- Hot Weather Japanese Maples: Learn About Zone 9 Japanese Maple Trees
- Growing Japanese Maples in Zone 9
- Types of Japanese Maples for Zone 9
- Japanese Maple
- New Hardy Japanese Maples
- More to Come?
- How to Grow Them
- Bloodgood Japanese Maple
- Maples for Florida
- Maples NOT for Florida
- What’s wrong with your red maple tree?
Hot Weather Japanese Maples: Learn About Zone 9 Japanese Maple Trees
If you are looking into growing Japanese maples in zone 9, you need to know that you are at the very top of the plants’ temperature range. This can mean that your maples may not flourish as you hope. However, you can find Japanese maples that do just fine in your area. In addition, there are tips and tricks zone 9 gardeners use to help their maples thrive. Read on for information on growing Japanese maples in zone 9.
Growing Japanese Maples in Zone 9
Japanese maples tend to do better at being cold hardy than heat tolerant. Excess warm weather can injure the trees in several ways.
First, Japanese maple for zone 9 may not get an adequate period of dormancy. But also, hot sun and dry winds can injure the plants. You’ll want to select hot weather Japanese maples to give them the best chance in a zone 9 location. In addition, you can select planting sites that favor the trees.
Be sure to plant your Japanese maple in a shady location if you live in zone 9. See if you can find a spot on the north or east side of the house to keep the tree out of the scorching afternoon sunshine.
Another tip for helping zone 9 Japanese maples thrive involves mulch. Spread a layer of 4 inches (10 cm.) of organic mulch over the entire root zone. This helps regulate the temperature of the soil.
Types of Japanese Maples for Zone 9
Some species of Japanese maple work better than others in warm zone 9 areas. You’ll want to pick one of these for your zone 9 Japanese maple. Here are a few “hot weather Japanese maples” that are worth a try:
If you want a palmate maple, consider ‘Glowing Embers,” a beautiful tree that reaches 30 feet (9 m.) tall when grown in the landscape. It offers exceptional fall color too.
If you like the delicate look of lace-leaf maples, ‘Seiryu’ is a cultivar to look at. This zone 9 Japanese maple gets to 15 feet (4.5 m.) tall in your garden, with golden fall color.
For dwarf hot weather Japanese maples, ‘Kamagata’ only rises to 6 feet (1.8 m.) high. Or try ‘Beni Maiko’ for a slightly taller plant.
View this plant in a garden
Palmatum (deeply divided leaves)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun to Partial Shade
Grown for foliage
Provides Winter Interest
Unknown – Tell us
Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Where to Grow:
Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Fountain Valley, California
Los Angeles, California
San Francisco, California
Warner Robins, Georgia
New Orleans, Louisiana
Valley Lee, Maryland
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Piscataway, New Jersey
Rocky Hill, New Jersey
Buffalo, New York
Mc Graw, New York
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Fair Play, South Carolina
Iron City, Tennessee
South Jordan, Utah
Mc Lean, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
North Bend, Washington
West Side Highway, Washington
Acer x pseudosieboldianum North Wind®
Who doesn’t like Japanese maples (Acer palmatum), with their lacy foliage and oriental look? They’re on pretty much every gardener’s wish list. However, they’re not at all well suited to cold climates.
In hardiness zones 6 and above, as in much of Europe and the south to middle latitudes of the United States, there’s no problem: you can find Japanese maples locally and they’ll form beautiful small trees with multiple branches and dense growth in all by the most exposed spots. In regions colder than zone 6, though, therefore towards the northern limits of the US as well as most of Canada, they are sometimes sold, but usually fail to thrive.
Sure, you can often keep them alive in zone 5, but they remain stunted, forming small, sad-looking shrubs with only a few branches and scattered leaves… if, indeed, they survive. The small sickly specimens that do make it through cold winters seem to be saying, “Please, someone, end my life. I can’t bear another one of those winters!”
Adding Cold-Resistance Genes to a Tender Shrub
Acer x pseudosiedoldianum Arctic Jade®
But there’s good news for the northern gardeners who despair of ever being able to grow their own Japanese maple. Hybridizers have been working on developing hardier varieties for decades now and are now putting their creations on the market: Japanese maples that are much hardier than older varieties and are able to reach their full potential in zone 4. In fact, they might even be worth a try in a protected spot in zone 3, especially if you’re willing to deal with occasional winter damage.
