April plant of the moment
Brighten your garden with a rich maple
Japanese maples (acer) will bring a magical touch to any garden. These richly coloured plants are particularly at home in pots and so suit smaller gardens and compact courtyard gardens. Their elegant shape and rich colour variety means they make a wonderful focal point that can be admired throughout the year.
Choose a Japanese to brighten up shady corners. They bring a charming focus to water features, seating areas and patios. As maples thrive as well in the ground as they do in a pot, they’re particularly good if you need to bring interest to your patio or courtyard garden.
These plants are slow growing and most need very little pruning so they’re popular for low maintenance gardens or for gardeners with less time to spend nurturing their plants. Therefore if you’re looking for something that doesn’t need lots of expertise, yet still looks impressive, the maple is an ideal choice. They’re at home in large pots so ideal if you have a small space or want to inject colour and interest to your patio.
Maples like to be well hydrated but need good drainage too so look for pots with holes. Popular varieties of the plant include Acer palmatum (Bloodgood), Acer palmatum (Osakazuki), Acer palmatum (Sango-Kaku) and the Golden Shirasawanum maple (Aureum).
- Choose a sheltered spot for your maple to protect it from the weather. If bad weather is forecast, it’s a good idea to move your potted maple to a sheltered spot or wrap the roots of planted maples in polythene to protect them.
- Well-drained soil with compost is best for your maple. Shredded bark on the top will give extra goodness and keep the weeds at bay.
- If you’d like to keep your maple in a container, go for a large and sturdy terracotta pots with drainage holes.
- Maples can be happy in a pot for several years, just keep them well drained and the compost topped up.
Maples bring oriental charm to the simplest of gardens. Give them plenty of space to spread their branches and complement your maples with all of these lovely options:
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