Alphabetical Plant Listing

Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)

Smooth Japanese Maple, Amoenum Goup, Palmatum Group, Matsumurae Group, Dissectum Group, Linearilobum Group (Acer palmatum)


Native to Japan, Korea and China, Acer palmatum is a species to which most Japanese Maples belong. It includes a rich variety of deciduous shrubs or small trees with graceful habits, elegantly cut leaves and extraordinarily colorful foliage, particularly in the fall when the leaves warm up to dazzling shades of golden-yellow, red-purple and bronze, before shedding to the ground.

  • Easy to grow, Acer palmatum varieties are cold-hardy, remarkably adaptable to soil and climatic conditions, require little maintenance and are worthy of featured positions such as lawn specimens or near patios where their spectacular leaf color changes throughout the year can be admired.
  • Acer palmatum varieties feature a rounded to broad-rounded habit, with a layered branching structure, and typically grow up to 10-25 ft. tall and wide (3-8 m). There are however countless dwarf Japanese Maple varieties which do not exceed 4-15 ft. (1.2-4.5 m).
  • Some Japanese Maples have an upright form (Acer palmatum) while others feature a weeping habit (Acer palmatum dissectum) with strong cascading weeping branches. Since most Acer palmatum are slow growers, they are perfectly suited to small gardens or large containers.

    'Elegans'

    'Dissectum Viridis'

    'Bloodgood'

    Click here to see all Japanese Maple varieties

 

  • Small pretty (but not showy) reddish flowers appear in umbrella-shaped clusters in spring and give way to small winged fruit (samaras) which ripen in early fall before being scattered by the wind.
  • The foliage of palmate leaves resembles an open hand with outstretched fingers, with 5, 7 or 9 pointed serrated lobes. 

'Beni-Maiko'

'Vitifolium'

'Dissectum Atropurpureum'

Click here to compare all Japanese Maples

 

  • Full sun or part shade lovers, Japanese Maples are easily grown in moist, organically rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils. Best leaf color in partial shade, although full sun can be tolerated. The green varieties of Japanese Maples take full sun very well, although they may slightly sunburn in particularly hot situations. Variegated cultivars prefer partial shade and need protection from the blistering afternoon sun. The red varieties need significant sunlight to color well while yellows require more shade.
  • Japanese Maples are widely used as specimen plants in cottage gardens, city gardens, rock gardens, as companion plants in mixed borders, or planted in large containers.

'Arakawa'

'Sango-Kaku'

'Garnet'

Click here to see all Garden Ideas with Japanese Maples

 

  • Japanese Maples need little pruning. If pruning is necessary, prune during the dormant season and avoid pruning in spring when the sap is running.
  • Japanese Maples are easy to plant. They are shallow rooted and will readily transplant during the dormant season.
  • May be affected by horse chestnut scale, aphids, verticillium wilt.
  • Propagate by grafting or softwood cuttings.

The rich diversity of shapes, sizes, leaves and colors make Japanese Maples invaluable additions to the landscape, whether as specimen plants, complementing container plants, mixed with bedding or border plants, in shady courtyards or sunny patios.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 2 - 8
Climate Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Acer - Maples
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Fall
Height 4' - 25' (120cm - 7.5m)
Spread 4' - 25' (120cm - 7.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden

mrpeak / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 2 - 8
Climate Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Acer - Maples
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Fall
Height 4' - 25' (120cm - 7.5m)
Spread 4' - 25' (120cm - 7.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Rabbit
Landscaping Ideas Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden, Traditional Garden
Not sure which Acer - Maples to pick?
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Ideas with Acer - Maples
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