How hardy is the Japanese maple? | hibernate

The unique play of colors, the intensely glowing autumn colors of the leaves and the sometimes filigree leaf shapes make Japanese maples a special eye-catcher. But how can you overwinter these beauties?

Hardiness of Japanese Maples

According to their natural origin, most of the Japanese maples offered in this country are hardy. They are adapted to the harsh climate that prevails there. Older specimens have the best frost resistance. Temperatures of minus 20 degrees are usually not a problem. Young specimens and maples in tubs are somewhat more sensitive to frost. But with the right protection, they too can get through the cold season unscathed.

Overwinter maple – instructions

Im Beet

With the exception of newly planted and especially young plants, Japanese maples planted in beds usually do not require winter protection. However, there are differences between the individual species and varieties in terms of frost hardness. Even if young trees are not yet as hardy as older ones, they become more and more robust and resilient over the years.

  • successful hibernation begins with planting
  • pay attention to optimal site conditions
  • Avoid extreme locations as well as rough and draughty locations as much as possible
  • as well as waterlogged and compacted soils
  • too frequent and too late fertilization can affect winter hardiness
  • fertilization at the beginning of the vegetation period is usually sufficient
  • do not fertilize after the end of May
  • some patent potash at the end of August can improve winter hardiness
  • it favors the maturation of the wood
  • Cover the root area with brushwood, leaves or straw before the onset of winter
Tip: With a fleece you can protect the fresh shoots in spring from late frosts.

In the bucket

The Japanese maple is ideal for keeping in tubs or large pots. It usually copes well with the cramped conditions. Exactly these can become a problem in winter. While the aerial parts of the plant are very hardy, the roots are relatively sensitive to frost.

  • The root area in tubs freezes completely relatively quickly
  • The reason for this is the lower volume or capacity
  • Temperatures of minus ten degrees are usually not a problem
  • Anything beyond that can damage roots
  • Because of this, provide maples in the tub with appropriate winter protection
  • First place the bucket in a sheltered, sunny place
  • For example in front of a house wall, wall or hedge
  • Place on a styrofoam plate or wooden pallet to protect against cold feet
  • Wrap buckets with insulating materials such as fleece, bubble wrap or jute
  • Finally, cover the root area with dry leaves, spruce sticks or straw
Tip: In extreme sub-zero temperatures, the Japanese maple can also overwinter in a dark, unheated room that should not be completely frost-free. This can be a garage, tool shed or something similar.

Also water in winter

The Japanese maple cannot do without care even in winter. This mainly relates to casting. During the cold season there is significantly less watering and only on frost-free days, i.e. when it is comparatively mild and rather dry. If the ground is frozen, there is no point in watering, because the water cannot get to the roots and would rather damage them. Fertilizers should be completely avoided from August to March.

frequently asked Questions

Even if the Japanese maple is hardy, minor frost damage can occur. Signs of this can be limp hanging young shoots, wilted leaf tips and brown, wilted leaves. First you should wait and see where the Japanese maple will sprout again. Then dead shoots can be cut back to the next strong shoot. To strengthen the plant, it should then be fertilized in a balanced way and watered thoroughly.

In general, hibernation indoors is possible, although not necessarily recommended. However, this presupposes that the room is not too dark and, above all, not too warm. Otherwise, the Japanese maple may sprout early and be damaged by late frosts. If you overwintered indoors, it is important to slowly get the plants used to the changed conditions again before wintering out in the spring.

Kira Bellingham

I'm a homes writer and editor with more than 20 years' experience in publishing. I have worked across many titles, including Ideal Home and, of course, Homes & Gardens. My day job is as Chief Group Sub Editor across the homes and interiors titles in the group. This has given me broad experience in interiors advice on just about every subject. I'm obsessed with interiors and delighted to be part of the Homes & Gardens team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top