How often to water Japanese maples in a heatwave – avoid acer’s leaves turning ‘brown’

Gardening: Monty Don's washing up water tip in dry weather

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Japanese maples are known for their stunning leaves and gorgeous autumn colours. They can turn various different colours before their leaves fall. With areas of the UK experiencing hot weather, how often to water plants in the garden can be hard.

Easy to grow in containers, maples are a firm favourite in many people’s gardens. 

They are small and slow growing, making them perfect for even the smallest of gardens. 

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), they should be watered once a day during hot weather.

The experts said: “Water regularly in dry spells during the first year to aid establishment, especially if planted in spring or later in the summer season. 

“You may need to water once a week during hot, dry spells which can cause the leaves to brown and crinkle around the edges. 

“Water trees in containers regularly so they do not dry out. 

“This can mean at least once a day in hot weather.”

Keeping adequate moisture in the soil is crucial as they like even moisture.

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On most varieties, their leaves are very thin and will dry out and burn quickly when the soil moisture is not adequate.

Trees in the open ground don’t need feeding but a general purpose fertiliser can help the tree to grow.

However, this should be applied during February as it will encourage growth.

The experts added: “So trees do not dry out and to suppress weeds, mulch with a 10cm layer of garden compost or mulching bark.

“Do keep it away from the trunk as it will rot if covered.

“Japanese maples in the ground are usually fully hardy, but container-grown trees should be placed on pot feet or brick and the pot wrapped in polythene bubble wrap for insulation.”

Mulching around the tree can help to stop evaporation.

With august being a great month for pruning in the garden, gardeners may wonder when to prune acres and if they even need pruning.

According to the RHS, they require very little pruning other than removing any winter dieback at the end of shoots.

They are best pruned when fully dormant, usually from November to January.

The experts added: “Pruning is still best kept to a minimum as the most graceful shape comes from a tree that has been allowed to develop fairly naturally. 

“As a result, just remove badly-placed or crossing shoots to encourage a good framework of branches to grow.

“Where you do need to reduce height and width, follow long branches back to a side branch and prune it out at this point. 

“This is not necessary on prostrate-growing trees because they should be allowed to spread naturally to gain the best effect.”

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