Tips On Planting Japanese Maple Trees From Seeds

Japanese Maple Tree

The BeMedFree eco-friendly plantable Yin Yang necklace can be worn for up to 3 years, then you will want to plant it to have an even longer lasting memory as you watch it grow and bloom in to a beautiful tree.

Japanese Maples have different looks. They can grow straight up, or into a shrub-type shape, and the leaf colors vary from red, to green, to almost black. They are medium-sized and can reach heights between 15-25 feet.

Here are a few things you’ll need to prep the seeds for eventual planting:

  • Bowl
  • Airtight container (a freezer bag will do)
  • Organic growing material (e.g. sand, moss or vermiculite)
  • Ground pine bark
  • Perlite
  • Organic 18-6-12 slow-release fertilizer
  • Lime
  • Rake
  • Garden hose


  1. Establish a date: best time to plant is the fall and before any possible frost. So, count backwards about 90-100 days before you plan to plant them. This varies by the region of the country you live in. Do a bit of research on this.
  2. Once your date is set start you can start to germinate the seeds. Soak your necklace in a bowl of warm water (90-110 °F or 32-43 °C) 24-48 hours, drain off the water, then transfer them to a freezer bag containing the organic potting matter (e.g. sand, or, peat moss, or vermiculite). Seal the bag and place it into the refrigerator (not the freezer) and leave it untouched for the first 60 days. Then check it at least once per week looking for seeds that are sprouting. You can then remove each sprouted seed and plant it. (Be extremely careful as these are very delicate.)
  3. Combine several organic materials to create an ideal soil mix (see ideas below in the Soil Mix section). Try this mix: 3 parts ground pine bark to 1 part perlite, mixed with 6 lbs. of an 18-6-12 slow release fertilizer and 4 lbs. of lime per cubic yard.
  4. You can start off in containers or in the ground, either way look for a spot that is not too sunny and avoid super windy conditions. Dig a hole in the ground for ground planting, place plant mix in, place the sprouted seeds in, put a shallow layer of soil mix over them so they are just covered. Water the soil to moisten, don’t make it soggy.
  5. Water the seeds again only when the soil where they are planted dries out. Continue this process of allow the soil to dry out and then watering until just moist. Once your tree has grown to a height of 2 or 3 feet, then that means the root system is strong and you have great chances that your tree will flourish.

Soil Mix Materials That Work

  • High-quality Soil Mix or Super Soil
  • Compost (including coffee grounds)
  • Mulch
  • Peat moss
  • Gypsum
  • Pumus (instead of Perlite)
  • Pine bark
  • 18-6-12 Slow-release fertilizer (or Osmocote, 19-5-9)

Preferred Conditions

  • Slightly acidic: ph of 5.5-6.5
  • Sandy soil with low to medium amount of organic matter

Fertilize Schedule

  • Early spring using a slow-release fertilizer (as above)

Expected Plant Spread

  • Grows to 15′ to 25′, 20′ spread. (Zones 5-9)

Moisture Needs

  • Japanese maples like even soil moisture. On most varieties their leaves are very thin and will dry out and burn quickly when soil moisture is not adequate. Generally speaking water about 1 inch per week.

Sunlight Exposure

  • The standard rule of thumb is Japanese Maples prefer a mostly shady location. This is true for most varieties.

Sunset Climate Zone

  • Japanese maples grow in Sunset climate zones 2-10, 12, 14-24: everywhere except hot low deserts and the coldest-winter areas.

USDA Hardiness Zone

  • Generally Japanese Maples are more cold-hardy than heat tolerant.
  • Zone 5 (-20 to -10 °F or -28.9 to -23.3 °C) thru Zone 9 (21 to 27 °F or -6 to -3 °C)
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