RED JAPANESE MAPLE Acer palmatum atropurpureum
Very sought-after plants! Red Japanese Maple trees are beautiful all-year round, with finely divided leaves, slender branching, and absolutely gorgeous red leaves all season, not just in the autumn. Spring and summer color is a deep wine red, and fall color is a vibrant bright red! In cooler climates, plants grown well in full sun or part . In hot climates they do well given part . The medium-sized tree is ideal for urban gardens, yet vividly-colored enough to stand out in a larger arrangement as well.
Height: 3-4 meters. Plants can be pruned to remain as a small shrub, or left to grow to a small to medium sized tree.
Location: Sun or part sun, depending on location (see above).
Hardiness zones: 5-10
Seed size: Large. Seeds are long, with one rounded end, and a long wing. The wing is fragile, and generally gets tattered with shipping even when padded, but this does not affect germination. The rounded part of the seed is the fertile section that will grow.
Seeds per pack: 5
Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
Alternatively, these seeds can also be planted outdoors in fall, winter, or early spring, while temperatures are still cold (but ground is workable) to germinate naturally in spring. Be sure to mark the area where you planted them, and that the soil is consistently moist.