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The full sun / partial shade / full shade thing

This concept causes me ongoing indecision!

I want to plant a new Japanese Maple that is not mature but upright and 6’ tall that requires partial shade (Asahi Zuru) but the spot I have is full shade at the base but the upper parts will get dappled sun (on the more shady side) all afternoon and the very top parts will grow into a full sun area (6 hours of full afternoon sun) but this is the topmost leaves.

But the base is by a 6’ fence, north facing, with tall bushes on the south side ... so the soil around the base never gets sun.  

So for a short plant like a fern this is a full shade spot but for a tall thing there is sun coming in to the upper parts.

Does this sound like a good spot?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,541
    It sounds fine to me
  • Me too.
    I wish I was a glow worm
    A glow worm's never glum
    Cos how can you be grumpy
    When the sun shines out your bum!
  • Imagine where it would grow in it's native conditions. Probably in the shade of taller trees which will protect it's roots, as it grows it will seek out a little light and enjoy the sun as it matures. 
    Just beware of cold winds and hot sun which may cause tips to 'burn back'
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • Thanks people.  I'm hoping to plant out tomorrow!
  • PhaidraPhaidra Posts: 556
    This is very interesting.  I have a very small maple too for planting; I'll follow the advice here!
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,317
    This often has me stumped too, James, especially as my summer sun can be quite fierce. I have a 10-yr old reddish purple acer in a large pot, its effectively bonsai-ed by the pot as its remained about 3ft for a long time. Still haven’t found the perfect place to plant it out in my newish garden - too much shade and it turns green, too much sun and it fries the leaves. I’ve been moving the pot around and dithering for 18 months now!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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