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10+ Best Dwarf Weeping Japanese Maple Varieties

The varieties of dwarf weeping Japanese maple are the perfect tree to add grace and color to your miniature garden with tight spaces!

Generally, there are 2 types of Japanese maples, such as dissectum and palmatum. Acer palmatum, known as dwarfs weeping Japanese maples, includes Inaba Shidare, Tamukeyama, Mikawa Yatsubusa, Oragneola, Emperor I, and Crimson Queen.

However, these dwarf-oriented trees demand varying conditions to thrive, requiring clear insights beforehand!

Did you know dwarf Japanese maple trees are unlike the maples found in North America that grow up to 30 feet?

Dwarf trees are decorative landscape plants ranging from 4-12 feet at most, with colorful palmate leaves ideal for small, tight spaces, garden out-of-container, and small lawns.

Japanese red maple is one of the popular dwarf maple varieties, with decorative foliage that keeps changing color at different times of the year, adding a zest of romance to your rather dull garden.

Here are the top ten dwarf Japanese maple tree recommendations for you.

1. Mikawa Yatsubusa Japanese Maple

Mikawa Yatsubusa is a popular dwarf Japanese maple tree with an incredibly denser appearance and petite structure.

The tight layering foliage will retain bright chartreuse green color with a red sheath in spring.
Mikawa Yatsubusa
Mikawa Yatsubusa makes a perfect ornamental landscaping tree.

As the fall approaches, the green leaves will turn fiery red.

  • Mikawa Yatsubusa will hardily reach over 5 feet in its lifetime.
  • The leaf is 3-6 inches long and displays 5-9 lobes and red petioles.
  • It is incredibly heat-tolerant and makes a very hardy tree for zones 5b to 9b.
  • Provide a rich soil mixture of clay, organic matter, loam, and sand.
  • The plants will thrive in full sunlight for 6 hours or more.
Did you know the Mikawa Yatsubusa tree attracts small songbirds in its natural habitats?

2. Tamukeyama Japanese Maple

Tamukeyama is a popular mini Japanese maple tree that has been propagated for over 300 years with great success.

It is a deeply lobed Japanese maple tree with very lacy leaves. In fact, it has the most extended lobes among all the Japanese maples.

Do not worry if the mature Tamukeyama leaves begin drooping under their weight as it takes the mound shape!

The leaves will emerge purple to burgundy red in spring but change to scarlet red in fall.

  • This one is very cold hardy because it is late to leaf out and will withstand hot areas with direct sunlight too.
  • Tamukeyama will grow about 5 feet tall and 7 feet wide in 10 years.
  • The deep lobes make branches cascade to the ground, giving a denser appearance.
  • They are best grown in excellent to warm areas, zone 5-9, under direct sunlight, and well-drained, moist soil.
  • Under optimal growing conditions, the tree will rise 1-2 feet annually.

Do you know Tamukeyama means hands folded in prayer on the mountain?

3. Red Select Japanese Maple

Acer Palmatum ‘Red Select’ is an excellent Japanese weeping maple with vibrant red leaves.

Many confuse it for Inaba Shidare, but the latter has larger leaves and grows taller.

Red Select is a seedling of Inaba Shidare and boasts small-sized leaves that are bright red but turn slightly cherry tint as they mature.

Some aged Red Select will have fiery red leaves, making perfect ornamental plants.

  • They are perfect for decoration in small gardens and containers as they hardly grow over 5 feet in 10 years.
  • The bushy foliage and drooping branches will extend to 6-7 feet.
  • They grow best in cool and warm regions, USDA hardiness zone between 5-9.
  • It does well in semi-shade but tends to thrive in full sun, moist soil, and a lot of watering in the growing season.

Overtime, Red Select leaves boast a mix of green, red, and purple colors in summer.

4. Krazy Krinkle Japanese Maple

As the name suggests, Krazy Krinkle boasts deeply divided, bright chartreuse leaves with edges that give an impression of a Christmas tree.

Krazy Krinkle leafs out in early spring as green but gradually retains bright red to deep maroon color in fall.
  • The tree will grow up to 10 feet and spread about eight feet in ten years.
  • The twisted leaves will resemble that of Shishigashira.
  • Some trees will retain bright golden oranges to red color in fall.

This dwarf Japanese maple tree is best grown in USDA zones 5-9 and can withstand temperatures down to -20.2°F.

5. Waterfall Japanese Maple

Acer Palmatum Dissectum, better known as Waterfall Japanese Weeping Maple, displays pendulous foliage with a cascading appearance.

Named after its foliage appearance, Waterfall Japanese Maple leaves are slightly larger than many green dissectums.

A mature Waterfall Japanese maple will reach 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide in ten years.

  • You can grow them in a container placed on a large patio, balcony, or garden.
  • The leaves retain a bright to almost neon green in spring and yellow to gold in fall.
  • It is very heat tolerant and can survive even the hottest summer.
  • It prefers cool to warm temperatures, usually found in hardiness zone 5a-8a.
  • Provide full sun, moist soil, and frequent watering in spring to boost vigorous growth.

Waterfall Japanese weeping maple makes a perfect understory plant to bring color to a sun-dappled spot.

6. Shishigashira Japanese Maple

Acer Palmatum Shishigashira, also known as Lion’s head Japanese maple, displays curled leaves with a shrubby growth.

The heavily curled leaves give it an attractive sculptural appearance resembling a lion’s head.

