Hi! I'm looking for a variety of dwarf japanese maple that will tolerate our Houston Heat. I want to place it in a front bed with mostly dappled sun/shade. Thanks for any suggestions..
Hi! Me again .I've read that Japanese maples are hard to grow in Houston. Is this true and would another type of red maple do better here? Are there dward varieties of red maples? Thanks for your help. I have a landscape designer doing the front of my house and he suggested a japanese red maple.
Metro Maples in Ft. Worth has the best catalog. They list a number of dwarf and semi-dwarf Japanese Maples with names like Pixie.
Some are more heat tolerant than others and all of them will need afternoon shade in Texas. A weeping variety might be best for max impact from a small one and Tamukeyama is more heat tolerant than Crimson Queen.
If you need a tree in that spot, then one of the Shantung Maples might be a better choice.
You may want to try the following:
Japanese maples do not like our Houston summers, so they need to be planted in the shade. Also, The Japanese maples like good drainage, good drainage, good drainage I repeat myself because this is crucial. In the shade, in the shade I repeat this as well because it's extremely important.
Keep them watered. Japanese maples do not like extreme drought conditions. The first 2 summers are the most critical. Daily watering is required to allow them to root in well.
I used to work for a nursery in South Texas and you can grow maples but you must follow the above instructions. If you can keep them away from direct wind do so. Good luck.
Most Sun Tolerant - Upright: Acer palmatum, Sango Kaku, Seiryu, Omureyama, Osakasuki
Most Sun Tolerant - Dissectums: Tamukeyama
Most Sun Tolerant - Dwarfs: Shishigashira, Mikawa yatsubusa, Coonora Pygmy
Most Drought Tolerant: Acer palamtum, Sango Kaku
Trees listed above should do fine in Houston where you want to plant.
The Japanese maple has broken many a Texas heart. I might take a drive through the River Oaks section and see how many mature specimens I could spot. The ones you do see will probably be in raised beds.
I've got a lot of them, and they don't seem to mind it here as long as they are in enough shade. I would suggest though that you don't buy any of the ones with leaves that are very "lacy". The laciest ones are beautiful, but they do fry in our Texas summers and look pitiful.
I love Japanese Maples and an Asian garden design so tried really hard to find one that would work here in Central Tx.
I was warned that between the high temps and alkaline soils it just wasn't a viable plant for this area. Of course I wouldn't take 'no' for an answer so I stubbornly tried planting them a couple of times, but without any luck. Then I was driving down the road one fall day and passed this beautiful small/med. sized bright red tree with a graceful multiple trunk. Thinking that it might be an adapted Japanese Maple I pulled the car over, turned around and went back to it. Low and behold it was not a Maple at all but a beautiful Flame Leaf Sumac...a native tree. And that's what I've decided to use in place of the Japanese Maple. They have attractive trunks and can be pruned and shaped into wonderful ornamental specimen trees. Their flame red leaves are stunning in the fall. And best of all they aren't fussy. They were right there under my nose the whole time! They can be purchased in nurseries that specialize in natives, but can also be found growing all over the place. Gotta shovel?
Here is a link that might be useful: Flame Leaf Sumac
Waterfall is a very slow grower for me. I have it in morning Sun, some afternoon sun, but not much.
Mine are happy here in ARlington. I have 4. I did a search for Houston and found this
Here is a link that might be useful: waterfall in Houston
Just adding a couple more pictures of the flameleaf sumac.
Not sure how to get the pics to show up on the page, but here are the links.
I wouldn't underestimate the amount of light some of these require. Some years ago, my neighbor and I decided we just had to have one of these. We were inspired by a guy down the block who had a lovely one on a north facing berm. As I recall, we made careful inquiry into the most promising cultivars then available, and bought our plants at Rainbow Gardens, after discussion with their knowledgeable staff. I made a raised bed, some 5 ft. in diameter, excavated all the soil (mostly clay) to a depth of 2 ft., and filled it with the recommended planting medium. This area gets some direct morning sun, and dappled shade thereafter. The plant (probably a palmatum type) just wasn't happy, and strained towards the light so hard that it became a leggy eyesore. My neighbor had to give up on his too, after a couple of years. By that time, the specimen down the street had also departed to grace that great Shinto temple in the sky.
I have an azalea near that spot now, doing well and beginning to bloom.
We just had a house built in Crowley and we put 2 Fire Dragon Maples (from Metro Maples) right out in the middle of our front yard in April of last year....they went through our tough winter beautifully and are now leafing out. We also put a dwarf Murasaki Kiyohime (weeping form) right under our front window (faces East) and it's already leafed out nicely. Two weeks ago we put a Coral Bark Maple on the North East corner of the house.....morning sun, afternoon shade....not much wind. All 4 Maples are doing beautifully.....IT CAN BE DONE!
I moved to FtW from Cleveland OH in summer of 1979 and planted the yard of our new home in the summer of 1980. Put a generic Japanese maple in a NW corner of the front yard. What did I know?? It did fine! I drove past the old house (live in New Mexico now) last month and it appears to have died. It was alive last year, 2010 - 30 years later. I was just lucky, I guess.