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Acer and bleeding heart container display

You will need

  • Acer palmatum 'Katsura'
  • Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly'
  • Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Alba'
  • Ivy plants x4
  • Rectangular container or old Belfast sink
  • Crocks
  • Loam-based compost


Acers don't like to be baked by the sun so this container display is perfect for a sheltered spot. This particular Japanese maple has beautiful bright green leaves which turn a rich orange in autumn, but it's just one of a fantastic range of leaf colours and shapes available. The bleeding heart adds height and a splash of white against the green foliage, while the tiarella and ivy plants offer ground cover at the base.

Plant it: all year round
At its best: April - August
Takes just: 20 minutes

How to do it:

Adding crocks to the container


This container is heavy, so pop it in its final position before planting it up. Choose a shady, sheltered spot away from drying winds. Add crocks to the base.

Adding compost to the container


Fill the container two-thirds with loam-based compost. Add slow-release fertiliser granules if you want to, and mix into the compost.

Planting up the container


Place the acer at the lefthand side of the container, towards the back. plant it at the same depth it was growing in its original pot. Firm in well.

Planting up the container


Plant the bleeding heart at the righthand side of the container, towards the back. Then plant the tiarella in front of it. Position the ivy plants so the spill over the sides of the container. Add more compost and firm plants in well.

Watering the container


Water the plants thoroughly and allow to drain. Top up with more compost if necessary.

Our tip

Use John Innes No. 3 compost in this pot, as it retains its structure and nutrients.

Water the pot regularly during spring and summer to keep the compost moist.

Discuss this pot & container

Talkback: Acer and bleeding heart container display
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dhaynes 24/11/2011 at 15:27

Not that keen on ajuga, so will probably try it with something else. Asarum, maybe...

kaycurtis 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I love all Acer's if I owned a bigger garden I must addmit I'd have them all over the place. But I do have 4 in pots around my garden that need repotting this spring.

Potage 24/11/2011 at 15:27

My garden is situated in an exposed area on the south western Irish Coast, I am interested in a wind resistent acer and other plants. I use a lot of containers

upsadaisy1 24/11/2011 at 15:27

is there an Acer that is wind tolerant?

grimmer 24/11/2011 at 15:27

One of the most beautiful trees you can have in the garden.

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