“Dissectum Garnet” is one of the top selling Japanese maples ever. It has been popular around the world for many decades. Its filigree leaves are deeply cut = dissected, hence its name. They look like giant snowflakes cut in pieces and densely cover even young plants. The colour show begins with vibrant red in the spring, turning crimson red in early summer and deep burgundy in late summer, finishing up with vivid reddish-purple in the autumn.It grows slowly and forms a shrub that is rather wider than tall. Branches are pendent making an umbrella appearance. It is often grafted on short stems or half-standards so you can fully enjoy its drooping branches. It needs light, acidic, well drained soil that will retain moisture. Red-leaved Japanese maples do well in full sun if you mulch the roots sufficiently not to dry out in hot summers. They will grow in semi-shade or filtered sun, too, but the leaf colour will be slightly paler with more shades of green. If you feel you need to feed it, use balanced, slow-release fertilizers only.
It can be trimmed or shaped as a bonsai. My feeling is that it is best to leave it with no pruning at all so it can show its irregular growth which makes each one an unrepeatable original. If you wish to cut it anyway do so after danger of all frosts at the earliest, until mid summer at the latest. Plants older than 3-5 years (wood maturity pending) are fully hardy to about -30°C (USDA zone 5).
Japanese maples are the créme de la créme of every garden. They are compact, dense shrubs or majestic looking small trees. Every garden can have one without a need for simulating Japanese garden style. Currently, there are numerous red-leaved varieties in the market but we prefer to stick with the old-time favourites that proved to do well in our climate.
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