Lion’s Head Japanese Maple

Last updated : 24 November 2014

Hey!  Ya know what?  I love what I do!

Yeah, I know, I’m a plant geek, but how can you not appreciate a plant this beautiful and this unique.  I’ve had this Lion’s Head Japanese Maple in my landscape for about 7 years now and I really, really like it.  I sit on the porch and just take in it’s beauty and uniqueness all the time.

21 Plants That Are Easy to Grow and Sell Like Crazy

And . . . I found some the other day for $14.00 each!  You can bet I’ll be placing that order.  I’ve got about 10 of these in my nursery but I need more.  I have an obligation to make plants like this available to customers in my local area.

More photos of the Lion’s Head Japanese Maple.

Lion's Head Japanese Maple

Lion’s Head Japanese Maple


I took these photos the end of October, so these are fall colors.


Lion's Head Japanese Maple Fall Color

Lion’s Head Japanese Maple Fall Color


Lion's Head Japanese Maple Fall Color

Lion’s Head Japanese Maple Fall Color


Lion's Head Japanese Maple Fall Color

Lion’s Head Japanese Maple Fall Color


The two pictures you see below I took about two weeks after I took the above photos.  That’s how many times this interesting little tree changes colors throughout the season.


Lion's Head Japanese Maple

Lion’s Head Japanese Maple


Lion's Head Japanese Maple Fall Color

Lion’s Head Japanese Maple Fall Color


Become the person in your community to bring beautiful
plants like this to the plant lovers in your town.

More details about the Lion’s Head Japanese maple and other beautiful Japanese Maples?  Visit my Japanese Maple site;


  1. Alex says

    Instead of showing great pictures of the Lions Head Japanese Maple, why don’t you sell me a small one.I have loved and been involved with Japanese Maples since I was in my 70’s awhile back.

  2. Bob Fortner says

    Hey Mike, Great plant,but I got side tracked on some links to some of your members web pages.It really inspired me more after seeing what some of the neighbors are doing.Im sure I can do it too.So far I have been buying plants for my stock .Named properly. That was my first mistake.So I had to start over.Ty Mike for what you do.

  3. says

    Thanks Mike, great video!

    I’ve got an old stock tank that leaks and I’m turning it into a plant propagation box to root hardwood cuttings. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. says

    Mr Mike

    I live in zone 7 it might get to hot this far south.I have a Japanese Red Maple and it is growing slow.So what do I need to plant that would grow good this far down and how can I find them.I need something that I can take cuttings from.I joined your backyardnursery a long time ago,but i am not on the message board.I need help getting started with some plants that grow good.Thanks

    • says

      Ronnie, almost all Japanese maples do really well in zone 7. If yours is growing slow it’s probably in poor soil. They like soil that is really well drained. Most clay soils are too sticky for them. They’ll survive, but not thrive. Keep in mind, it’s a lot easier to make money with plants that are easier to propagate and grow fast compared to Japanese maples. We use Japanese maples to attract customers who like to buy all of our plants.

  5. Stephen Dunn says

    Mike, you talked about using seedlings as root stock. will any generic Acer seedling work, or do the seedlings of certain cultivars do better than others? Or, are there certain combinations of rootstock and scion stock that work better together?

    • says


      When grafting a Japanese maple most are from the acer palmatum family. So you have to graft the acer palmatum scions (cuttings) onto an acer palmatum seedling. Acer palmatum being just a generic Japanese maple seedling. So the short answer to your question is no, you can use just any acer, like silver maple, sugar maple etc. It has to be in the Japanese maple family of acer palmatum.

  6. charles says

    I don’t understand. When it gets down to 20 below zero. why don’t these cuttings freeze solid and every cell in the cutting burst.

    • says

      Charles, there are a lot of things about plants that I don’t understand as well. But the branches on the trees somehow manage extreme cold temperatures as well and do just fine. Of course 20 below is pretty cold, but 10 above zero is plenty cold and plants do fine.

  7. Cathrine Mukome says

    Mike !!!! Please. How can I get the Japanese Maple- Lion Head? Can I grow it in Zimbabwe? There are also interesting unusual rose colors in your pictures? I want to introduce them in my nursery. Thank you.


  8. evelyn yearty says

    Mike, would you give us the name of the nursery where you got the Lion’s Head Japanese Maple? Do they ship to North Florida?

  9. jan says

    It is a beautiful tree. I have three J. maples which we’ve had for about 5 years but I’ll need to keep my eyes open for this one. I am in California and sometimes it gets just too hot. I love your posts. Thank you.

  10. elaine jackson says

    Womdering what zone this lovely plant can survive in

    Also- not all plants bloom immediately. What is the maturation cycle

  11. roko says

    I am from Slovenia. I have this maple shishigashira (lion’s head). I have a lot of maples in my garden but this one is absolutely the special one. Especially now in november with his red colour. But it’s very expensive. Peace from Europe

  12. Casey Milnes says

    that is surely a big impact in a small package. I have not seen that variety in catalogs or in the nurserys out here in this area. But the cost of $14.00 is a good price. Have gotten seeds off yours? Can you grow it from seed? I have some red maple seeds and will try to grow a crop of them. This lions main would require some patients but it is pretty!

