Acer ‘Shirwasiwanum Aureum’
Japanese maples are grown for their fantastic dissected foliage and exquisite autumn colours. During the spring and summer there is a range of fresh greens, pink tinged red-browns and even a golden leaf. When autumn arrives the best colours are produced by the green foliage varieties as they turn to fiery oranges but even the red-brown varieties have good autumn colour.
There is a wide range of sizes that they will grow to from smaller varieties such as ‘Garnet’ and ‘Crimson Queen’ which reach about 1.5m (5ft) in ten years to taller varieties such as Acer palmatum at double this size. They can easily be pruned to reduce the size if required and smaller varieties can remain in a pot for a good number of years with regular feeding.
Acers have extremely thin leaves and consequently dislike the wind and need to remain moist when in leaf otherwise the leaves can become damaged. Planting in a sheltered position in partial shade will give best results. They produce the best foliage in slightly acidic conditions so grow in neutral to acidic areas.
Acers can be grown as part of an oriental theme together with wisteria, chaenomeles, bamboo and topiary or part of a mixed border together with conifers, azaleas and rhododendrons and camellias which enjoy similar soil conditions.
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