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The Plant Guide

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Japanese maple

Acer palmatum var. dissectum

AY-sir pal-MAY-tum variety dy-SEKT-um

This round, mound-forming, deciduous Japanese maple has many qualities that make it an excellent garden plant, including a sculptural form, deeply cut foliage, arching shoots, and golden autumn color. The reddish purple flowers are tiny but attractive up close. They are followed by winged fruit. Threadleaf Japanese maple makes a beautiful specimen in small gardens and can be grown in large containers or used for bonsai.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsFinely cut foliage; golden autumn color; cascading habit.

CareNeeds fertile, moist but well-drained soil in sun or part shade. Only prune when dormant (late fall to mid-winter).

PropagationGraft in late winter; bud in late summer. Sow seed in containers outdoors as soon as ripe or in situ. May be top-grafted to make bonsai.

ProblemsMaples are prone to aphids, scale insects, and caterpillars. Verticillium wilt, tar spot, and other leaf spots and root rots are common. Late frosts may damage foliage in early spring.

  • Genus : Acer
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
  • Uses : Containers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Red
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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