Japanese Maple Fireglow vs. Bloodgood: Differences Explained

Fireglow and Bloodgood are two highly sought-after types of Japanese maples, admired for their elegant appearance and striking foliage.

Understanding the differences between these two cultivars can help you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect Japanese maple for your garden.

What’s the difference between Fireglow and Bloodgood Japanese maples? Fireglow Japanese maples grow to 10-15 feet in height and width. They have burgundy foliage during the growing season that turns a fiery red in the fall. Bloodgood Japanese maples grow slightly larger. They have purplish-red foliage in spring and summer that turns to scarlet in fall.

In the following sections, we’ll explore the specific qualities of both Fireglow and Bloodgood, including their appearances, growth rates, care guidelines, and design considerations.

Key Takeaways

  • The most significant difference between Fireglow and Bloodgood Japanese maples is their foliage color. Fireglow exhibits deep burgundy-red leaves while Bloodgood showcases a deep purple-red color.
  • Fireglow has a slower growth rate and reaches a mature height and width of 10-15 feet, while Bloodgood has a moderate growth rate and can grow up to 15-20 feet tall.
  • Fireglow transitions to a fiery crimson red in the fall, creating a striking visual display. Bloodgood transforms into a vibrant scarlet red, adding a burst of color to the landscape.
  • Both Fireglow and Bloodgood Japanese maples thrive in partial shade to full sun, and well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH. Regular watering is essential.

Japanese Maple Fireglow vs. Bloodgood

Fireglow and Bloodgood are two captivating varieties of Japanese maples that add beauty and elegance to any landscape.

AttributeFireglowBloodgood
Botanical NameAcer palmatum ‘Fireglow’Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’
Grow Zones5-85-8
Growth RateSlow to moderateModerate
Mature Height10-15 feet15-20 feet
Mature Width10-15 feet20-25 feet
Spring & Summer ColorDeep burgundy redDeep purple-red
Fall ColorFiery crimson-redVibrant scarlet-red
HardinessVery hardyVery hardy
Light RequirementsPartial shade to full sunPartial shade to full sun

Differences in Appearance

Fireglow and Bloodgood both exhibit a classic Japanese maple form with delicate, lobed leaves.

Fireglow, known for its intense color, features deep burgundy-red foliage. If grown in full sun, the underside of the leaves develops an orange-red color that gives the effect of “glowing” when viewed from below.

Bloodgood, on the other hand, showcases deep purple-red leaves that captivate throughout the seasons.

Differences in Spring and Summer Color

During the spring and summer months, Fireglow maintains its rich burgundy-red color, adding a dramatic flair to the landscape.

In contrast, Bloodgood displays a deep purple-red hue, which lends an air of elegance and sophistication.

Differences in Autumn Color

As fall approaches, Fireglow truly lives up to its name, transforming into a fiery crimson-red spectacle that commands attention.

Bloodgood, on the other hand, transitions to a vibrant scarlet red, infusing the landscape with a burst of color.

Size & Growth Rate Comparison

Fireglow is a slightly smaller variety, typically reaching a mature height and width of 10-15 feet. Bloodgood tends to be larger, with a mature size of 15-20 feet in height and a slightly larger width.

In terms of growth rate, Fireglow has a slow to moderate rate, and Bloodgood has a moderate growth rate.

Hardiness Comparison

Both Fireglow and Bloodgood Japanese maples are highly resilient and can withstand a range of conditions, including very cold winters.

They are well-suited to grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-8, making them suitable for a wide geographic range.

A full-screen view of the deep-red leaves of a Japanese maple tree.

Japanese Maple Care Guide

Cultivating healthy and vibrant Fireglow and Bloodgood Japanese maples requires proper care and attention. Here are essential guidelines to ensure their well-being:

When To Plant Japanese Maple

The best time to plant Japanese maples is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild. This allows the trees to establish their root systems before experiencing extreme temperatures.

Where To Plant Japanese Maple

Choose a location that provides partial shade to full sun. Japanese maples thrive in well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH. Avoid areas prone to strong winds as they can damage the delicate foliage.

Japanese Maple Tree Watering

Consistent and adequate watering is crucial, especially during dry spells. Water deeply, but avoid waterlogging the soil as excessive moisture can lead to root rot.

Mulching around the base of the tree can help retain soil moisture. Pull mulch several inches away from the trunk after application.

Japanese Maple Tree Fertilizer

Japanese maples generally don’t require heavy fertilization. However, applying a slow-release, balanced fertilizer, like this one specifically for Japanese maples, in early spring can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers, and follow the product instructions for proper dosage.

Japanese Maple Tree Pruning

Pruning is primarily done for maintenance and shaping purposes. Remove any dead, diseased, or crossing branches. Prune during the dormant season (late winter or early spring) to minimize stress on the tree.

Design Considerations

Fireglow and Bloodgood Japanese maples are versatile trees that can enhance various landscape designs. Here are some design considerations to maximize their impact:

  • Specimen Tree: Plant a single Fireglow or Bloodgood as a focal point to highlight its vibrant foliage and elegant form.
  • Borders and Group Plantings: Create stunning borders by planting multiple Japanese maples together, combining Fireglow and Bloodgood for contrasting colors.
  • Containers: Due to their moderate size, Fireglow and Bloodgood are suitable for container gardening, bringing their beauty to patios, decks, or balconies.
  • Color Combinations: Pair Fireglow or Bloodgood with plants that have complementary colors, such as yellow or lime-green foliage, to create visually appealing combinations.

Related Questions:

Why Is My Japanese Maple Not Turning Red?

The red coloration of Japanese maples in the fall is influenced by factors such as temperature, sunlight, and the tree’s health.

If your Japanese maple is not turning red, it could be due to insufficient sunlight, stress, improper pruning, or a nutrient imbalance.

Which Japanese Maple Stays Red All Year?

While most Japanese maples display stunning red foliage in the fall, there are a few varieties that maintain red coloration throughout the year.

One such variety is the ‘Crimson Queen’, which features deep red leaves that persist from spring to fall, adding a striking element to the landscape.

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