Gardening Tips

Japanese maple: care and varieties

Japanese maple: care and varieties

The Japanese maple is one of the undisputed stars of gardens, green areas and even balconies throughout the world. Its characteristic webbed leaves, which turn warm and striking reds in autumn, are its best known and most appreciated signature, which is why it is also often chosen to give life and charm to streets and avenues. In fact, it is not complicated to have at home if you know the care of Japanese maple and its varieties.

If you want to learn more about one of the most beautiful trees for gardens, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which we will see how to care for japanese maple or red maple.

Japanese Maple Characteristics

The Acer palmatum It is a deciduous tree that withstands pruning very well, so it can be grown both in the ground and in a pot. In fact, the acer palmatum bonsai It is one of the most popular, and it is that fans of this technique find in it a particularly beautiful plant that tolerates the demanding processes involved in obtaining a bonsai Japanese maple.

How long does it take to grow a maple and how long does a Japanese maple grow? The Acer palmatum grows an average of up to 10 meters tall, although there are varieties that can exceed 15. It is also true that when grown in a pot its growth will be much lower, rarely exceeding 3 or 4 meters. As for how long it takes to grow, a Japanese maple will take between 7 and 10 years reach maturity.

And when does the Japanese maple or red maple bloom? Its flowering usually occurs in spring, although this is not as striking from an ornamental point of view as its leaves are. In autumn, we can see that this maple is filled with Red sheetswhich can range from a light red tone to a dark one, similar to purple.

Japanese maple: care and varieties - Japanese maple characteristics

Japanese Maple Location and Climate

The light needs and tolerances of this tree are highly dependent on the climate it is found in. In cold climates, the Acer palmatum tolerates and welcomes exposures full sunwhile in a Mediterranean climate it is better to place it in semi-shade or even in shade if it is particularly hot areas.

The tree can withstand frost and subtropical climates, maintaining tolerable temperatures between 30ºC and -18ºC. Above 30°C, even short exposures to this sun and temperature can cause problems.

Japanese Maple Irrigation

This species needs a fairly regular watering. In the cold months it will suffice to water it every 48-72 hours, while in the warm months, the tree’s need for water could demand up to 4 weekly waterings. As is usual with all plants, a potted japanese maple It will require more frequent watering, as its root system is much less extended.

Here we tell you when to water the plants and how to water a bonsai, in case you decide to have this variety in your home.

Japanese maple: care and varieties - Japanese maple watering

Soil or substrate for Japanese maple

This is one of the most important points when it comes to knowing how to care for japanese maple or red maplesince it needs slightly acidic substrateswith a pH between 4 and 6. For this, we can directly use substrate prepared for acidophilic plants. However, we can also prepare ours by mixing two parts of akadama for each part of kiryuzuna, which gives rise to a light soil, with great drainage and good aeration.

If you plant your maple outdoors and don’t want to have to add all the substrate around where the tree will go, you can acidify the soil yourself by regularly adding pine needles or iron sulfate, both of which have the ability to lower the pH. This method can work especially on limestone soils, which otherwise offer good properties.

Here you can learn more about acidophilic plants: what they are, examples and care.

Japanese maple: care and varieties - Soil or substrate for Japanese maple

Japanese Maple Pruning

This species does not need pruning in a vital way, but the tree will maintain a remarkably better appearance and health if we keep the growth of its branches organized and controlled through a regular pruningespecially when you have limited space.

It is recommended to always prune it in autumn or late winter, before it resumes its activity in spring. It is necessary to remove the branches in poor condition, as well as those that intersect or hinder each other when growing.

Acer palmatum fertilizer

It is only necessary during warm monthsit is advisable to use a specific fertilizer for acidophilic plants, which will provide the necessary nutrients without altering the acidity balance of the soil. If fast-acting liquid fertilizers are used, it is recommended to alternate a month of supply with another without it.

Here you can learn more about How to make homemade organic fertilizer for plants.

Japanese maple: care and varieties - Acer palmatum fertilizer

play japanese maple

This species can reproduce by seedswhich must spend three months in the fridge before being planted in the seedbed, giving rise to between one and two months of germination.

If you want faster playback, the japanese maple cutting It is also a very good option, thanking in this case the contribution of rooting, which you can make at home organically and for very little money. Here we explain how to make natural rooting.

The reproduction by layering and grafting It is also very common among professionals and experts, although these techniques, despite their higher success rate, are also more complex in their application.

Japanese maple varieties

The Japanese maple actually has three subspecies. the three main japanese maple types They are Matsumure, Palmatum and Amoenum. In addition, a huge variety of cultivars and varieties are obtained from them. These are some of the japanese maple varieties:

  • Atropurpureum
  • blood good
  • Butterfly
  • defoliation
  • Dissectum
  • Katsura
  • littleprincess
  • osakazuki
  • sango kaku
  • Seiryu

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