    • says

      Casey, I have seen this Lion’s Head Japanese Maple in garden centers around here priced at $350 to $400, so $14.00 is a steal even for a small plant.

      Will it grow from seed? Probably not true to the parent plant which is the case with most trees and shrubs. When you grow a plant from seed you get the most generic version of the species. But the seedlings make a good root stock to graft on to. I’ll do a grafting video this winter.

    • says

      Od, it probably would not be happy there. Like all deciduous plants it needs to go dormant in the winter. Unlike many Japanese Maples this one does have green leaves that hold up in the sun pretty well, but desert sun? Not sure about that.

  13. Bruce says

    How about rhododendrons? similar method?
    I have 2 rhododendron plants from a friend who got them out of Michigan. (He doesn’t recall what nursery they came from – nor what variety they are.) They’ve been hardier then any others I’ve planted over the past 10-15 years. My wife grew up near Phili PA… and want’s BIG Roddies like they had around their house there… Told her that’ll never happen here in this area with this climate and soil, even though I amended it; but I persist 😉 Because these 2 plants continue to outlive all others I’ve tried over the years… wonder if I might propagate more from them? Both my grandfathers were avid gardeners, I grew up on our NE Iowa family farm & taught VoAg/FFA before going to fly for the USAF… and retiring here near Wright-Patterson AFB. Folks can’t believe all the stuff I grow and over-winter… but have not tried hardwood propagation yet. Your suggestions.. Thanks much! Appreciate your many tips!

    • says

      Bruce, couple of things you should know. Yes, you can propagate Rhododendrons. However, the two that you have are unnamed so you could never propagate them to offer for sale since you don’t know the variety. But for your own use, full speed ahead!

      Rhododendrons root best when done during the winter over bottom heat. The growing medium is kept at 68 to 70 degrees, but the tops are kept cooler, below 50 degrees for sure so they don’t break dormancy and start leafing out. I wrote this a long time ago about bottom heat: Wait until the plants have seen temperatures well below freezing for several hours before you take the cuttings.

      You can also root them during the summer in a system like this I’d try some both ways.

    • says

      LouAnne, I wish I could say yes, but not that I am aware of. I’d visit a local arboretum and see what they have growing that is really nice.

  14. Warren Dake says

    Mike that is such a cool tree, I truely have never heard of this tree. I want one, small but yet it make a Big showing. I will be getting one.

  15. jaya says

    Hai/its really beautiful. but we do not have these plants in INDIA……………so just enjoing your plants n vidios.

  16. Julie Sparks says

    I’ve been looking for something like this for the past year. I love the Japanese Maple but all I seen are the ones that grow high. The guy across the street has a minature and its about 3 feet tall.

    Let me know where I can get these. I would like to get 2 for my front lawn. Thanks I really appreciate all the good emails you send me.

  17. Lana says

    Hey, I have one of those and didn’t know it’s name. Thanks for all the great pictures and sharing your knowledge of the plant world.

  18. Carole Mitchell says

    I think I have this same plant. I have planted it under some tall Evergreen trees, do you think that will hurt it?
    How do you take care of it for winter. I am in Michigan. Zone 5
    Thanks Carole

    • says

      Carloe, I’m in northern, Ohio zone 5 and I don’t do a thing for mine over the winter. They do just fine for me. I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of Japanese maples growing in the field. No winter protection.

  19. Dana harness says

    nice tree we just made our garden bigger well it get bigger every year thank for all the info you put up here have a good day

    • says

      Dana, it does put on about 4″ of new growth each year. We trim all of that new growth so the tree stays tight and compact. So ours really only gains about 2″ per year.

  20. Lana Wood says

    I bought the plant growing system some 3 years ago but never did anything with it. I am confused on how to really get started. Do I have to pay each mo for a website?
    I am looking to get started on earning some real money on a at home business, work not going so well.
    Please Mike contact me back.

    • says

      Paul, most Japanese maples, including this one, are good down to about zone 5. Most do well in zone 5. Anything colder than zone 5 is really risky.

  21. mary says

    Beautiful! What are the growth specs on this beauty? How fast and how large will it grow? Thank you for all the inspiration and encouragement you send out!

  22. M.E. Andre says

    I really like this plant .. I have never seen or heard about it before. IF I can get ahold of some {1} how do I propagate it????
    And how long does it take to grow?

    Thanks, M.E.

    • says

      M.E., the Lion’s Head Japanese Maple, like most other Japanese Maples, are propagate by grafting. A cutting (known as a scion) is grafted to a Japanese Maple seedling. I am going to do a grafting video later this winter.

    • says

      BJ, I guess that depends on how long you have. I’ve seen them 7 or 8 feet tall, but mine has been in my landscape for 7 years and is less than 30″. That’s part of the mystique of this little tree.

  23. Toni says

    Mike, you have almost convinced me that I need to do Japanese Maples,LOL.

    Only problem is that I need to get some kind of nursery going. It is coming together slowly, thanks to you and the BYG group.

  24. Beth says

    I have a Lion’s Head maple, too, and it IS a very cool tree! I love the crispy, curly leaves – just wish it grew faster. My tree is only 2′ tall and it’s about 4 years old.

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