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Dwarf Japanese maple varieties grow less than 6 inches per year. These are the best varieties for bonsai and growing in small patio containers.

Dwarf maples grow considerably slower than the majority of Japanese maples do. Many of these varieties are found as slow-growing seedling mutations selected for their densely-set buds and sculptural branching. These varieties are very popular for bonsai. One of our favorite dwarf varieties is 'Mikawa yatsubusa'. The compact growth rate causes the leaves to be arranged close to one another giving it a layered appearance. Many of the kiyohime group of Japanese maples have a low-growing habit as well as small leaves and compact branching. One of the best maples from this group is Acer palmatum 'Kuro hime' with orange-pink new growth in spring, later turning a dark green before fiery orange-red autumn color. Most of the varieties in this category grow around 6 inches per year, meaning that after 10 years, you could expect a plant that is around 4 feet in size. On each product page, a full description as well as additional growth information is provided. Find the perfect dwarf maple for your garden or to grow in a pot by using the search filters on the left to meet your needs.

Slow-growing maples are the most desirable for urban landscapes or small residential gardens. Their slow rate of growth keeps them from growing to be large trees that produce many leaves or provide unwanted shade.

If you are looking for a slow-growing, compact maple with year-round interest, a dwarf Japanese maple will be exactly what you need.