Geisha Gone Wild Japanese MapleAcer palmatum ‘Geisha Gone Wild'
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Acer palmatum ‘Geisha Gone Wild'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple brings crazy, vibrant color into your garden in spring, and gets things going with a bang. The new spring foliage is brilliant pink and purple, on deeply lobed leaves that sometimes twist and curl. The mature leaves show irregular green and white variegation, splashed with pink, and in fall they turn powerful shades of orange and purple – a year-long party. Grow it as a specimen in a smaller garden, use it to liven up boring beds of evergreens, or give it a special place in a container on your terrace, patio or balcony. A unique plant to make your garden also unique.
The Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple grows best and has the most color with sun in the morning and early afternoon, and shade during the hottest part of the day. It grows from zone 6 to zone 9, and it is best in moist, rich, well-drained soil. For containers make sure they have a drainage hole and improve the drainage of the potting soil you use by adding coarse sand or fine gravel. This plant normally has no pests or diseases and it is easy to grow in a suitable location or potting soil.
Gardeners have a reputation for being calm, quiet and perhaps even staid people, but they too know when and how to let their hair down. Flamboyant plant specimens certainly have their place in the garden, as show-stoppers that really draw attention to themselves, and they make a walk around the garden more like a walk on the wild side. In beds or in containers, flashy plants should be in every garden, for their uniqueness and beauty. We already know Japanese maples for their grace and elegance, and now, with the Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple, we have one that lets its hair down and really knows how to party.
The Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple is a strong, vigorous plant that grows to about 6 feet tall within 10 years, with a spread of about 3 feet. In time it will gradually grow taller, adding a few inches every year. It has an upright habit, with the branches rising at a sharp angle from the trunk, keeping it slender, and so making it a great choice for a narrower spot in your garden. Older trees have a more rounded crown. The leaves are deeply divided into 5 or 7 slender lobes, cut almost to the base of the leaves. In keeping with its party spirit, the lobes are often playfully twister or curled. The basic patterning of the leaf is variegation – that is, a green leaf with an irregular white margin outlining each lobe. Sometimes the margin is slim, on other leaves it may be thick, making parts of the leaf almost pure white. This basic pattern becomes clear when the leaves mature in early summer, but in spring new leaves are completely suffused with a rich, vibrant pink coloring. Combined with the underlying variegation, this creates a riot of tones, from purple to bright pink, with every leaf uniquely patterned and marked.
After the first vibrant display of colors, the leaves change to their white and green patterning, with some pink flashes remaining. These summer colors are bright, and really stand out in your garden, with some leaves being almost pure white. All through early summer, new leaves are formed as the branches grow, so that the newer leaves are pink and purple, while the older ones are white, green and pink – the party seems to never stop. It really doesn’t, because when fall comes, off we go again, with a spectacular explosion of purple and orange across every leaf, turning your tree into a Halloween party.
A tree like this deserves a special place in your garden, so why not plant it on a lawn area, where it can be seen clearly? Beside a doorway, or between some dark evergreens would also be prime playground for the Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple, and if you have a lightly wooded area, you can plant it out for the fairies and elves to play around. As a container plant you will be able to grow it up close, and fully enjoy its constantly changing patterns every day. It would be perfect in a Japanese influenced courtyard area, or perhaps grown as a unique bonsai – the choices are yours to make.
Wherever and however you grow it, the Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple will thrive in zones 6 to 9 and planted in the ground in a sheltered spot in zone 5 – we don’t recommend it for a container in zones 5 or 6. It will color best and brightest in morning sun, with some afternoon shade to protect it from burning. Plant in rich, moist, well-drained soil, and mulch annually with organic material to keep the roots damp and cool. This plant is not drought resistant, and it should be watered regularly during dry weather. When planted in a pot or container, make sure it has a drainage hole, and add 20% by volume of coarse sand or fine gravel to regular potting soil. This will make it possible to water regularly, without risking root problems from slow drainage and soggy soil. This tree has no particular pests or diseases and it is easy to grow. Occasional dark green patches on a few leaves is normal for this variety, and not a sign of a disease.
The Geisha Gone Wild Japanese Maple is a unique form of the Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, and its story began in New Zealand. There, in the later decades of the last century, the Duncan & Davies nursery created a unique maple from their breeding. It has pink leaves, and they called it ‘Geisha’. It never became popular because it was not very strong, and the colors were not stable and reliable year from year. The well-known Japanese maple expert, Talon Buchholz, who has a nursery in Gaston, Oregon, imported some plants of ‘Geisha’. On one of them a branch developed with a white and green variegation, as well as the pink spring coloring. This plant was more vigorous, reliable and stable than its parent, and much better as a garden plant. Talon named it ‘Geisha Gone Wild’, because it was even more colorful and dramatic than the original. Although perhaps of a different origin, it is almost identical to other varieties called ‘Shirazz’ and ‘Gwen’s Rose Delight’. We simply love this tree – it is truly a crazy dream – and you will too. Order now, because trees like this are snapped up by our large and loyal clients who come to us for rare Japanese maples, and our stock will soon be gone.