The Complete Guide for Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’) Care


The Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut, otherwise known as the Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ or Red Horsechestnut ‘Briotii’, Red Horse Chestnut ‘Briotii’, is a rather well known tree plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

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

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.
  • Light: Keep your Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut plant

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut belongs to the Sapindaceae family, the genus Aesculus and the species X Carnea, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ (es-KU-lus KAR-nee-uh).

As with other Aesculus’s, the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut is a deciduous plant, which means it will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

Growing Region

The Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut is a plant native to the Europe.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 6 – 8 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a and the ideal climate zone is between 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut is a relatively slow grower, which makes things easy for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But what exactly does this mean for your Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ can grow up to 25′ – 35′ (7.5m – 10.5m) in 25′ – 35′ (7.5m – 10.5m) and 25′ – 35′ (7.5m – 10.5m) in 25′ – 35′ (7.5m – 10.5m). 

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 Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.

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

Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut care

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut 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. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut 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 Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut requires soil with high organic matter, 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 Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this tree 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 Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being a deciduous plant, the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut will shed its leaves annually once autumn comes.

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

Flowers

You can expect your Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut to flower around the spring months from April to June (spring).

In particular, this tree is well known for its showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut produces some beautiful pink, or pink, gold/yellow and red/burgundy flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a compound (pinnately, bipinnately, palmately) arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

The Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut is well known for being able to attract hummingbirds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut up close

Garden

How should you then organize your garden to include your new Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Aesculus X Carnea ‘Fort Mcnair’ owners agree that this tree will look great in most contemporary and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of prairie and meadow styles. 

In particular, the Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut’s best use for landscaping within your garden is as urban garden, firescaping/fire wise, specimen, or a wildlife garden.

Companion Plants

Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Cercis canadensis, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Aronia 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 Fort Mcnair Red Horse Chestnut, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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