By crossing the tender Japanese maple (A. palmatum) with its hardier close relative, the Korean maple (A. pseudosieboldianum), solidly hardy in zone 4, hybridizers have been able to create small trees that resemble Japanese maples with their refined habit and beautifully cut foliage, but that can tolerate winters of at least -30°F (-34°C), the equivalent of zone 4.
They’re so new they don’t even have an official common name and Acer palmatum x pseudosieboldianum is quite a mouthful, so I’ll simply call them “hardy Japanese maples.”
New Hardy Japanese Maples
There are currently four cultivars of these new hardy Japanese maples on the market. Here’s what I know about them:
The Jack Frost® Collection
Iseli Nursery in Boring, Oregon has launched three cultivars from its hybridization program as the Jack Frost® Collection. They continue to work on the collection and hopefully there will be more hardy varieties to come.
1. North Wind® Hardy Japanese Maple
Acer x pseudosieboldianum ‘IslNW’
Acer x pseudosieboldianum North Wind® in fall.
This is the most widely available variety, the one you ought to be able to find quite readily in your local garden center. I know it has turned up in garden centers near where I live. Extra-tough and of good size, more upright in its youth, but becoming broader as it matures, it makes a superb small tree or a large shrub. The palmate leaves are reddish in spring, fading to medium green in summer, then turn a fiery scarlet red in fall. The winged seeds too are red, adding a perk of color to the summer garden. To see it is to want it. Retailers have been telling me it simply flies out of their nurseries!
Height: 20 feet (6 m). Diameter: 15 feet (4.5 m). Zone 4.
2. Arctic Jade® Hardy Japanese Maple
Acer x pseudosieboldianum ‘IsIAJ’
Acer x pseudosiedoldianum Arctic Jade® in spring.
This cultivar produces broader leaves than the others, rather like those of the full moon maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’). They are incised at the margin and jade green in both spring and summer, becoming orange and red in fall. This maple is on the market, but in more limited quantities than North Wind™.
Height: 20 feet (6 m). Diameter: 15 feet (4.5 m). Zone 4.
3. Ice Dragon® Hardy Japanese Maple
Acer x pseudosieboldianum ‘IslID’
Spring growth on Acer x pseudosieboldianum Ice Dragon®
This is the smallest of the new cultivars and also probably the one that most closely resembles our image of a Japanese maple, with its somewhat arching habit and finely dissected leaves. They are reddish in spring and medium green in summer, becoming yellow, orange and red in fall. Launched only in the spring of 2017, this cultivar is currently the hardest to find in nurseries and also the most expensive. It will likely become easier to find and cheaper as time goes by.
Height: 8 feet (2.4 m). Diameter: 10 feet (3 m). Zone 4.
From Other Hybridizers
The only hardy cultivar not developed by Iseli Nurseries is the following, created by Professor Ed Hasselkus at the University of Wisconsin. It was introduced by J. Frank Schmidt & Co. Nursery in Boring, Oregon.
Northern Glow® Hardy Japanese Maple
Acer x pseudosieboldianum ‘Hasselkus’
Acer x pseudosieboldianum Northern Glow™
This is the largest of the hardy Japan maples, naturally taking on more the form of a tree than a tall shrub. Its growth is quite upright at first, then becomes rounded and spreading as it matures. Its palmate leaves are incised along the edges, although not as dissected as Ice Dragon™. The leaves are reddish green in spring and medium green in summer, becoming reddish-orange to dark red in fall.
Height: 20 feet (6 m). Diameter: 24 feet (7.5 m). Zone 4.
More to Come?
I’ve got my fingers crossed that this is only the beginning, that work is being done on transferring the purple summer foliage of the Atropurpureum types of Japanese maple to the hardier hybrids, but only time will tell.
How to Grow Them
Acer x pseudosieboldianum Ice Dragon® is the smallest cultivar, definitely more a shrub than a tree.
You’ll find hardy Japan maples easy to grow to full sun to partial shade in any well-drained, slightly acid garden soil. No winter protection is required even in the first year. In fact, like most trees and shrubs, they need little cate at all once they well-established: just water them well the first year to help them settle in.
With their limited size, these new maples will make excellent choices for today’s smaller yards and gardens.
Every time I write about new plants, I receive messages from enthusiastic gardeners who want to know where to find them … locally. And I simply can’t answer that question. I don’t even know what nurseries and garden centers are found in your neck of the woods, let alone what they carry! I can tell you though that the plants mentioned here are all on the market and readily available to any retail nursery that wants to order them.