Shishigashira foliage resembles the lion's head.
Shishigashira foliage resembles the lion’s head.
  • Unlike the Bonsai tree, the majestic maple tree grows about 8-12 feet in its lifetime.
  • Plants make an excellent ornamental tree for the porch and patio.
  • They are best grown in hardiness zone 6-8 with a slightly cool temperature.
  • Some Shishigashira trees as also grown as Bonsai trees for indoor decoration.

Although a slow grower, it will attain denser branching and leaves ranging from deep green in spring and deep yellow to golden shade in fall.

7. Orangeola Japanese Maple

Orangeola is a multi-colored dwarf Japanese weeping maple with heavy pendulous branches and thin lobes, which make it appear bushier.

When young, the Orangeola leaves retain bright red but become orange and green over time.

Further, new growth will always emerge as brighter red to orange and turn green as they age.

However, it does not grow rather tall. Most trees will only reach up to 4 feet in height and 5 feet wide, making a perfect landscaping tree.

  • You can grow Orangeola as potted trees for decorating patios or porches.
  • Provide ample direct sunlight and warm temperature typical to hardiness zones 5-9.
  • Ensure to provide shade in hotter months when grown in Zone 9 or above.
  • Provide well-draining soil and water frequently during warm weather to avoid heat damage.
Orangeola can be trained to reach 6 feet or above in height by providing correct weather conditions and plant food.

8. Inaba Shidare Japanese Maple

Acer Palmatum Dissectum, popularly known as Inaba Shidare, is a native dwarf Japanese maple that hardly grows over 5 feet in ten years.

One of the best varieties of dwarf weeping Japanese maple, Inaba Shidare boasts palmate leaves divided into 5-7 lobes with multiple cuts, giving a patterned appearance.

Although short in height, it can spread well over 10 feet when provided with ample ground space.

  • The leaves will range from red to maroon in spring but turn bright red in fall.
  • It can reach 12 feet, providing ample time and optimal growing conditions.
  • The hardy maple tree adapts well to any situation but will thrive in zone 5 to 9.
  • It will tolerate full sun but requires shade during summer when grown in warmer southern states.
  • It is best to plant in the late fall or the early spring.

Moreover, provide evenly moist, well-drained soil with slight acidity.


Acer Palmatum Emperor 1 is rightly named because it can grow 1-2 feet per year and reach a mature height of 10-15 feet in a lifetime.

Also known as Red Emperor, it grows deep maroon foliage in early spring, giving a nice shiny look.

  • The foliage turns a dark red hue in summer and bright red in the fall.
  • It is a vigorous-growing tree with stunningly dense foliage but drops foliage in cold winter.
  • It will need a partial shade, which provides deep coloring on the leaves.
  • Those grown in full sun will require dappled shade in warmer months.
  • Emperor I thrives in hardiness zone 5-8, with preferred heat zones between 2-8.
Emperor I is an improved variety of upright Japanese Maple similar to the classic Bloodgood.

10. Crimson Queen Japanese Maple

Crimson Queen is a low-branching dwarf Japanese maple tree that displays beautiful crimson color throughout summer and turns bright scarlet in fall.

The tree will grow no more than 6 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide in its lifetime, making it a perfect landscaping tree.

Crimson Queen Japanese Maple hardly changs color over the year
Crimson Queen Japanese Maple hardly changes color over the year.
  • The lateral branches will begin to sag from a young age, giving them a droopy appearance.
  • Unlike other dwarf maple trees, it hardly changes the color of the leaves.
  • This variety is best cultivated in zones 5-9 under dappled sunlight.

Leaving them in full sun during warmer months will make the leaves pale, but the full shade is not good either.

Additional 7 Dwarf Weeping Japanese Maple Varieties

Here is a list of other equally gorgeous dwarf weeping Japanese maple trees.

Japanese Maple TreeSpecification
Red Dragon Japanese MapleIt reaches about 8 feet tall and wide.

It displays multiple leaves and thing young branches.

It thrives in hardiness zone 5-9
Ever Red Japanese MapleIt displays lace leaf that chnages color throughout the seasons.

The leaves are bright red from spring to fall and greenish-red in summer.

It will reach about 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
Octopus Japanese MapleIt displays octopus-like tentacles that arch outward.

The young leaves are red but turn pale in fall.

It will only attain a height of 4 feet and 6 feet wide.
Chika Japanese MapleIt belongs to the green weeping Japanese maple.

The leaves are green in spring but turn dark in summer and yellow-orange in fall.

A mature tree can reach about 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
Viridis Japanese MapleIt turns green all pring and summer but turn orange-yellow in fall.

It grows taller than 5 feet and about 7 feet wide.

It displays broad foliage and it begins to branch out at an early age.
Victoria’s Red Sensation Japanese MapleIt displays brick red spring color with green stemming.

The leaves turn bronze during the summer.

It will grow 4-5 feet tall and about 5 feet wide.
Garnet Japanese MapleIt displays umbrella shaped foliage.

The color of leaves is bright red, which becomes darker.
It grows well in zones 5-9 in the garden, and zones 6-8 in a container.

If you fancy other flowering houseplants, choose one of Bell Shaped Flowers and Star-Shaped Flowers.

Wrapping Up

Although dwarf varieties, Japanese maple trees would require ideal growing conditions as their taller counterparts.

Interestingly being rare, some dwarf maple trees display three different colors in spring, summer, and fall.

Grow them in USDA zones 5-9 with optimal sun time, moist soil conditions, and slow tree fertilizer to witness vigorous growth.

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