How To Use Japanese Maple Tree Fertilizer Correctly?

How to fertilize japanese maple

Are you wondering which is the best Japanese maple tree fertilizer for your ever-so-beautiful Japanese maple? For that you firstly need to understand what your maple needs to grow well.


What Nutrients Does A Japanese Maple Need?


The most essential element for maple’s healthy growth is Nitrogen. Nitrogen is important because it will let the plant sustain itself till it becomes a tree. It is also responsible for your maple’s lush green foliage.


There are various granular and liquid fertilizer for Japanese maple available in the market. You can opt for a slow release organic fertilizer for Japanese maple with higher nitrogen proportion as per the NPK ratio.


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Snapshot of Japanese Maple Care


Soil The most suitable soil for Japanese Maple is moist soil which is well-drained along with being rich in organic matter.
Fertilizer The fertilizer that should be used is a controlled release type of nitrogen rich fertilizer.
How to feed? Every fertilizer comes with a set of feeding instructions, read that instruction carefully before feeding. Granular vs. liquid vs. spikes – all will have different ways to use them.
When to feed? Feed them when they are a year old or during the second growing season during the onset of spring or late winter.
Water Three times a week for the first month. Switch to once a week watering schedule later.
Temperature Ideal zones 6 to 8


Japanese Maple Fertilizing Guide – How To Fertilize Japanese Maple Trees?

Before we tell you how to fertilize a Japanese maple, you must understand the importance of right timing, and fertilizer composition.


1. When Should You Fertilize A Japanese Maple?

What is the best time to fertilize Japanese maple correctly is a basic question that comes to mind while planting a Japanese Maple.


You’d be surprised to know that Japanese maples do not require any fertilizer until they become 1 year old. After a year, in the growing stage you can apply the fertilizer in late winter or early spring.


Related: Japanese Maple Care Guide|Caring for Japanese Maples in Winter


2. What Is The Ideal Fertilizer Ratio For Japanese Maples?

The basic idea here is to use a slow release nitrogen rich fertilizer. A good NPK ratio for a packaged fertilizer would be somewhat like 16-4-8 (N-P-K). Read the instructions on how to feed a Japanese maple tree given on the fertilizer packet carefully.


You need to keep in mind that for each inch of an adult Maple tree’s diameter measured at 4.5 ft above the ground level, you need to feed the tree 1/10 pound of nitrogen.

3. How To Fertilize A Japanese Maple?

You can use a liquid, granular, or spike fertilizer for your maple. The procedure for using all three will differ.


The liquid fertilizers are  available in the market in concentrated form and can be diluted with water and applied to plants using a watering can.


The benefit of liquid fertilizer is that they are slightly cheaper and you can control the amount of fertilizer used. The process of fertilizing will become easy if you read all the instructions given on the fertilizer packet.


The next fertilizer that we are going to discuss is granular fertilizer. How to fertilize Japanese maple with a granular fertilizer? The texture of granular fertilizer is like grains, so you can use granular fertilizer by directly spreading it in that particular area. The fertilizer will activate itself when it comes in contact with sprinklers or even rainwater.


It is important to note that using gloves is mandatory while using even the best fertilizer for Japanese maple trees. Also, it is recommended to fertilize from a distance of 1 foot for every 5 feet of the height.


Thirdly, you have fertilizer spikes. Fertilizer Spikes can be put underneath the soil surface which enables the fertilizer to reach 5 to 6 inches deep into the soil. The fertilizer spikes are useful as it contains pre-measured nutrients.


The quantity of the spikes required is dependent upon the ratio of the nitrogen. The best way you can deal with the fertilizer spikes is to use them 3 X nitrogen as compared to phosphorus.


Always remember to read the package instructions to correctly know how to fertilize a Japanese maple.


What Fertilizer Is Best For Japanese Maple?

There are many different brands of fertilizers available in the market which promotes the growth of Japanese maple. The best fertilizer for Japanese maple trees would be a controlled type of fertilizer also known as a slow fertilizer.


Some of the fertilizers are Down to Earth Tree and Shrub fertilizer, Espoma TR4 Tree-Tone, and Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes.


Most of the brands are available on online sites, or your nearby store making it convenient for you to buy them.


1. Can You Use Miracle Gro On Maple Trees?

Many people are confused and ask the question can you use Miracle Gro on maple trees? The answer for this is yes, you can use Miracle Gro on maple trees. Though it is not dedicated for maples, it will provide the Maple trees with the necessary nutrients. Do check the NPK ratio before using it.


2. How To Fertilize Japanese Maple With Holly Tone?

You might be wondering how to fertilize a Japanese maple tree using Holly Tone fertilizer. The Holly Tone fertilizer is an organic fertilizer for Japanese maple. It is a balanced fertilizer that contains Calcium 3%, Sulfur 5%, and Magnesium 1% along with the basic components which are N-P-K.


The Sulfur is the component in Holly Tone that makes the soil acidic in nature when it is used. Using Holly Tone on your Japanese maple will work wonders as it is a natural fertilizer and provides nutrients to your plant.


You may use 1 pound of Holly Tone and scatter it evenly for every inch of your plants trunk size.


3. Osmocote Fertilizer For Japanese Maple

The Osmocote fertilizer is also known as Polyon. It is suitable for Japanese maples. It is important to add osmocote in a required quantity and not overfeed your Japanese maple as it may be harmful to the plant if given in excess.


Also, osmocote has proven to be a good fertilizer for Japanese maples grown in containers. The fertilizer is available in the market in the form of a tablet or granules. Adding one tablet of osmocote is sufficient for one container-grown maple. So, it is quite simple how to fertilize Japanese maple using Osmocote fertilizer.


