Looking for words of advice from the JM experts out there. I'm a professional landscape/garden designer currently working on the plans to turn a client's yard into a Japanese Garden. Can anyone advise me on a JM max 15' tall to go in ground and a smaller (5-8') JM suitable for container culture that can successfully be grown in Florida Zone 9a?
I think if you have a spot that offers some afternoon shade you could get away with most of the smaller JMs you'd want to plant. I'm also in Zone 9a (or b now that they've updated the map) but I suspect your area is probably more humid than mine. That said, I think a Glowing Embers would do well in a container in your area. If you planted it in the ground I think it would exceed your 15' max eventually.
Some in-ground trees you might want to consider would be Fireglow, Japanese Sunrise (I'm told grows 15'-20'), Moonfire, Orangeola, Otto's Dissectum, Red Dragon, Seiryu, and Waterfall to name a few.
Thanks GardenSox. I've been looking into some of the varieties you've named- specifically Fireglow, Red Dragon, and Seiryu. The humidity here is one of the problematic factors, so I'm trying to stay away from any Japanese Maple with a really dense growth habit. I may have to ensure prophylactic fungicide sprays are included in the maintenance schedule for the client regardless of the varieties chosen.
I contacted Essence Of The Tree to ask for their recommendations. Haven't heard anything from them yet.
If you can find one reasonably priced I'd give it a try anyway--I'm always one to experiment and see for myself whether something works. I think your climate is borderline but you'll never know for sure until you try. But if you have to spend hundreds of dollars to get one then it's probably better to forget it and look for something that's more guaranteed to do well.
My client would have final say over whether or not to experiment. Absolutely it would have to be at a very reasonable cost. Gamble only the amount you're willing to lose (is that the saying?). As I consider the pros and cons of trying the JM and sourcing a variety to get a price point, I'm researching and sourcing substitutions favorable to the local climate. However, this is a Japanese Garden being installed and not including a Japanese Maple in some way just doesn't feel right.
Sorted through JM cultivars according to the criteria of which ones are the most heat/humidity tolerant, and also need the least frost hours to do well and came up with Ryusen, Shin deshojo, and Katsura. I've found them reasonably priced for JM's, so that's a starting place.
The seedling is a great idea to include another at a good price point. Thanks, GardenSox!
I'm researching the Sambucus. I'm not familiar with it. Haven't read anything so far re how it would take humidity. That's a key criteria down here. ecrane3, do you know how it handles humidity?
Hibiscus 'Red Maple' is another substitute possibility I'm keeping on the potential list for now. I'm more than somewhat obsessively anal about uncovering all the possibilities and looking at it from all possible angles in my design work. I keep digging until I get a feel that I really have all the info that covers all the bases. That also gives me the most flexibility to swing with the changes that invariably take place as the design project moves through the prep, planning, and installation stages.
I know the Sambucus can handle heat because we have enough days over 100 degrees every summer, but we don't have much humidity. I know my sister grows it in OH where it is much more humid than here but not as humid (or hot) as FL.
I have a Ryusen in my garden too. Although I can't attest to how it would handle your humidity I can say that it's a very cool tree. It looks especially great when you can put it somewhere that will allow it's long branches to cascade down. I've seen it in pots that were 4' or 5' feet tall and the branches were still nearly touching the ground. Great tree.
I have it in mind as a focal point to go up on top of the boulder/rock mound which will form the waterfall and start the stream. I'll build the waterfall as a graceful alternating side to side series of layered spills. The cascading branches of the Ryusen on top of the boulder mound will echo that form, the waterfall spills beginning just below the branches and extending the cascading form down to the streambed.
I'd like to use at least one more JM in a custom built wood container planting on the hot tub patio. That planting will serve a purpose as part of a privacy screening.
I have 2 Crimson Queen Japanese Maples growing in my yard. They are in sun from about 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and seem to be doing well. They get hit by the in-ground sprinklers every other day, plus they've been handling the almost daily rains and the intense humidity very well.