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Why isn't my Japanese Maple Growing?

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Japanese maples are beautiful trees that can add a great deal of character and charm to any landscape. Unfortunately, sometimes these trees can experience problems with their growth and color, leaving gardeners feeling frustrated and confused. In order to understand why a Japanese maple isn't growing, it is important to look at possible causes and solutions.

Potential Causes

One of the most common causes of stunted or slow growth in Japanese maples is insufficient light. These trees need plenty of sunlight in order to thrive, and if they don't get enough they can become very thin and sparse. Additionally, Japanese maples need lots of moisture and can suffer in dry conditions. If the soil surrounding the tree is dry and nutrient-poor, the tree may not be able to grow as well as it should be.

In addition to environmental factors, there may be a number of other issues that could be causing your Japanese maple not to grow. Pests and diseases can both affect the tree's growth, and if left untreated, can cause serious damage. Fungal infections can also prevent a tree from growing properly, as can improper pruning or incorrect pH levels in the soil.


The best way to encourage growth and color in a Japanese maple is to ensure that the tree is getting the right amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients. If the tree is planted in too much shade, it may need to be moved to a sunnier location. Additionally, the soil should be fertilized and moistened regularly, and mulch should be applied to help retain moisture.

Pests and diseases should also be addressed as soon as possible, as they can cause significant damage to the tree if left untreated. If necessary, fungicides can be used to help combat fungal infections, and the pH of the soil should be tested and adjusted accordingly. Finally, it is important to prune the tree correctly, as incorrect pruning can actually stunt the tree's growth.

In conclusion, Japanese maples can be wonderful additions to any garden, but they require proper care in order to thrive. To ensure that your tree is getting the best care possible, make sure that it is getting enough light, water, and nutrients, and address any pests, diseases, or fungal infections as soon as possible. With the right care, your Japanese maple will be vibrant and healthy!

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MrMaple - March 29, 2023

Howdy Tom,
Water your Japanese Maple and allow it to dry out completely before watering again. You may also try watering with less volume but more frequently (This will allow the bed dry faster). Here’s a link to our video going over everything about watering!

Tom - March 29, 2023

I recently purchased and planted 2-10’ Japanese Maples in our soil. They have about 4-6 hours of morning sun.

I am concerned about the soil. While the first 6"-8" is growing soil, underneath that is hard clay that covers a bed of kaolin. Water seeps out very – very slowly. How do I water these 2 trees?

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