Great Plants this Month Winter

Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ AGM

coral-bark maple

Louise Sims

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of colourful winter stems – along comes the coral-bark maple. Please accept my apologies for raising the subject again*, but this one was begging for a mention and right now it’s probably at its peak.

I’ve always loved and admired acers but sadly our heavy Sussex clay is not their preferred growing medium. However, many of them look fabulous in a pot, and can be placed as a focal point in the garden, so that’s the route I take. They do need potting on every few years but otherwise they are easy and low maintenance, and being in a pot means that you can move them about the garden according to the time of year. Shelter from strong winds, and a position in dappled or part shade to protect the leaves from sun-scorch is important.

Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ used to be called Acer ‘Senkaki’ and it is indeed noted for its superb coral red stems: but it’s also a crowd pleaser in the springtime when the fresh, soft green leaves appear, tinged with pink. Mid-green foliage in the summertime is followed by hues of yellow and amber in the autumn – so this award winning small tree really is an all-rounder.

* (‘Winter colour courts controversy’ February ‘24!)

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

More NB If you’re not already a subscriber and you’d like a bit more gardening chitchat from the3growbags, please type your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning.

By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

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