Can You Grow Maple Trees Indoors? [Best Type to Grow Indoors]

Maple trees are among the most beautiful trees in the world. Their lush leaves and iconic bark makes people stop and ponder nature’s beauty. However, because maple trees only grow in specific environments, access to them might be limited. But is it possible to grow a maple tree indoors?

Maple trees can be grown indoors, provided you tend to their root growth yearly. Maple trees will grow as large as their root system can support. Some maple trees planted outside can grow up to 75 feet tall if they have enough space. Red Dragon Maple Trees are the best to grow indoors.

Growing maple trees indoors can be challenging for new botanists. This doesn’t mean it is impossible, but there are certain things to consider before embarking on this journey. Also, you’ll need to know what type of elements to provide to ensure the tree’s health.

So let’s look at the different species of maple trees, which to plant indoors, and how to properly care for your maple tree will ensure that it thrives indoors.

Can You Grow Maple Trees Indoors?

Yes, you can grow maple trees indoors. The Red Dragon Maple tree is the best type to grow indoors. It’s a small tree that grows to about 6-8 feet and is known for its deep red leaves. 

This means it does not need as much space as other maple trees. It can be grown indoors as a bonsai or in a container with enough light and proper care. 

You’ll also need to pay attention to your Maple tree’s root system. Maple trees are known for having wide-reaching roots that may need some extra attention if you want to keep your tree healthy indoors.

The most challenging part of growing maple trees indoors is replicating their seasonal environment and soil conditions. 

Maple trees require a certain level of sunlight, nutrient-rich soil, and consistent watering. However, with enough dedication and proper knowledge about maple trees, it is possible to grow them indoors. 

Types Of Maple Trees To Grow Indoors

Japanese maple trees have been used for bonsai for many years and are considered the best option for maple trees to be grown indoors. Let us consider the three best Japanese maple trees to grow indoors.

1. Red Dragon Maple Tree

The Red Dragon maple tree does well in cold weather and is pretty frost-resistant. These maple trees grow to roughly 5 feet tall and can grow five to eight distinct “zones.” Red Dragon maple trees are slow-growing shrubs that tend to stay very compact.

Red Dragon maple trees get their name from their beautiful bright red leaves that look almost feather-like when the sun hits them at just the right angle. Red dragon maple trees are the most accessible maple trees to grow indoors.

2. Velvet Viking Maple Tree

The Velvet Viking maple tree thrives in icy conditions. Interestingly, this tree was named after the Minnesota football team and not as a reference to Nordic Vikings. 

These trees can grow between 4 and 8 feet tall. The Velvet Viking maple tree prefers shade but can tolerate full sunlight if you don’t have anywhere else to put it.

3. Ribbon Leaf Maple Tree

Add a sophisticated flair to your home with the Ribbon Leaf maple tree! Its long, narrow lobes and dazzling purple-red color distinguish this majestic beauty. 

Reaching heights of up to 10 feet when grown outdoors, it also makes an exquisite bonsai if appropriately potted and tended to annually. 

You can enjoy this graceful addition for many years with just a little attention!

Coral Bark Maple Tree

The coral bark maple tree is gorgeous with seven lobed leaves that are bright lime green or chartreuse colored. They can grow up to 30-50 feet outdoors, but in a container, you can keep it at almost any size with regular pruning.

The coral bark maple tree is a slow to a moderate-growing woody tree. It requires full sun to partial shade and requires regular watering.

It grows best in various soil types, including heavy clay and sand.

The best part of this tree is its amazing bark. The bark will turn a vibrant coral color in the winter, hence its name.

Growing Maple Trees Indoors Best Practices

Picking the right maple tree for your home is only the first step. Once you have found the right tree, you need to know how to take care of it. 

Let’s look at the best practices for growing your maple tree indoors.


Maple trees that grow indoors don’t require a lot of water to grow. Simply watering them with room temperature water once a week throughout the year will be sufficient. 

If the summer day becomes too hot, consider watering them every other day.

It is best to water your maple trees in the morning to allow the roots to dry out during the day. Watering maple trees in the evening is not recommended because you risk suffocating your maple tree’s roots.


You only need to fertilize your maple tree twice a year, once in the middle of March and at the beginning of July. 

Choose a fertilizing system with a slow release of NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) ratio of 10-4-6 or 16-4-8, formulated for trees. 

Fertilizers containing nitrogen are essential for growing healthy maples. Some of the most popular types of fertilizers to use for maples are:

  • Maple tree fertilizer spikes
  • Granular tree fertilizer (BioAdvanced Systematic Plant Fertilizer and Insecticide)
  • Maple tree liquid fertilizers
  • All-natural fertilizers (compost or bone meal)


To ensure that your maple tree doesn’t grow too large for the pot you have placed it in, you must prune its leaves to lessen the overall weight of the tree as well as the roots at least once a year. 

Diligent pruning and trimming will keep your maple tree looking great and healthy all year.

Light Requirements

Maple trees prefer to be in areas with partial shade, but if this isn’t an option for you (like if you live in an apartment), set up a powerful discharge lightbulb so that you can adjust the exposure of your tree.

Fluorescent lights also work well for maple trees as they can easily be adjusted to provide the appropriate light.

Planter Requirements

Dwarf maple trees don’t require large pots. Instead, these maple trees will only grow as large as their root system can sustain. 

Placing them in smaller pots will ensure they don’t grow too big. When choosing a planter to plant your maple tree, look for pots with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape from the root system.

How To Keep Your Maple Trees Small

To keep your maple tree small and prevent it from growing too big, you must trim its roots weekly. Keeping the maple tree’s roots at least 1 inch away from the edge of the potter will keep your maple tree nice and small.

To do this efficiently, you must use a small potting shovel to remove roots encroaching on the potter’s edge. 

Also, trim your maple tree’s leaves weekly to keep its size in control. Doing this will help your tree’s overall health and encourage new growth. 

When you trim, ensure that you leave some foliage and don’t cut too close to the trunk. Trimming the tree regularly is essential, regardless of the time of the year.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your maple tree will stay healthy and won’t grow too large for the space it is in!

Transplanting your Maple Tree

It would be best to consider repotting your maple tree at least once every two to three years when the tree’s roots are dormant during October and March. 

In addition, transplanting your maple tree to the ground outside will give it plenty of room to grow much larger than it would in a pot inside your home.

Always be considerate of the size pot you wish to use for your maple tree. Start small and slowly increase the planter size until your maple tree grows the size that suits your home.

Final Word

It is possible to grow a maple tree successfully in a pot, but it takes diligence and regular care to ensure that your tree stays healthy. 

Following the best practices, you can keep your maple tree small and well-maintained. It’s essential to water, fertilize, prune, and provide adequate light to your maple tree throughout its life cycle. 

With the proper care, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful maple tree in your home for years to come.

Next time you shop for indoor plants, consider buying a maple tree. You won’t regret it.

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