Zone 8 Japanese Maples: Hot Weather Japanese Maple Varieties

Large Red Japanese Maple Tree
zone 8 japanese maple
(Image credit: emer1940)

Japanese maple is a cold-loving tree that generally doesn’t perform well in dry, warm climates, so hot weather Japanese maples are uncommon. This means that many are suitable only for USDA plant hardiness zones 7 or below. Take heart, however, if you’re a zone 8 gardener. There are a quite a few beautiful Japanese maple trees for zone 8 and even 9. Many have deep green leaves, which tend to be more heat tolerant. Read on to learn about a few of the best heat-tolerant Japanese maple varieties.

Japanese Maple Varieties for Warmer Climates

If your heart is set on growing Japanese maples in zone 8, then the following varieties deserve a second glance: Purple Ghost (Acer palmatum ‘Purple Ghost’) produces ruffly, reddish purple leaves that turn green and purple as summer progresses, then back to ruby red in autumn. Zones 5 to 9 Hogyoku (Acer palmatum ‘Hogyoku’) is a sturdy, mid-size tree that tolerates heat better than most Japanese maple varieties. Attractive green leaves turn bright orange when temperatures drop in autumn. Zones 6 to 9 Ever Red (Acer palmatum ‘Ever red’) is a weeping, dwarf tree that retains a beautiful reddish color throughout the summer months. Beni Kawa (Acer palmatum ‘Beni Kawa’) is a small, heat-tolerant maple tree with red stems and green leaves that turn bright golden yellow in autumn. Zones 6 to 9 Glowing Embers (Acer palmatum ‘Glowing Embers’) is a hardy tree that tolerates heat and drought like a champ. Bright green leaves turn purple, orange, and yellow in autumn. Zones 5 to 9 Beni Schichihenge (Acer palmatum ‘Beni Schichihenge’) is another small tree that tolerates heat better than most Japanese maple varieties. This is an unusual maple with variegated, bluish green leaves that turn gold and orange in autumn. Zones 6 to 9 Ruby Stars (Acer palmatum ‘Ruby Stars’) produces bright red leaves in spring, turning to green in summer and back to red in autumn. Zones 5 to 9 Vitifolium (Acer palmatum ‘Vitifolium’) is a large, sturdy tree with big, showy leaves that turn shades of orange, yellow, and gold in autumn. Zones 5 to 9 Twombly’s Red Sentinel (Acer palmatum ‘Twombly’s Red Sentinel’) is an attractive maple with wine-red leaves that turn bright scarlet in autumn. Zones 5 to 9 Tamukayama (Acer palmatum var dissectum ‘Tamukayama’) is a dwarf maple with purple-red leaves that turn bright red in autumn. Zones 5 to 9 To prevent scorch, zone 8 Japanese maples should be planted where they are protected from intense afternoon sunlight. Spread 3 to 4 inches (8-10 cm.) of mulch around hot weather Japanese maples to keep the roots cool and moist. Water hot weather Japanese maples regularly.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.