4. How To Fertilize A Japanese Maple With Happy Frog Fertilizer?

Happy frog is also a fertilizer that is suitable for your Japanese maples and evergreens. Happy Frog Fertilizer instructions to use are easy to follow. You can use this Japanese maple tree fertilizer by mixing 2 tablespoons of it with a gallon of soil.


How Much Fertilizer Is To Be Used For Japanese Maples?

It may be difficult for you to figure out how much fertilizer is actually needed for your Japanese maple. As a general rule of thumb for every inch of your trees trunk above 4.5 ft, use 1/10 pound of Nitrogen rich fertilizer.


It is also important to note that even the best fertilizer for Japanese maple trees cannot be used anytime and there are fixed times or seasons when we are supposed to use them.


How Often Should I Fertilize My Japanese Maple?

We will now discuss the frequency of often you should fertilize your maples. The rule that you need to keep in mind is that maples do not require any fertilization till they are 12 months old.


So, do we not need to fertilize Japanese maples till then? You need to fertilize them but after they reach 12 months. Starting the maples to fertilize too early will not do any good to the maples, instead, it will have an adverse effect on them.


For potted plants you need to feed them twice a year. Mature maples need fertilization once a year during spring.

When Is The Best Time To Fertilize Japanese Maple?

Wondering how to feed a Japanese maple tree at the best possible time? It is important to note that Japanese maples cannot be fertilized any time of the year as this will lead to damaging your plant.


The most suitable time for fertilizing the Japanese maple is early spring or mid to late winter. You need to be patient if you know how to fertilize Japanese maple because they are usually moderate to slow-growing plants.


So please do not over-fertilize your plant thinking that it will stimulate fast maple growth. There are many fertilizers available in the market. Make sure you can choose the best fertilizer for Japanese maple which suits your tree’s age.

Which Is The Best Japanese Maple Tree Fertilizer For A Container?

Good options for maple pot fertilizers would be Azalea, EB Stone’s Rhody, and also Camellia food.


Many of you love to plant Japanese maple in containers. You might be wondering whether there is a need to fertilize your container maples. So here is the answer how to how to fertilize Japanese maple in containers.


Firstly, you need to ensure that there are holes at the bottom of the container so that there can be proper drainage for your maple plant. Using an organic slow-release fertilizer will be a good option. Also, ensure that the fertilizer is good for acid-friendly plants.

Fertilizer Spikes For Japanese Maple Trees?

Fertilizer spikes are your ideal answer to how to feed a Japanese maple tree. There are many options available in the market which are suitable for feeding the Japanese maples.


Fertilizer spikes are actually a great option to use because they are easier to store and handle. The usage instructions are written on the package and all you need to do is insert the spikes in in the soil.


The only drawback is that they have concentrated effect where they are inserted in the soil.

Fertilizer Burns – An Issue For Concern?

Fertilizer burns are something that all plant owners are afraid of. We have discussed the best fertilizer for Japanese maple trees but do we know that these same fertilizers are also a cause of fertilizer burns in Japanese maple.


If the fertilizers are not used in adequate quantity, they can damage your maples. Fertilizers are capable of promoting growth and providing nutrients only when they are used in the required quantity.


Over-fertilizing the Japanese maples can cause serious fertilizer burns in them. Also, over-fertilization can kill the maple tree. If you are using too much nitrogen you need to stop. If you apply a high quantity of quick-release it will cause root burns in the maple tree. You also need to be careful with phosphorus and potassium.


Using more than the desired quantity of potassium and phosphorus will lead to excess salts in the soil which may not be tolerable for the tree. Read all the instructions carefully how to fertilize Japanese maple trees only then start fertilizing.


Related: How long does a maple tree live? How fast do maples grow?


Q. What is the best fertilizer for acers (Norway maple)?

A. You can use ericaceous compost while growing Norway maples in pot. Otherwise you can go for a balanced feed and apply it in the early onset of spring. Also, you need to water the plant twice a day when it is sunny. Also, Acers do not need any pruning.


Q. Are coffee grounds good for Japanese maples?

A. You might be wondering that are coffee grounds suitable for the maples? Yes, they are nutrient rich and suitable for the Japanese maple plant. But, when you use coffee grounds make sure that you use 100% organic coffee.


Q. How to make Japanese maple redder?

A. Japanese maple enhances your garden because of its beautiful red leaves. The red color exists because of anthocyanins present in the maple leaves. To maintain that redness, you must make sure that you provide the needed sunlight to the plant and not too much shade.


However, keep in mind that there might be changes in the shade of red depending on the variety you have.


Q. Which is the best slow-release fertilizer for Japanese maple?

A. There are many fertilizers available for Japanese maple but the best fertilizer for Japanese maple trees is slow-release fertilizer. The best ones available in the market are Miracle Gro Shake n Feed, Osmocote, Jobes, and Polyon.


Q. Is Epsom salt good for Japanese maples?

A. Epsom salts act as a tonic for the plants and are beneficial for them. The Epsom salts should be used for the Japanese maple in the summer season. You can add 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts and dissolve them in water and pour it around the root area of the maple. It is safe to use in adequate quantity.


Q. Which is the best liquid fertilizer for Japanese maple?

A. There are many liquid fertilizers available in the market. Out of them the best fertilizer for Japanese maple which is liquid in nature is Miracle Gro. It is the best-suited fertilizer that will provide all the necessary nutrients to your maple.


Keep in mind that liquid fertilizer can burn the roots of Japanese maple if they are not used in the required quantity, so you need to be very careful while dealing with liquid fertilizers.


All Japanese maple owners are concerned about the growth of their plants. Hope this guide helped you understand the nutritional needs of your plant and the best time to fertilize Japanese maples.