En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 15, 2008

From: Brooklyn, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Shade Tolerant, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Japanese maple in New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a few questions: Do you know what zone Brooklyn, NY. is in? If I plant a Japanese Maple in my backyard, do you think it can tolerate almost full shade (1-2 hours of sun per day)? Also, is it really true that rhododenren require morning sun? I want to plant 2 of them in areas that get 1-2 hours sun in the in the late afternoon. Thanks VERY Much!

ANSWER:

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map shows that Brooklyn is either in Zone 7a or 6b. The average minimal temperatures are 0 to 5° F for 7a and -5° to 0 F for 6b.

Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) as the name suggests is native to Asia, not North America. Since our area of expertise is plants native to North America we can't really furnish you with firsthand knowledge about the growing requirements of Japanese maple, but we're happy to point you to some information that can help you. Information from Ohio State University and The Garden Helper indicates that the Japanese maple does well in light or partial shade. Some cultivars will tolerate full sun. WorldPlants.com indicates that there are also cultivars that will do well in shade.

We are a bit more knowledgeable about Rhododendrons since there are more than 25 species native to North America and 8 of those are native to New York:

Rhododendron arborescens (smooth azalea)

Rhododendron calendulaceum (flame azalea)

Rhododendron canadense (rhodora)

Rhododendron lapponicum (Lapland rosebay)

Rhododendron maximum (great laurel)

Rhododendron periclymenoides (pink azalea)

Rhododendron prinophyllum (early azalea)

Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)

All of these will grow in partial shade although several hours of sun per day will probably keep them from becoming 'leggy' and will also produce more blooms. Morning sun is preferable to afternoon sun—the disadvantage of the afternoon sun compared to morning sun is the elevated temperature that accompanies the afternoon sun. Since your area receives very little afternoon sun and temperatures are generally not extreme where you live, I would think that your rhododentrons would do fine. Here are some general tips from Flower Gardening Made Easy.


Rhododendron arborescens

Rhododendron calendulaceum

Rhododendron canadense

Rhododendron lapponicum

Rhododendron maximum

Rhododendron periclymenoides

Rhododendron prinophyllum

Rhododendron viscosum

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Need advice for planting Bur Oak saplings in Comal County
October 09, 2012 - We will be planting several bur oak saplings this fall in deeper soils in Comal County. How close should we plant them? What mortality should we expect? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
view the full question and answer

Patio Privacy Screen Suggestions for Central Texas
March 17, 2013 - I have just built a patio and want to plant some small trees, bushes or shrubs to form a visual barrier (rather than to erect a fence)to the neighbors yard.
view the full question and answer

Pecan with brown spots on the leaves
June 11, 2010 - Southern pecan, I am a 8 foot tall and 3 year old (young)tree. My leafs have brown spots on top and hard shell mound on the bottom, this is on about 3/4 of the of the leafs, could you tell me what th...
view the full question and answer

Growths on Shumard Red Oak leaves from Katy TX
April 01, 2013 - Our beautiful Shumard Red Oak has developed lots of light green grape like growths on the leaves. Please inform us what this could be and how we should treat it?
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of one of two Texas persimmons from Wimberly TX
May 04, 2013 - Last year my son planted two texas persimmon trees. One is blooming ok this year and the other is not. It does not seem dead. What can I do or is is in fact dying?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center