View of the Aesculus hippocastanum

Aesculus hippocastanum

Aesculus are trees and shrubs with beautiful leaves and flowers that can be grown without problems in the gardens and patios of the temperate and cold-temperate regions of the world.

Its maintenance is not very complicated, but it is important to know both its characteristics and its needs in order to enjoy its beauty.

Origin and characteristics

These are deciduous trees and shrubs originating in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere, reaching heights between 4 and 35 meters depending on the species. The leaves are opposite, palmatiseque, usually large (up to 65cm), green in color except in autumn when they turn yellow before falling.

The flowers are grouped in terminal panicles, and sprout after two to three months after the leaves emerge. The fruit is a capsule that opens in three parts, and contains one or two seeds of 2 to 5 cm in diameter and of a glossy light brown to dark brown color.


The most popular are:

Aesculus hippocastanum


Known as Horse Chestnut or False Chestnut, it is a tree native to the Pindo Mountains and the Balkans that reaches a height of 30 meters, and a trunk diameter of up to 1m. The leaves are large, up to 40cm, and the flowers are white. The fruit is a 5cm capsule, very toxic to humans. See file.

Aesculus parviflora

Aesculus parviflora

Image - Wikimedia / Sten Porse

It is a natural shrub from the United States that reaches a height of 3-5 meters. The leaves are opposite and webbed, up to 20cm long by up to 10cm wide. The flowers are grouped in white panicles.

Aesculus pavia

Aesculus pavia

Image - Wikimedia / Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz

It is a tree known as false red-flowered chestnut native to the southeastern United States. It can reach a height of up to 15 meters, although it generally remains as a shrub or small tree of 4-5m. Its leaves are webbed, up to 12,5cm long, and the flowers are dark red, 10-20cm long.


Its most widespread use is as an ornamental plant. In spacious gardens they are planted singly or in groups, and they look great 🙂.

But it must also be said that its wood is also used, but being soft, light and not very resistant, it is used to make boxes, packaging and as fuel.

What are their cares?

Aesculus x carnea flower

Aesculus x carnea

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you take care of it as follows:

  • Location: it must be outside, in semi-shade.
  • Earth:
    • Garden: the soil must be fertile, well drained, and slightly acidic.
    • Pot: use substrate for acid plants. In case of living in warm-temperate climates, use volcanic sands (akadama, pomx, or etc.) or river sands.
  • Irrigation: moderate. About 4-5 times a week in summer, and every 3-4 days the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: in spring and summer it has to be paid with organic or homemade fertilizers.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring.
  • Rusticity: it resists frosts down to -18ºC, but does not live well in hot climates or in tropical ones.

What did you think of this genus of plants?

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