If you can’t find these plants, show this article to your local merchant and ask them to order one for you. If they tell you they can’t, it’s not really because it’s impossible, but rather because they don’t want to be bothered. Be a bit pushy and you ought to be able to get them to order one of these beauties for you… probably for delivery next spring.
Best of luck!
Bloodgood Japanese Maple
- Landscaper’s Favorite
- Small, Graceful Tree
- Highly Adaptable
- Requires Minimal Care
- Dramatic Color
The Bloodgood Japanese Maple Tree (Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’) can bring a peaceful feeling to your landscape. Like most Japanese plants, this beauty is an exceptionally ornamental tree.
It simply shines as the scarlet leaves emerge in the spring. Little wonder why poets have praised this venerable variety for centuries. The leaf shape and color is magnificent.
Each exquisite leaf will only get more brilliant through the year, ranging from orange-red, bronze-red, through to purple-red.
The delicate leaves are showcased on strong branches that are striking in the winter landscape after the leaves have fallen. Don’t let its lacy look fool you, though. This is a hardy plant that can handle urban conditions.
Prized by landscape designers, this adaptable ornamental tree features remarkable color. This is a sophisticated choice. You’ll adore the small tree for its great looks, and how easy it is to live with.
It’s time to up your curb appeal with this gorgeous tree. Order from us today!
How to Use This in Your Landscape
This makes a perfect feature tree for a Japanese Garden. What a lovely symbol of calm clarity, with its interplay between the fine-textured leaves and the dramatic coloring.
It makes an incredible focal point in a modern Meditation Garden, too. Let your busy day just melt away as you watch the breeze lightly blow through the leaves. Place a wind chime nearby, or a bubbling fountain. This tree is truly a gift for stressed-out modern souls.
This special tree works in both formal and informal garden styles. You’ll love it as an accent plant to draw your eye.
It will thrive in a large container, and work very well for small yards, decks or balconies. Gardeners have also pruned Japanese Maple into bonsai for thousands of years. Take the time to notice its special show for you every day.
It’s at its very best in partial shade, so don’t be afraid to plant it near the house or under taller trees. Use this as a special accent near your front door or patio. You’ll never tire of it.
#ProPlantTips for Bloodgood Japanese Maple
Once established, the Bloodgood Japanese Maple is fast growing, at a rate of 1-2 feet a year for the first few years. The tree will double in size in 5 years!
The typical Bloodgood Japanese Maple responds well to pruning. Prune it in autumn after the leaves have fallen and you can keep this easy-care tree to any size you like.
It grows best in slightly acidic, well drained, soil. As you plant, mix in 25% peat moss with your total volume of backfill soil. Keep the soil moisture even.
These trees have roots that stay near the surface. They’ll benefit from a layer of mulch 4 inches deep, spread to the outside of the canopy.
Fertilize with an organic acid fertilizer, such as Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural Premium Fertilizer.
When growing in containers, use Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural Planting Mix, typically used for Azaleas, Camellias and Rhododendrons. To that, add 25% Pine bark mulch (or “Pathway” mulch) for the perfect Japanese Maple Container mix.
If it receives full sun, you’ll want to give it plenty of regular water. Foliage color may fade with full afternoon sun. Site this small tree so it will receive a bit of shade during the hot summer afternoons for best results.
Many people across the country are on the hunt for this lovely tree. Please order now, we would hate to have you miss out!
Maples for Florida
Read more about Florida maple on Gardening Solutions.
Maples NOT for Florida
The non-native Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) will grow in some northern parts of Florida, but cannot be reliably grown throughout the state. It is important to remember to plant the right plant in the right place. Growing Japanese maple farther south can result in these trees experiencing leaf scorch.
Sugar maple is the most common maple in the eastern United States, however it is not recommended for growing in Florida. Sugar maple doesn’t perform well in heat or sandy, well-drained soils.
Another maple that does not do well in Florida is the silver maple (Acer saccharinum). Silver maple’s fast growth rate and attractive foliage make it very appealing to many gardeners. But it is not considered a good choice for Florida as it is susceptible to many insects and diseases that will shorten its life considerably.
As is often the case, gardening in Florida can offer some unique challenges, like finding a maple for your landscape. With a little guidance, and attention to detail, you can find the right tree for the right place.
- Acer palmatum: Japanese Maple
Also on Gardening Solutions
- Florida Maple
- Native Florida Trees
- Red Maple
Question: I have a shady area where I wish to plant a Japanese maple. Will it grow in Central Florida?
