Highly ornamental tree with young leaves emerging in spring as soft red, later turning to rich, deep purple. Very versatile; can be grown as a specimen tree, as hedging or a shrub and also used for Bonsai. Wildlife friendly providing food and shelter for birds and hibernating mammals as it retains its leaves all winter until the new growth starts in spring.
Height: to 12m if not pruned
Position: Sun or semi shade in any soil except very wet
Packet of 15 seeds
Pre-sowing Treatment: Soak seeds overnight.
Sowing Instructions: Can be sown at any time of year. Sow evenly in moist compost mixed 50:50 with vermiculite or perlite and just cover the seeds with sieved compost, vermiculite or perlite. Seal in a polythene bag and place in fridge for 6 weeks, then transfer to a propagator or other warm place and maintain at 15 to 20C. Germination usually starts after 30 days but can take up to a year.
Alternatively, sow as above, seal in a polythene bag and place in a cold frame or sheltered part of the garden and let nature take its course as the seasons change. (I personally find this gives the best results)
Growing Instructions: When seedlings have emerged, open the bag or propagator vents and grow on in cooler conditions (13-16C). When the seedlings are at least 2” tall, carefully pot them up into 7.5 or 9cm pots and grow on out of direct sunlight, protecting the young trees in a coldframe for the first couple of winters. Harden off in spring and plant out in any position in any soil except waterlogged.