Japanese Maples are known for creating visual interest and for good reason. Leaves may be deep red or green in color, and the many different varieties offer a myriad of leaf shapes from lace-leaf to large, palmate leaves. These trees also offer a variety of forms, from upright to dwarf, weeping in form. Bright fall foliage color is another outstanding landscape feature in some varieties. Although Japanese Maples are deciduous, the interesting branching structure of these small ornamental trees provides wonderful winter interest in the garden. These ornamental trees are ideal specimen plants. In our area, all Japanese Maples will perform better with protection from the afternoon sun. Several varieties can tolerate more sun (Crimson Queen, Sangu Kaku and Emperor I). Pair with other shade plants such as azaleas, hydrangeas, hardy ferns, coral bells and hostas for a good texture contrast. Apply 2-3 inches of desired mulch and water regularly after planting. Wait until the second growing season to feed with slow release, balanced fertilizer.
- Shade to Part Sun
- Plant in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil
- Leaf color is variety dependent, as is mature size and form
- Prune to shape during late winter or early spring, only as needed