Keeping a Japanese red maple tree indoors

For sentimental reasons I will not go into, would like to have one about 5 ft tall in my apt. Now I know from reading on several websites that it would not last forever (at least not without a whole lot of care and even that is doubtful, and I am no gardener).

But my idea is to get one now, and when fall comes transplant it into my parents yard. And next spring I will get another one for the apt.


Japanese Red Maples can be used for bonsai so it oughta work. If you have the sunlight through a window it will survive, but without a lot of windows or moving it throughout the day it will be somewhat starved for sunlight. I would suggest raising one in a container outdoors until it’s the size you want after trimming, then bringing it indoors.

We have plenty of American Red Maples ( **Japanese Red Maples ( Acer palmatum) around here, they grow readily in all sorts of conditions, I’m sure you could keep a small one indoors even with a half day of sunlight through a single window,

Couldn’t he just use a grow light? I bring plants indoors for the winter and run the light while I sleep (so not to annoy me while I work at home) and they appear to thrive. This from a guy that killed every indoor plant he had until about 8 years ago.

I don’t know, but I was under the impression a 5 ft. tall tree would require a substantial number of grow lights. Certainly possible I suppose.

I’m pretty sure a good marijuana supply shop could set him up.

With enough sun/supplemental lighting, a Japanese maple that size could be kept as a house plant, sure - at least until it needs its fall/winter dormancy in a cold setting, which the OP has already planned for.

The tree could also be overwintered after leaf fall in an unheated garage and returned indoors in the spring.

A pain to transport, and probably expensive due to supplemental lighting needs indoors. But it should be feasible at least over the short term.

Bonsais also would need a cool/cold winter rest.

Be a little more specific here, I think you’ll need that planted in a fairly deep container. Do you want something like a 3 ft. tall tree in a 2 ft. high container? Or a 5 ft. tree in a 3 ft. container?

it might be more trouble than it’s worth. I would not want to get grow lights or have to move it around every day. My apt door faces directly east, but the only spot I have for it is about 10 feet away . Didn’t know the leaves had to fall before transplanting it (don’t want to be raking my apt LOL), but I coiuld put it out on my deck while that happens

Actually the question is moot, I jsut remembered that when we got one for our house in RI, it was around 5 feet and around $500. More than I want to spend for a house plant, but a bonsai could be cool. I could put it on the kitchen table, only a few feet from the door and which I almost never use

Bonsai maples also need good light, a cool winter dormant period and attentive care. The shallow dishes they grow in dry out quickly.