Full Moon Maple (Acer Japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’)

Plant: Table of Contents

The Full Moon Maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’)


Plants are the essence of life on earth, providing us with food, oxygen, and countless natural products. They come in various shapes and forms, each with unique characteristics and requirements for optimal growth. In this blog post, we will delve into the intriguing world of the full moon maple, scientifically known as Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’. As a plant scientist, I am excited to share insights into the culture, uses, care tips, and even fun facts about this captivating plant species.

What is the Full Moon Maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’)?

The full moon maple, Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’, is a striking deciduous tree native to Japan. It belongs to the family Aceraceae and is renowned for its exceptional ornamental value. The cultivar name ‘Aconitifolium’ is derived from the resemblance of its leaves to those of Aconitum, a genus of flowering plants commonly known as monkshood. The distinctive foliage of this tree makes it a popular choice for landscaping and ornamental garden displays.

Key Takeaways – Full Moon Maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’)

Before we explore the detailed aspects of the full moon maple, let’s highlight the key takeaways that we will cover in this comprehensive guide:

  • Culture
  • Uses
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • Fertilizer
  • Soil
  • Pruning
  • Propagation
  • Container Popularity
  • Container Common Diseases
  • Disease Diagnosis
  • Common Pests
  • Botanist’s Tips
  • Fun Facts
  • Links to External Resources

Now, let’s delve into the fascinating world of the full moon maple and explore its intricacies, care requirements, and much more.

Full Moon Maple Culture

Cultivating the full moon maple requires an understanding of its specific cultural requirements to ensure its optimal growth and development. The careful consideration of its native habitat and environmental preferences is crucial for successfully integrating it into new settings. Let’s explore the cultural aspects of the full moon maple, including its uses and preferred environmental conditions.


The full moon maple, Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’, is primarily valued for its ornamental attributes, contributing to the aesthetic appeal of gardens, parks, and landscapes. Its striking foliage, vibrant autumn colors, and graceful form make it an ideal choice for adding visual interest to various outdoor settings. Additionally, its relatively compact size compared to other maple species makes it suitable for smaller gardens and urban landscapes.


The full moon maple thrives in well-drained soil with moderate moisture levels. It is essential to maintain a balanced watering schedule, ensuring that the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. During periods of intense heat or drought, regular watering is especially important to support the tree’s overall health and vitality.


When it comes to sunlight requirements, the full moon maple displays a preference for partial shade to full sun. In its natural habitat, the tree often grows in the understory of larger trees, where it receives dappled sunlight. It is important to provide adequate sun exposure to promote healthy growth and vibrant foliage.


Fertilizing the full moon maple should be approached with moderation, as excessive fertilization can lead to adverse effects on the tree’s growth. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in early spring can provide the necessary nutrients to support the tree’s development. Selecting a fertilizer specifically formulated for acid-loving plants is recommended for optimal results.


The ideal soil for cultivating the full moon maple is well-draining, slightly acidic, and rich in organic matter. It is important to avoid waterlogged or compacted soils, as they can impede the tree’s root development and overall growth. Incorporating organic amendments such as compost or peat moss can help create an ideal growing environment for the tree.


Pruning plays a crucial role in maintaining the full moon maple’s desired shape and overall health. It is advisable to carry out pruning during the tree’s dormant season to minimize stress and promote efficient wound healing. Light pruning to remove dead or crossing branches can help enhance the tree’s structure and aesthetics.


Propagating the full moon maple can be achieved through various methods such as seeds, cuttings, or layering. When propagating from seeds, it is important to stratify the seeds to break their dormancy before sowing. Softwood or hardwood cuttings can also be used for propagation, with careful attention to moisture and environmental conditions to support successful rooting.

Container Popularity

The full moon maple’s compact size and ornamental qualities make it a popular choice for container gardening. When grown in containers, it is essential to ensure adequate drainage and provide appropriate care to accommodate the tree’s restricted root space. Container-grown full moon maples can serve as captivating focal points on patios, balconies, or in smaller outdoor spaces.

Container Common Diseases

When growing the full moon maple in containers, it is important to be mindful of potential diseases that can affect the tree. Common container diseases that may impact the tree include root rot, powdery mildew, and leaf spot diseases. Regular monitoring, proper watering practices, and adequate air circulation can help mitigate the risk of disease development.

Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing and addressing diseases in the full moon maple require keen observation and prompt intervention. Symptoms such as leaf discoloration, wilting, or unusual growth patterns can indicate potential disease issues. Consulting with a professional arborist or plant health specialist can aid in accurate disease diagnosis and the implementation of effective treatment strategies.

Common Pests

The full moon maple is susceptible to certain pests that can potentially impact its health and vigor. Pests such as aphids, scale insects, and caterpillars may pose a threat to the tree, particularly during periods of active growth. Implementing integrated pest management practices and monitoring the tree regularly can help prevent pest infestations and minimize their impact.

Botanist’s Tips

As a plant scientist, I offer the following tips for successfully cultivating and caring for the full moon maple:

  • Tip 1: Pay close attention to soil moisture levels, avoiding both drought stress and waterlogging.
  • Tip 2: Provide adequate sun exposure while considering the tree’s natural preference for partial shade.
  • Tip 3: Utilize balanced fertilization to support the tree’s growth without overstimulating excessive foliage development.
  • Tip 4: Practice mindful pruning to promote the tree’s natural form and optimize its aesthetic appeal.
  • Tip 5: Monitor for pest and disease issues, addressing any concerns promptly to safeguard the tree’s health.

Fun Facts

Here are some fascinating facts about the full moon maple that showcase its unique characteristics and appeal:

  • Fact 1: The foliage of the full moon maple undergoes a remarkable transformation, transitioning from lush green in spring and summer to vibrant shades of orange, red, and yellow in autumn.
  • Fact 2: Its distinctively shaped leaves feature deeply divided lobes, resembling the intricate patterns of a deeply lobed monkshood leaf (Aconitum), which inspired its cultivar name ‘Aconitifolium’.
  • Fact 3: In its native habitat, the full moon maple is highly valued for its cultural and symbolic significance, often associated with tranquility, beauty, and the changing seasons.

Links to External Resources

For additional insights and detailed information on the full moon maple, I recommend exploring the following reputable resources:

  1. American Horticultural Society
  2. Royal Horticultural Society
  3. Missouri Botanical Garden
  4. The Morton Arboretum


The full moon maple, Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’, captivates with its exquisite foliage, seasonal beauty, and versatile landscaping potential. Its alluring features and cultural significance make it a cherished addition to ornamental gardens and natural landscapes. By understanding and embracing the cultural nuances and care requirements of this enchanting tree, enthusiasts and horticulturists can foster its growth and celebrate its enduring charm throughout the seasons. As we continue to appreciate the diverse array of plant species that grace our world, let us cherish the unique contributions of the full moon maple to the tapestry of nature’s splendor.

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Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.