Most gardeners are familiar with Japanese Maples and often use them for their colorful foliage, but there are a number of different varieties that can give you just the right look for your landscape.
Japanese Maples are often categorized in two basic groups: the larger leaf palmatum varieties that are upright, or standard, and lacey leaf dissectum varieties that are often shorter and weeping. There are exceptions, of course, to the size and shape of each variety; you could find a palmatum variety that grows no larger than a shrub, or a dissectum variety that will grow tall enough for some shade. Each group has varieties that are red leafed in the summer, and some that have green leaves.
Regardless of variety, Japanese Maples prefer a very loose and well droined soil, so amending the soil at the time of planting with some finely shredded bark or expanded slate is a must. Be sure to water during periods of drought, but be careful not to over water, especially if the soil wasn't loosened at planting. If you follow these steps at the beginning, you'll have a beautiful Japanese Maple to enjoy for years to come.
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