Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'
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- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained neutral to acid soil
- Rate of growth: slow-growing
- Flowering period: April to May
- Hardiness: fully hardy
An elegant maple that is one of the best for autumn leaf colour. It can be grown as a small, spreading tree or multi-stemmed shrub and is brilliant for adding achitectural interest. Before the leaves emerge in spring, it produces small clusters of purple-red flowers, which are quite pretty up close, but don't make much of an impact from a distance. The mid green, deeply cut foliage has a fern-like appearance and will turn spectacular shades of red and orange in autumn - especially when grown in partial shade. A super plant that has been awarded the coveted Award of Garden Merit by the RHS.
- Garden care: Add a top-dressing of organic matter around the base of the plant in autumn. No routine pruning is required, just remove any dead, damaged or crossing branches in late autumn or winter when they are fully dormant. As the leaves may scorch in full sun on a summers day, try to plant it so it gets some protection during the hottest part of the day and shelter from cold winds.
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Comments about Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium':
Have used this in a woodland garden and it's perfect in that setting but equally would be excellent in a large pot. Might get another for the patio as the leaves are so attractive.
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Q:Problems with my Passionfruit clmber after cutting back, and an Acer that I moved?
Hi Crocus I've recently had my garden designed and am very pleased with the results, (plus many good Crocus plants). Unfortunately, my gardener had to cut back my Passionfruit climber which is about 7 years old. Whilst the other climbers (Honeysuckle / Jasmine) are starting to bud and grow back the Passionflower doesn't seem to be, - is there anything I can do to encourage growth? Also I have an Acer, (about 5 years old), which was frazzled by the sun last summer when I moved it from it's semi-shaded pot, into the ground in more sun. Now there are only a couple of buds that are appearing on the ends of some of the old stems, - should I cut back the ones that don't appear to be shooting, or again is there something I can do to encourage growth? Thanks VickieAsked on 12/4/2010 by Vickie Kirk
A:Hello Vickie, Passionfruits often don't recover from being cut back really hard, but the only thing you can do now is wait and see if it rallies around. I would be reluctant to feed it or try to push it, but do make sure it is watered when the soil gets reasonably dry. If however there are still no signs of growth by early June, then I doubt it will come good, so it may need to be replaced. As for the Acer, I would be patient and see if it does start the shoot from the other branches, but again by early June you will be able to see clearly if certain stems are dead and if they need to be cut out. Same rules apply here as to feeding and watering. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 12/4/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Is an Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' suitable for a North East facing front garden?
Hi, My front garden is North East facing, -it is an open site with no shade from other plants. I wondered if an Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' would be ok there? I am trying to find something that is a large shrub/small tree that I could plant in my 4m x 6m front garden but if you think the Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' wouldn't be right could you recommend anything else? I like the idea of a multi stemmed plant. Many Thanks LucyAsked on 18/2/2010 by Lucy Tudor
A:Hello Lucy, These plants will grow in full sun or partial shade, although they will need some protection during the hottest part of the day and shelter from cold winds. A north-east facing site is unlikely to be in full sun all day, so it should be fine, and it is a lovely plant. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 19/2/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub....
Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don't have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards MargaretAsked on 5/12/2009 by D DRAKETT
A:Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don't normally live longer than 6 - 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Will an Acer, Weeping Willlow and Beech grow in clay soil?
Hello, Will a Japanese Maple, Weeping Willow and a Copper Beech do well in deeply clay soil ? Thank youAsked on 15/10/2009 by Wendy Hall
A:Hello There, As long as the soil does not remain waterlogged for any length of time and you can dig in lots of sharp sand and composted organic matter, these plants should be fine. The willow will olerate a little more moisture than the other two. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 16/10/2009 by Wendy Hall
Q:Fungus and dry leaves on Acer?
