Backyard Gardening

Why Is My Japanese Maple Not Blooming? – 8 Causes

25 May 2020

The Japanese maple is a shrub or small tree with deeply cut leaves. It grows mostly in Japan and Korea. It can be cultivated in many varieties. Unfortunately, plants at mature stages can also become dormant and not perform as expected.

Let’s see the reasons why the Japanese maples do not bloom.

1. Dead Branches

The tree might have some dead branches in its lower part and some in its upper part. But first, you must confirm whether they are dead with no trace of the green coloring matter, which is chlorophyll.

How To Solve

If it doesn’t have the green tissue, you can eliminate the branch since it is no longer useful. This will help the plant perform better and stay healthier. Proper maintenance is essential for healthy growth.

2. Water Supply

Water is a basic need for the well-being of trees and plants. If the Japanese maple does not get enough water, it will not bloom as expected. This case should be observed in whichever planting season you are in.

How To Solve

The only solution to this is to supply enough water to the Japanese maple. Not too much or too little.

3. Type of Soil

The soil used to grow the maple also determines its blooming. If the soil has a high alkaline level, then you should not expect your Japanese maple to thrive well in it.

How To Solve

Loamy soil is the best kind because it is slightly acidic, which is good for maple trees. Thus, before you plant a Japanese maple, get to know its requirements and the best soil for them.

4. Weather Conditions

The Japanese maple may not bloom as expected due to some weather conditions in the area, such as frequent strong winds. The climate around them should not be too cold since they do not do well in such areas.

How To Solve This

You should, therefore, take note of the conditions of a certain area before planting a Japanese maple. Another solution to protecting the maple from strong winds is to grow it in a protected area. This will ensure that when there is a strong wind, it will not be affected since its foliage is fragile.

5. Dormancy

The Japanese maple may not bloom at some point when it becomes dormant. This implies that it will either be delayed to bloom or not bloom at all. This mostly occurs during the winter season.

How To Solve This

Since the Japanese maple is a tree that loses its leaves every year, you should know that it is a natural thing. Therefore, when it hits another season, for example, summer, it will bloom. You have to be patient and just provide all the essentials.

6. Pests And Diseases

Just like any plant, the Japanese maple is also prone to diseases. Fungi cause most of these diseases. Such examples are Verticillium, Anthracnose, and Canker. Canker usually attacks the bark of the tree.

A mild case of this will be resolved by the tree automatically, but if the infection is severe, it might end up killing the tree. Verticillium is another disease that causes the leaves to become yellow.

It commonly affects one side of the tree, while the other side of the tree seems healthy. Anthracnose causes some sunken bruises on the leaves, which later rot and fall.

A Japanese maple tree that is old enough will be able to fight off this disease, but a young maple tree may not be ready and so may die.

How To Solve This

The most recommended measures regarding these diseases are proper annual pruning and also annual mulching. This helps reduce the probability of the occurrence of these diseases.

7. Roots

The roots can also contribute to the behavior of the Japanese maple when it does not bloom. Girdled roots can be the cause of this, which results in the tree being leafless.

How To Solve This

You should, therefore, cut some of the roots and also ensure the tree gets adequate water.

8. Competitors

Like other plants, the Japanese maple has rival plants that try to get the same nutrients and other things that the maple needs.

How To Solve This

You should eliminate any foreign or unfamiliar shoots growing from the base of the plant. If you let it grow, it might take over and compete with the main tree, which may result in making the tree weaker and, therefore, not bloom.

How Quickly Do Japanese Maples Grow?

The majority of Japanese maples grow moderately at a pace of 1 to 2 feet each year. They normally develop the fastest when they are young and then slow down as they mature. Putting plants in a nice spot and taking good care of them helps them grow as fast as possible.

If you want an established look right away, plant an older, larger maple rather than a young one that will take years to grow. If this isn’t an option, choose a cultivar with a reputation for growing quicker than average, such as Acer palmatum ‘Beni-otake.’


You should take proper care of your plant and ensure it blooms well. Another thing to remember is that the Japanese maple should not be planted on the west side of the house, but this can be possible only if there is a fence or a large obstacle to protect it from the sweeping wind.

Generally, it is advisable to plant the Japanese maple on the east side of the house and in a slightly shady location. This will help protect it from any destruction.

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