The Seiryu Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’) Care Guide

The Seiryu Japanese Maple, otherwise known as the Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ or Japanese Maple ‘Seiryu’, Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Seiryu’, Acer palmatum ‘Seiryû’, Laceleaf Japanese Maple ‘Seiryu’, Cutleaf Japanese Maple ‘Seiryu’, Threadleaf Japanese Maple ‘Seiryu’, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Seiryu Japanese Maple Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

In order to take proper care of your Seiryu Japanese Maple you’ll need to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Water: The Seiryu Japanese Maple needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.
  • Light: Keep your Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Seiryu Japanese Maple in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And that’s practically it! If you keep these three factors in check, your Seiryu Japanese Maple will likely have all it needs for it to survive and even thrive.

Description and Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Seiryu Japanese Maple belongs to the Sapindaceae family, the genus Acer and the species Palmatum, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ (AY-ser pal-MA-tum).

Other popular Sapindaceae plants include species like Acer Palmatum, Full Moon Maple ‘Aureum’, Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut, Crimson King Norway Maple, Acer Rubrum ‘Frank Jr.’ Plant Patent #16769, Acer Palmatum ‘Osakazuki’, Aesculus Parviflora, Fernleaf Full-Moon Maple and Paperbark Maple.

As with other Acer’s, the Seiryu Japanese Maple is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

NameSeiryu Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’)
WateringOnce or twice per week
SoilWell drained
LightPartial to full sun
TemperatureAbove -10°F (-23°C)

Growing Region

The Seiryu Japanese Maple is native to Korea, Japan and China.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Seiryu Japanese Maple. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 2 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 8a, 8b and the ideal climate zone is between 2, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A3.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Seiryu Japanese Maple is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.

But, how big does the Seiryu Japanese Maple actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ can grow up to 10′ – 15′ (3m – 4.5m) tall and 8′ – 12′ (240cm – 3.6m) wide. It has a growth rate of 1 ft tall per year.


In terms of watering, the Seiryu Japanese Maple is a fairly complicated plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat irregular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ needs evenly spread moist soil – try to avoid letting the soil dry out.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Seiryu Japanese Maple in soil with moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Seiryu Japanese Maple since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Seiryu Japanese Maple prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Seiryu Japanese Maple requires soil with clay, high organic matter, loam (silt), and sand, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Seiryu Japanese Maple requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Pruning should be done before spring or during fall when the tree is dormant. Damaged, diseased or crossing branches should be removed first. Ensure you disinfect your pruning tools with alcohol to prevent transmitting diseases from one branch to another.

Whenever possible, try to retain the tree’s natural shape and only remove what is absolutely necessary. For example, don’t remove the lower branches if they are providing shade for the ground below or if they are contributing to the overall structural stability of the tree. Always make your cuts at a 45-degree angle just outside of the branch collar (the swollen area where the branch meets the trunk). This will help promote healing and minimize scarring.


Being a deciduous plant, the Seiryu Japanese Maple will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.


You can expect your Seiryu Japanese Maple to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

The Seiryu Japanese Maple produces some beautiful purple, or red/burgundy flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Seiryu Japanese Maple have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Seiryu Japanese Maple is well known for its tolerance to animals like rabbit, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ will be fine.


Now, let’s talk garden and how your Seiryu Japanese Maple will look best in it.

Most Acer Palmatum ‘Seiryu’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most asian/zen gardens of all types. Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of gravel and rock garden, japanese garden, city and courtyard, informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Seiryu Japanese Maple’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a firescaping/fire wise, container, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Seiryu Japanese Maples do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Ophiopogon plansicapus, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Heuchera x ‘Purple Petticoats’ will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


So that’s it! These are the main plant care requirements that you need to keep in mind in order to have a healthy Seiryu Japanese Maple in your garden or home.

Related Questions

How long does a Japanese maple live?

Japanese maples can live for up to 100 years, although most don’t make it to 30 or 40 in the wild due to pests and diseases. If you’re lucky enough to have one in your garden, you can almost guarantee that it will outlive you!

What are the other popular Japanese maple trees?

Other popular Japanese maple trees include:

The ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’, also known as the “Cutleaf Red Maple”, is a small tree that typically reaches a height of 8 feet. It has deeply lobed, reddish-purple leaves with golden margins.

The ‘Coonara Pygmy’ has pinkish-red leaves with green tones. It is a dwarf tree that typically only reaches a height of 8 feet.

The ‘Green Cascade’ can grow up to 21 feet tall and has deeply lobed, dark green leaves. It is a famous tree for gardens and parks.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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