Backyard Grower Blog | News and Inspiring Success Stories

Mike McGroarty

Head dirt-digger at Mike's Plant Farm in Perry, OH (I have a few websites too)
July 6  ·  9 min read
Japanese Red Maples $1.35 Each!
Our members are scooping these up like crazy at this incredibly low price!
Our growers grow them for a few years and sell them for as much as $45.00 each and they sell like hot cakes at that price! Click here to learn more about the fun and exciting Backyard Nursery Business.

Japanese Red Maple seedlings are fun to grow and one of the hottest selling plants around. Whether you grow for fun or profit, I think you'll enjoy the information and photos on this page.

Of all of the plants that my customers grow and sell, Japanese Red Maples sell like hot cakes for anybody that has them.

They can be grown from seed, or you can buy them for as little as $1.35 each. If you've purchased my Backyard Growing System, you can buy them wholesale like we do and just grow them on.

I prefer to buy the seedlings because it's much easier to take care of a one-year-old seedling than it is to pamper a 1/2" tall seedling until it can fend for itself.

Some people enjoy the challenge and thrill of growing plants from seed, but I like plants that are a little more independent and require less of my time.

Right now we are paying $1.35 each for Japanese Red Maple seedlings. I'll post a photo of the last batch of seedlings I bought below so you can get an idea of the size they are, and why I prefer to buy them rather than grow them from seed myself.

Like I said, they sell like crazy!

Anyway, what I like to do is prune my Japanese Red Maple Seedlings as soon as I get them, even before I plant them.

Pruning them immediately forces them to fill out down low and develop into really nice, multi-stem plants. Which is how most people prefer them. Let me show you some photos.
Japanese Red Maple seedling.
The Japanese Red Maple seedling shown in the above photo is exactly what the plant looked like when I took it out of the box.

I paid $1.35 for this plant, and that's including the shipping charge. As you can see it's really a nice size plant, and very healthy.

I prefer to buy them this way rather than grow them from seed because even here in zone 5, northern Ohio, I can plant them outside as soon as I get them.

They almost always overwinter just fine, planted outside in a bed. You can see the little root ball on the bottom of the plant.

A lot of my Backyard Growing System customers buy Japanese Red Maple seedlings from the sources I give them in the wholesale directory that comes with my system.

But it just kills them to prune the plants as I do. I understand their apprehension. One minute you have a beautiful little Japanese Red Maple seedling like the one above, and after pruning, your plants look like this:
Mike preparing to prune a Japanese Red Maple seedling.
Two Japanese Red Maple seedlings after getting pruned.
Looks like I completely ruined the plants doesn't it? Notice how green the remaining leaves are? That because the top of the plants were shading the lower leaves.

As soon as these leaves get a little sun they'll color right up. But by pruning these Japanese Red Maple seedlings like I do, it forces them to set more new branches down low.

And in just a year you have a fuller, more compact, more desirable plant like these:
A fuller, more compact Japanese Red Maple seedling.
Another fuller, more compact Japanese Red Maple seedling.
Notice how much fuller these trees are? I trimmed my Japanese Red Maple seedlings and planted them outside in October.

That's when I took the photos at the top of the page. The photos that you are looking at above were taken the following June.

Growing nice plants is like building a house. You have to work on the foundation first. If you don't give your plants a nice foundation to grow on, they will never grow to their full potential.

This kind of drastic pruning is hard to do, but once you see the results you fully understand why it is necessary.

Had I not pruned these plants they would have put all of that new grow on at the top of the plant, which would have made for a very poorly shaped plant.

I am ruthless when it comes to pruning, but I always have the nicest plants in the end.

I plant my Japanese Red Maple seedlings in beds which I'll show you in just a second. I prune them before I plant them, then I prune them again once they have put on 12" to 15" of new growth.

I just take my hedge shears and whop the tops off to make them fill out even more. After that second pruning they will fill out very nicely.

At that point I can take them out of the bed and sell them right away, or I can pot them up and sell them later for even more money.

42" Japanese Red Maples easily sell for $50.00 to $75.00 if they are nice and full and have deep red color. It's not unusual to see them in garden centers with price tags of $125.00 or more!

That's why I don't hesitate to buy Japanese Red Maple seedlings for $1.35 each. I'm not set up to grow plants from seed, and I don't want to be.

Almost all of the shrubs I grow I grow from cuttings, and using my system you can easily do that without a greenhouse. It's just so much easier, and you don't have a lot of money invested to get started.

And because I don't have a greenhouse, my nursery requires almost zero amount of attention during the winter months. I had a greenhouse and I took it down!

Buying seedlings from another grower reduces my growing time by at least one or two years.

However, I am always encouraging those who purchase my Backyard Growing System to consider becoming a supplier of Japanese Red Maple seedlings.

The demand always seems to out weigh the supply. And with the internet you could easily sell them in smaller quantities for $4.00 or more instead of the $1.35 that I am currently paying.

If I had 5,000 Japanese Red Maple seedlings right now I could easily sell every single one of them for at least $1.35 each! Many of them I could sell for $4.00 or $5.00 each.

In the Wholesale Source Directory that's inside The Backyard Growing System, I have included several wholesale seed suppliers that will sell you seeds for all kinds of trees and shrubs, including Japanese Red Maples, and you can buy them in quantity, paying only the wholesale price.

The photo below is interesting, and will give you an idea of how nicely these Japanese Red Maple Seedlings can develop:
Japanese Red Maple seedlings planted in a bed.
The small plants in the foreground are the Japanese Red Maple seedlings that I planted right after pruning them.

Notice the tree in the background in the landscaping? The one with the pink letters next to it. That tree is now about 8' tall and came from a batch of seedlings just like the ones you see in this photo.

I had a bunch of Japanese Red Maples that I had grown and I was selling them for $45.00 each and they were selling like crazy. So I grabbed two and planted them in my landscape before they were all gone.

This is another shot of that same bed:
Japanese Red Maple seedlings planted in a bed.
In the foreground are 300 Japanese Red Maple seedlings. Can you believe how little area you need to grow 300 beautiful little trees?

Of course if you want to grow them larger you'd have to pot them up or plant them in a larger bed.

But if you leave them just as you see them here for two years you will have 300 nice little trees that people will jump at the chance to buy.

One of my customers who purchased The Backyard Growing System sells the plants that he grows at a flea market in West Virginia and he can't keep Japanese Red Maple seedlings in stock.

As quick as he brings them in they buy every single one that he has! He even buys larger Japanese Red Maples from a wholesale nursery, marks them up to twice what he paid for them, and they buy those too! Sometimes it seems the demand is insatiable.

The bed you see in the above photo is about 5 feet wide by 70 feet long, and you can produce thousands of plants in a bed that size. And you don't even have to raise the bed as I did here.

If you have good soil you can just plant right in the soil you have. The only reason I raised this bed was because I had a really nice pile of compost and potting soil that I knew my plants would grow like crazy in.

Another one of my customers who has my Backyard Growing System rooted 6,500 cuttings of assorted plants and sold every one of them as soon as they rooted for 67¢ each, and she could have sold more but ran out of cuttings.

I'll do the math for you. 6,500 rooted cuttings times 67¢ is $4,355.00! As I am creating this web page she is happily rooting more cuttings to sell this year.

Just yesterday she told me that she has found a local nursery that will allow her to take cuttings from their plants in the field as long as she pays them back by giving them some of the cuttings she roots!

Whether or not you are just growing for fun, or growing for profit, this is a great way to spend your time and get close to nature!