Mariken Ginkgo

Mariken Ginkgo
For gardeners with small gardens, I highly recommend Mariken ginkgo. When mature, this cultivar remains small and manageable unlike the ordinary ginkgo species.

The bushy, compact plant is ideal for bonsai as well. It is also a great choice for containers, Japanese gardens, pocket gardens, foundation plantings, a specimen plant, along walkways, and other sites with limited space.

Mariken ginkgo is a very versatile cultivar. When mature, Mariken ginkgo is only 3 to 6 feet tall with a spread of 8 feet, so allow plenty of room for its spreading growth habit. The growth rate is quite low, only about two inches per year.

This remarkable plant was discovered in Nijmegan, the Netherlands at the Kronenburger Park by Piet Vergeldr in 1995. The plant originated as a witch’s broom. It was introduced to America around 2010. Being a male plant, this bears no fruits.

Mariken ginkgo is also called Mariken maidenhair tree. The Royal Horticultural Society awarded it an award of garden merit. It was also chosen by the American Conifer Society as Conifer of the Year in 2010.

The plant has a semi-pendulous, spreading growth habit, and forms a flat globe.

Mariken ginkgo bears stiff, thick branches with thick spurs. The branches are densely covered with medium green, fan-like leaves. The foliage is beautifully cupped and curled.

Like the rest of the plant, the leaves are smaller than those of other ginkgos. The foliage turns a lovely yellow gold during autumn. The buds are spiky.

Flowering occurs in April, although the blossoms are rather insignificant. The ginkgo is classified as a deciduous conifer due to its cones.

Mariken ginkgo does best in zones 4 through 8. Like other ginkgos, this is a very long lived tree. Ginkgos have been known to live for over a thousand years. For that reason, choose the best possible garden spot for your plant.

The tree does best in full sun, but will tolerate part shade if necessary. The plant is attractive year-round even after the leaves have fallen to the ground in late fall.

This plant is quite tolerant of pollution, and is suited for urban areas. This is free of disease or pest problems. It is also deer proof. Mariken ginkgo is also tolerant of salt and a wide range of soil types. It does best in a fertile, reasonably moist soil. The plants adapts to both acidic and alkaline soils, including clay, sandy soils, and compacted soils.

The tree is generally propagated from semi-hardwood cuttings, and is typically grafted onto a rootstock. Mariken ginkgo transplants well and is easy to establish. Because of its dwarf size, the Mariken ginkgo can be used as both a tree and a shrub. It is suited to both home landscapes as well as commercial sites.

This plant is considered low maintenance and only needs a moderate amount of water. It should be available at retail garden centers and nurseries.

I bought my Mariken ginkgo from a garden catalog in 2010 or so. I still have a 2010 Wayside Gardens catalog, and noticed it was listed. I grew mine in a pot for seven years until I moved. I gave it to some neighbors because movers won’t take plants in pots.

Some Ginkgo History

The ginkgo is almost extinct in the wild. It is only found in a few spots in China. However, this a popular landscape plant in Japan and China. In Japan, it is widely grown in temple gardens because the plant is considered sacred by Buddhists.

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Connie Krochmal. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Connie Krochmal. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Connie Krochmal for details.