Calico Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum 'Calico'
Calico Japanese Maple foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 5 feet
Hardiness Zone: 6a
The striking leaves of this compact variety emerge bright orange-yellow, turning to a pleasing lime green in summer; yellow-orange fall color with tinges of red; interesting branching habit; an ideal selection for smaller gardens or containers
Calico Japanese Maple has attractive lime green foliage with hints of yellow which emerges orange in spring. The lobed palmate leaves are highly ornamental and turn outstanding shades of yellow, orange and red in the fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The rough gray bark and brick red branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.
Calico Japanese Maple is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may 'bleed' sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Calico Japanese Maple is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Calico Japanese Maple will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Calico Japanese Maple makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.