Hi there, I have noticed in the last week that one of my Acers has developed very dry yellowed leaves and a white soft fungus on its bark, what do you think this could be? My other Acers are fine, but I'm worried that this will spread. What can I do to remove/avoid this? Kind regardsAsked on 14/9/2009 by nikki craig
A:Hello There, Acers are prone to a number of pests and diseases, but I suspect yours is suffering from a wooly scale - just click on the following link for more information. http://www.crocus.co.uk/pestsanddiseases/_/pests-and-diseases/stems/artcat.6/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 23/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
My Acer isn't doing well. It was purchased in April and took a while to get established once we planted it in it's current large container. It was looking quite robust until this past month, when it's began to look dry and dead in parts. We have removed it from a rather windy position and placed it in a sheltered area on our roof terrace, and continue to water it regularly. Any advice would be very appreciated. Many thanks ColinAsked on 29/7/2009 by Smith, Colin
A:Hello Colin, Acers have incredibly delicate leaves and I suspect yours has been scorched somehow. This can be caused by a number of things including not enough water, too much sun, temperatures that are either too hot or too cold, chemicals such as weed killers that have drifted in the wind and too much fertilizer. The most likely cause however is wind, as these plants especially dislike this and it always causes the leaves to discolour and die off. They are not ideally suited to roof terraces because of this, so I would move it to a much more sheltered spot if you can. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 1/1/0001 by Crocus Helpdesk
I have tried twice unsuccessfully to try and grow Acers. I love them, but they don't seem to survive in the pots. I am using ericaceous soil, i hope that is correct. It was in a partially shaded area, but for some reason they doesn't survive. Help, I want one in my garden and when I see those in the street who have well grown, old maples that look beautiful, I'm afraid I am filled with envy as I can't seem to grow one in my garden. Advice please Desperate Acer loverAsked on 19/7/2009 by Shahla Samad
A:Hello There, Acers will grow in either neutral or acidic soil, and most will tolerate sun or light shade, especially through the hottest part of the day. The most important thing though is that they must have shelter from wind and they need to be kept well watered, but not waterlogged. Make sure the pot they are kept in is reasonably large and doesnt dry out to quickly, but the drainage holes allow all the excess water to drain away freely. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 20/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Help with a Japanese-style corner please?
Hello, I was wondering if you could please advise me with a planting related matter. We have a small area in front of our kitchen which has the (grotesque) wheelie bin next to it and then the front door. We thought a minimalist (fuss-free) Japanese scheme would work best. Because it is partially shaded, we decided that three Japanese Acers of different foliages (tall, medium, and small heights) placed in planters would brighten up that corner. However, before doing so, we wanted to know if the three Acers ought to have barriers between them or not and what plants would complement the Japanese look for ground cover, perhaps an ornamental grass. If so which varieties would work best for year round interest? Should we use a multipurpose compost for all these plants? We'd appreciate any other helpful tips you can give. Many thanks, MunaAsked on 10/7/2009 by Muna Hai
A:Hello Muna, My initial thought is that 1 Acer would probably be enough as most of them will get quite large as they grow. I am not really sure what you mean by needing barriers (roots or foliage screen?), as I have never heard of this with an Acer. Japanese Acers are beautiful plants and generally colour up well in autumn, but they will need a good amount of sun for this to happen, and then they lose all their leaves in winter, so you are left with bare twigs. Therefore your best option may be to have evergreen groundcover such as Liriope which looks a little like a grass, Pachysandra or Luzula to provide interest until the Acers puts on new growth again in the spring. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 13/7/2009 by Muna Hai
A:Many thanks for the early reply, Helen as I do need to sort it all out soon. The barrier I was referring to was for the roots as I've been told Acers don't like to be fussed about with, which is why I was thinking Ishouldn't plant anything else around it in the same planter, other Acers,or even ground cover plants? Also, bearing in mind they're slow-growing, these are the Acers I've ordered. Please would let me know if I'm still mistaken in ordering so many? If there was one or two to keep and complement each other, which one(s) would they be? I probably still have time to change my order. Acer pseudoplatanus 'Brilliantissimum', Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium', Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku'. Thanks for the Liriope suggestion. Is Aureum (the one without flowers) similar? Regards, MunaAnswered on 13/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Hello again Muna, While it is true that Acers will not like disturbance to their roots, I have never heard of them needing a barrier, or that you cannot underplant them. When choosing what to plant it is
worthwhile looking at the eventual height and spread of a plant. For example the Acer pseudoplatanus 'Brilliantissimum' will eventually grow to 6m tall x 8m wide, the Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium' will grow to 5mtall x 6m wide and Acer palmatum 'Sango-Kaku' will grow to 6m tall x 5m wide. Therefore, the choice will be dependant on how much room you need to fill, and the effect you want to create. As for the Liriope, I have never heard of one called Aureum, so I am not sure which one you are
referring to. Best regards, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 13/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Is there an evergreen Acer?
Could I just ask if there is an Acer that is not 'deciduous' but 'evergreen'?Asked on 14/3/2005 by Susan McGarragh
A:Sadly not as all Acers are deciduous.Answered on 16/3/2005 by Crocus
Japanese maples make elegant focal points in a garden and seen in their full glory of autumn colour are absolutely breathtaking. They mix well with brilliant autumn-berries, picking up reds and oranges all around the garden. Although many species of mapleRead full article