Thinking of growing maple trees indoors? Read our quick guide and find out what it takes to bring a touch of magic into your home.
Maple trees come in all shapes and sizes, but they have one thing in common – striking and unique color in the fall. Nothing in this world can compare to this tree. It is used for anything and everything. We use maple syrup to sweeten our pancakes, and maple wood smoke to flavor our bacon. During the day we look for shade under its canopy, and at night we rest in a bed made of this type of tree. It’s amazing!
Want to watch it grow inside your home, not just outside? Continue reading our guide to find out what you need for successfully growing maple trees indoors.
Basic Informations About The Tree
Maple (Acer) is a large genus consisting of about 200 species of shrubs or trees in the Sapindaceae family. This beautiful tree can be found adorning gardens lawns, along streets, and in parks around the world. It is mostly distributed in the North Temperate Zone but concentrated in China.
Maple is known for the fact that several of its species yield maple syrup, and some provide valuable, dense hardwood for furniture or other purposes. All maples bear pairs of winged seeds, and they are called samaras or keys. As for the leaves, they are arranged oppositely on twigs, and are either lobes or separated into leaflets.
Can You Grow A Maple Tree Indoors
Although it sounds rather strange, especially when you have the image of mountainsides and riverbanks across North America and parts of Southeast Asia in your head – it is really possible to grow an indoor maple tree. Just imagine how much beauty and drama these shrubs might add to your home.
How To Grow a Maple Tree Indoors
Selecting Your Maple Tree
Not every species of maple is suitable for growing indoors. It would be best to opt for those that develop a smaller root system and mature up to 3-10 feet in height. You also need to consider your location.
The vast majority prefer a mild climate, so areas that have a plant hardiness zone of 5-9 will be the perfect choice for cultivation. However, keep in mind that cold-hardy maples can tolerate even lower zones.
The Most Ideal Types of Indoor Maple Trees
Red Dragon – compact and slow-growing shrubs that grow up to 5 feet tall and wide in zones 5-8. They are partly fond of direct sunlight and are special because they tolerate frost.
Velvet Viking – ultra-compact and very hardy shrubs. This type matures at 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide and is tolerant of full sun and shade in zones 4-9.
Ribbon-Leaf – an upright, dense tree that can grow up to 10 feet, in zones 6-9. This type is ideal for both container pots (growing indoors) and as a bonsai.
Potting an Indoor Maple Tree
The process is not difficult and complicated at all and requires very little material and tools.
Some basic recommendations say that it would be good to mix the following soil recipe using a coffee can or a small bucket according to the size of your pot.
- 3 parts quality potting soil.
- 2 parts bark chips (use orchid bark or pine chips to keep the soil slightly acidic, well-drained, and retain nutrients).
- 1 part pumice/perlite (it is a lightweight volcanic rock material with excellent water, air, and nutrient-retaining capabilities).
How to Plant a Maple Tree Indoors
Remove your maple sapling from its existing container and gently shake and remove soil from its roots. Fill the pot you intended for this with the soil mixture and make a hole for your sapling. Then, plant it in the ground so that the top of the root ball system is about 1 inch below the edge of the pot. Finally, add the soil until you fill the pot to the height of the top of the root ball.
Well, that would be it! You have successfully planted your maple tree.
Watering and Fertilizing an Indoor Maple Tree
It is recommended to water your tree once a week with room temperature water, avoiding the leaves. Prefer morning watering, because this way you can avoid excessive soaking overnight and risking suffocation of the roots.
As for fertilization, try to use a slow-release organic fertilizer. This way you will supply the tree with beneficial bacteria that will help it absorb more water and nutrients.
Replicating Natural Conditions
The color of its leaves will reveal almost everything you need to know when it comes to sunbathing. Green-leafed maples can tolerate direct sunlight. While on the other hand, lacey/variegated varieties fare better in partial shade to prevent “sunburn”.
Conservatories and/or rooms with large south-facing windows will be an ideal place for growing maple trees indoors. In the absence of sunny days, you can also use artificial light.
Since they prefer colder climates and temperatures, it would be good to mimic their natural seasonal patterns. You can do this by taking them outside for a few hours each night during spring/summer.
How To Control Growth On A Maple Tree Grown Indoors?
Since they can grow quite tall, this is one of those things you will need to take care of when growing maple trees indoors. Take clean heavy-duty pruning shears and cut any broken or diseased-looking branches. Also, don’t forget to trim the roots every couple of years using heavy-duty root-pruning shears.
There is another little trick you can use to keep your dwarf maple stunted at your desired height indefinitely. Namely, weekly push the tip of a small shovel inside the pot and then go around the whole pot.
So, maple trees can be grown indoors for as long as you can control their yearly growth.
Growing maple trees indoors is not complicated and will not take you too much time. Most importantly, it is suitable even for beginners in the world of indoor plant cultivation.
Imagine how much one tree can elevate a room in which it is located to a new level. It is trendy and very elegant.
What do you think about the maple tree indoors? Write to us below.