Japanese Maple Trees come in many species that are rife with colors that range from yellow foliage to glowing pink bark.

How much watering does my Lion’s Head Japanese Maple Tree need?

Lion’s Head Japanese Maple trees need regular access to water. I learned this the hard way when a drought came through in the summer of 2020 and killed back the new growth on my own Lion’s Head Japanese Maple tree.

Although it had been planted the previous winter and had about 8 months in the ground to settle in, it had been planted into a hard clay ground. Clay does not hold water for the longterm so if it takes too long to rain…your Lion’s Head Japanese Maple tree will suffer and wilt back.

With that said, the tree still survived this unfortunate drought and is now leafing out for spring.

Okay…but how can I avoid losing new growth on my Lion’s Head Japanese Maple Tree if a drought comes?

Well, there’s the somewhat annoying, heavy labor way: watering by hand. While, it is the quickest way to make sure you don’t lose your season’s worth of new growth on your Japanese Maple tree, watering by hand usually needs to be done regularly and whenever there is going to be a drought in order to keep your tree growing and un-stressed.

Hand watering does give you the ability to consistently add lots of nutrients to the soil in order to support the growth of your Japanese Maple tree by keeping a batch of compost tea at the ready for whenever a drought does come around.

How Much Sunlight Does My Lion’s Head Japanese Maple Need to Thrive?

My Lion’s Head Japanese Maple Tree is currently planted in full sunlight. Japanese Maples will also thrive in partial shade. Because they are not particularly drought tolerant, partial shade will also help keep them from drying out too much in the summer heat. So if you don’t have an irrigation system installed, have mulch, or are not watering by hand, planting your Japanese Maple in partial shade might just be the best option for your tree.

OK, but I’ve already done all that. What else can I do to ensure the healthy growth of my Lion’s Head Japanese maple?

The best additional steps to take to speed along the growth of your Japanese maple tree are to add some companion plants and nutrition to the surrounding soil. As my Lion’s Head Japanese maple tree is currently planted in a food forest, I have used strawberries and asparagus plants along with comfrey to help break up the ground around the roots of the Japanese maple and help it settle into this new living situation more quickly.

The plants around it helped to break up the soil which allows an easier pathway for the tree to grow its roots. You can also go to your local gardening supply store to find a multitude of plant fertilizers specifically made for trees in order to feed your tree growth.

If you are looking for a more organic and cost friendly approach, you can also just dump your daily coffee grounds or tea leaves around your Japanese Maple tree. They will break down to provide organic nutrients for your tree and the surrounding plants.

Companion Planting Your Lion’s Head Japanese Maple To Support Its Growth

Adding companion plants around your Japanese Maple tree will help support its growth. Whether you are growing your tree in an edible landscape or a Japanese garden, these trees make the perfect tree to plant with nearly anything.

Excellent choices for helping to maintain moisture around the tree’s roots by providing shade to the ground include:

  • Hakone: Japanese Forest Grass
  • Lemon Grass
  • Beijing Grass
  • Phormium Tenax

If you’re looking for companion plants that help to break up the ground so that the the Lion Head Japanese Maple can spread its roots further and deeper. Here is a list of lovely options, both edible and non-edible:

  • Rhubarb
  • Asparagus
  • Comfrey
  • Elephant Ear
  • Bamboo

Got additional questions for me? Ask in the comments for more about the Lion’s Head Japanese Maple tree.

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