Japanese maple or Acer palmatum are popular trees and small shrubs. They are grown for an attractive habit and dramatic foliage. The purple, crimson or creamy green leaves change to russet or scarlet in autumn. These leaves can scorch and dry and turn brittle when water is lost from the leaves by frost, wind, hot sun or salty air but they are worth the effort of giving them ideal conditions.
Ideal Growing Conditions
- Cool dappled shade is preferable to open, windy locations.
- Red leaved varieties need some sun to intensify their colour
- Plant Japanese maples in slightly acidic well drained soil that doesn’t dry out in summer nor become water logged in winter.
- The shallow roots benefit from an organic mulch.
Growing In a Pot
- Some smaller varieties adapt well to growing in a pot that has good drainage and aeration.
- Crock the pot and fill with loam based compost and mulch the top to avoid water loss.
- Water every day especially during hot weather.
- Repot in spring every 3 or 4 years before they restart in growth.
- Protect roots in the pot from very cold, wet weather.