Answer: These trees are beauties with their finely cut foliage, red to purple leaves and spreading small-tree look gardeners love, but you had better leave the Japanese maples to your northern friends. The tree does not receive enough cold locally to grow well. It might grow for a year or two, but unless a grower has a new variety, these maples have not been good performers in Central Florida.
Look a little closer
Q: There is black soot on the leaves of my podocarpus that never seems to go away. What is the best control?
A: Look beyond the soot, and you will see the reason the black coating is constantly being replenished. The podocarpus has its own aphid that’s a waxy gray color and it’s hiding among the leaves, normally in the tips of new shoots. These piercing, sucking insects produce excreta that provides a constant supply of food for the sooty mold fungus.
Eliminate both of these pests with a natural oil spray found at your local garden center. Do a good job of treating the plants; you have to hit the insect with the spray to be effective. Mix and use the spray as recommended on the label.
Better luck next year
Q: Our tangelo tree is about 10 years old and has produced fruits every year but this one. Also, there were few flower buds. Is this a bad year for citrus?
A: Citrus trees have been under stress since the hurricanes of 2004. Many have suffered from drought and some from a lack of good care. Your letter went on to outline a good care program for your tree, so most likely it’s simply taking a break.
After years of good production, citrus trees might take a year off. Some trees seem to get into what is known as a biennial bearing habit where every other year there is a light crop. Because the tree still looks good, keep up normal care, and next year should be more fruitful.
Q: I have a compost pile with potatoes sprouting from peels and tomatoes from seeds. Will these produce edible portions?
A: Compost piles are fertile ground for good vegetable production, but the crops still have to grow at the right time of the year. Regretfully, the weather is becoming a bit hot for potatoes and tomatoes. If the potatoes were to sprout during fall through winter and the tomatoes already had fruits, you would likely be ensured a harvest. Otherwise, just hope they grow again at the proper time for these crops.
Looks like a lichen
Q: There is a gray mold or fungus growing on the trunks of my tabebuia tree and jasmine vine. Neither looks well. What should I do?
A: If this is the same gray and often flaky covering growing on the trunks of many Florida plants, your tree and vine are giving the common lichens a home. These combinations of a fungus and an algae are not harmful to the plants but might indicate a lack of vigor.
Check the tabebuia and the jasmine for adequate water and fertilizer that would promote more vigorous growth. Also, make sure they have outgrown their original root balls into the surrounding soil. Many less-vigorous plants do not have the root systems needed to support growth that prevents excessive lichen activity.
What’s wrong with your red maple tree?
A couple of questions came in recently about red maple trees. Lena said her maple on the side of her Stuart home looks like it is struggling. She reports it bloomed some and set seeds, but many of the branch tips fell off the tree with the seeds still attached. Dave in Port St. Lucie reports his decades old red maple bloomed, produced seeds and new leaves, However, suddenly, the leaves turned brown on the tree and one other in his yard.
Red maple also known as Acer rubrum is a native tree to the Treasure Coast. It has a huge range from South Florida northward into Canada. It is a large, deciduous tree with lobed leaves, 3 to 6 inches across. The leaves are red when new and turn bright green when mature, then turn red again in the fall.
Small brilliant red flowers of red maple trees appear in December or January along the Treasure Coast, before the leaves appear. The fruit which are red winged samaras (helicopter seeds) follow the flowers and are very ornamental as well as great wildlife food.
Red maple is fast growing with a desirable oval shape and strong wood. However, this tree is notorious for producing surface roots which can lift sidewalks and make mowing difficult; plant them in locations with plenty of room for roots to grow to avoid this problem. They also have thin bark that is very susceptible to physical damage from mowers and string-line trimmers.
Red maple is happiest and has the best growth when planted in wet or well-irrigated locations. They will survive a sandy location if watered well during establishment and then occasionally during the dry season.
There are few pest problems associated with red maple trees. However, Lena’s problem could be a combination of things from water issues or other stresses. The twig drop-off may be the result of twig borers, there are several species found in Florida. These insects bore into the branches near the end and lay eggs, when the egg hatches, the twig may wilt or drop from the tree. This damage is usually minor and rarely requires control. Do collect and remove the twigs which have fallen to reduce borer populations next year.
Dave’s problem of sudden leaf death often speaks of stress or something applied in the area of the tree roots. This time of year, it is not unusual to see the application of weed and feed products to the turf. The herbicide in the product damages desirable plants as easily as it does weeds. Do follow the directions and keep such products away from the roots of trees and shrubs.
Carol Cloud Bailey is a Landscape Counselor & Horticulturist. Send questions to [email protected] or visit www.yard-doc.com for more information.