have a bright lime-yellow color in the spring. In summer the leaves are a bit pale but if you provide some shade from the afternoon sun, the color will remain. In the fall, the leaves turn a crimson orange before dropping.

Jordan Full Moon is a very heat-resistant maple that can be grown in zone 9. Frost tolerance is also excellent, it can withstand zone 5 frosts. However, if you live in zone 5 and want to grow Jordan Full Moon in a pot, you will have to hide it in an unheated room for the winter.

This variety can be 12 feet tall after 10 years of growing. At the same time, the width is usually less.

Read more: Do Japanese maples grow in pots?

Ever Autumn Maple

japanese maple for pots

Acer shirasawanum ‘Ever autumn’

Ever Autumn is another interesting potted maple. It is a hybrid between two different maple species. As a result, the leaves have a slightly different shape than most Japanese maples.

The foliage color is orange-green and looks fabulous. At the end of the season, the leaves become more and more orange-yellow until they fall off.

This tree reaches 15 feet in height after 10 years of life. It is not very compact however by pruning you can greatly reduce its size.

Ever Autumn is recommended to grow in zones 5-9. For potted cultivation, you need to protect it for the winter.

Red Select Weeping Japanese Maple

best japanese maple for a container

Acer palmatum ‘Red Select’

Red Select is an extremely compact Japanese Maple with a weeping growth habit. At maturity, it does not exceed 5 feet in height and 7 in width. It is an ideal candidate for container growing.

The leaves of this variety are very heavily dissected. There is almost no leaf plate, instead just thin veins of bright red. The leaves become darker in the middle of the season but are bright again in the fall.

Red Select has excellent frost and heat resistance. It can be grown in zones 5-9. This maple does best in morning sun and afternoon shade.

Ryusen Japanese Maple

which Japanese maples grow well in pots

Acer palmatum ‘Ryusen’

Ryusen is a unique maple that has a very narrow crown with hanging branches. It reaches a height of 20 feet and a width of only 5 feet. If you plant it in a large container you can get a tall but narrow cascade of leaves.

The leaves of this maple are divided into five lobes and colored bright green. By the end of the season, the leaves turn a crimson yellow.

Ryusen grows best in partial shade. It can be planted in zones 5 to 7. In a container, it needs regular watering and feeding.

Orangeola Japanese Maple

what is the best japanese maple to grow in a pot

Acer palmatum ‘Orangeola’

In spring, the young leaves of this maple have a bright orange-red color. In midsummer, the leaves turn red-green, but at the same time, new orange leaves appear. As a result, the maple gets a bicolor effect.

The compact size makes it possible to grow Orangeola in a container. It is usually no more than 8 feet tall and 7 feet wide. The crown shape is broad with a slight weeping effect.

This variety is recommended to be grown from zone 6. This means that a pot needs to be protected for the winter.

Green Cascade Japanese Maple

best japanese maple for a container

Acer japonicum ‘Green Cascade’

Green Cascade belongs to the species Acer japonicum which means that its leaves have a different shape from most Japanese maples. At maturity, it forms a small mound 6 feet wide and tall. The leaves cascade downward which looks delightful.

The leaves are green in spring and summer. But in the fall, the maple turns a fiery red and it’s really mesmerizing.

It is good for growing in a pot and can survive the winter of zone 5 but requires frost shelter. In the south, it can be grown up to zone 9.

Crimson Queen Japanese Maple

japanese maple for pots

Acer palmatum ‘Crimson Queen’

Crimson Queen is one of the best-known Japanese maples for growing in a pot. It reaches a height of 4 feet by the age of 10. The growth habit is weeping which makes it very desirable.

The foliage color is bright red in the early season. In midsummer, this maple turns a little darker or almost burgundy. In the fall, however, it turns a red and orangy hue.

This variety is recommended for cultivation in zones 5-9. The best place for it is in the morning sun and shade in the afternoon.

Inaba Shidare Japanese Maple

what is the best japanese maple to grow in a pot

Acer palmatum ‘Inaba Shidare’

Inaba Shidare is a unique Japanese maple that does not exceed 5 feet in maturity. Its dwarf size and weeping growth habit are major advantages over other similar maples.

The leaves are very delicate and are actually thin veins. The color is a rich burgundy and holds up well. However, the foliage is bright red in the spring.

This maple does best in full sun and does not tolerate full shade. It needs at least a few hours of direct sun a day for beautiful color.