First Ghost Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum 'First Ghost'
First Ghost Japanese Maple foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 6 feet
Hardiness Zone: 6a
The striking leaves of this compact variety emerge creamy white or yellow with dark veins and red margins; variegation holds well into summer, then leaves turn orange-red in fall; an ideal selection for gardens or containers; protect from afternoon sun
First Ghost Japanese Maple is primarily valued in the landscape or garden for its interestingly mounded form. It has attractive creamy white foliage with dark green veins and tinges of yellow which emerges white in spring. The lobed palmate leaves are highly ornamental and turn outstanding shades of orange and in the fall. The rough brick red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.
First Ghost 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.
First Ghost Japanese Maple is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
First Ghost Japanese Maple will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet 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. You may want to keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. 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.
First Ghost 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. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. 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.