The Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple (Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’) Care Guide


The Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple, otherwise known as the Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ or Golden Full Moon Maple, Full Moon Maple ‘Aureum’, Golden Shirasawa Maple, Acer japonicum ‘Aureum’, Acer japonicum var. aureum, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and slow growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its multicolored colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple are the following:

  • Water: The Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
  • Light: Keep your Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' up close

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple belongs to the Sapindaceae family, the genus Acer and the species Shirasawanum, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ (AY-ser shir-ah-sa-WAN-um).

As with other Acer’s, the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple is a plant native to the Japan.

You might be wondering why your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple’s native region is important. Well, if you know where your plant originally came from, you’ll know which environment conditions it prefers, and with it, knowledge on how to replicate it at home.

With this in mind, the Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 5 – 7 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a and the ideal climate zone is between 3, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But what exactly does this mean for your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ can grow up to 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m) in 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m) and 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m) in 15′ – 20′ (4.5m – 6m). 

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful rounded shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

Water

In terms of watering, the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple is a fairly simple plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' plant

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple requires soil with clay, and loam (silt), which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day).

Season

Being a deciduous plant, the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.

Flowers

The Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple produces some wonderful red/burgundy flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple have a beautiful multicolored color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a simple arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ to be around (1-3 inches) in size.

Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' branchy

Garden

Now, let’s talk garden and how your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple will look best in it.

Most Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ owners agree that this shrub will look great in most asian/zen and contemporary gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of japanese garden, city and courtyard, informal and cottage, and in traditional garden styles. 

In particular, the Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple’s best location within your garden is in patio and containers, beds and borders, and in small gardens, others use it for landscaping in a privacy screen, urban garden, container, specimen, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Azalea, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Hosta will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Sebastian Moncada

I’m also a plant enthusiast and researcher. I’ve been privileged to have lived my whole life around the wilderness of Colombia and I’m happy to share everything I learn along the way. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience” – Emerson.

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