Japanese Maple - Acer palmatum


plant widely used in Japan as a bonsai, native to Asia, in nature it can reach 9-10 meters in height; it has a conical, very dense crown, with 5-7 lobed leaves, light green, which in autumn turn red-orange. Very decorative, it presents some cultivation difficulties, being quite delicate, however it can also be cultivated by a beginner who wants to experiment with a small specimen.

Pruning and exposure

Pruning is performed when vegetation is resumed, in spring, and finally, in autumn; in summer they are trimmed and sprouts leaving two-three leaves. Healthy specimens can be defoliated in May to help reduce leaf size. The wire can be applied throughout the year.
With regards to exposure, the maple is a fairly delicate plant that needs light positions, but far from the rays of the sun and the wind. In summer, when the climate is particularly hot, it is good to shade it; in winter, the vase and the roots are protected with non-woven fabric on the hardest days.

Japanese Maple - Acer palmatum: Other tips

Watering: it is good to water often, without exceeding in quantity; in summer pay attention not to dry the soil too much, because the maple fears drought very much. Add fertilizer for bonsai every 10-15 days, from March to September, to the irrigation water.
Soil: loves fairly clayey, well-drained soils, tending rather to acidity than to alkalinity. An ideal compote can be obtained by mixing two parts of peat, one part of sand and three parts of clay. It is advisable to repot the young specimens every year, at the end of winter, to allow an optimal vegetative growth. Adult specimens can also be repotted every three years.
Multiplication: it can be done by sowing the fruits in spring, keeping the soil moist until germination, the seedlings are repotted the following year. In spring you can take cuttings of about five centimeters, to be rooted in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts.
Pests and diseases: it is a plant little subject to the attack of pests and diseases. Sometimes it can be affected by aphids and floury cochineal. Very young specimens, especially if placed in places that are not very sunny, fear white disease.