Acer palmatum Ikandi is an upright, dwarf Japanese Maple with leaves that have variegated pink-red stripes in the spring. It is a chance seedling discovery by Buchholz Nursery from of Acer palmatum Alpenweiss. However, unlike its parent the leaves are larger and the color is more vivid. In summer the foliage changes to green with pale white stripes. Fall color is pink to scarlet.
The name is pronounced ‘eye candy’ – and like any Japanese Maple some pruning is necessary to form the structure of the tree and to remove dead branches. Pruning is acceptable any time of the year however, late fall or early spring before the buds form is the best time. With leaves gone it is easy to see the branches and overall structure of the maple. For more tips seePruning Japanese Maples.
Acer palmatum Ikandi is a variegated maple that prefers morning and afternoon sun until about 2:00 pm in the summer. Too much shade and they color fades. The new leaves are often green and only later develop their variegation. Some years there may be more green leaves than variegated ones. Don’t give up and think your maple has totally reverted. I have seen the variegation return the following spring. However, many variegated cultivars can revert and it can’t be predicted and it is just plain unlucky when it happens. Pruning out the non-variegated leaves is recommended for Beni schichihenge and Butterfly, but it may not stop the problem.
Fertilizer is not needed when maples are planted in the ground. In fact maples do not like strong nitrogen fertilizer, which makes them grow too fast and get ‘leggy’. For container grown maples fertilize once only in the spring with a slow release fertilizer like Apex or Osmocote. Over fertilizing any variegated Japanese Maple may cause the loss of variegation.