Shrubs with red coloring paint your landscape with warm color. To draw attention to these plants in your landscape design, pair them with lighter colors. In a shrub border, you can place shrubs with red coloring next to or in front of bushes with light green or variegated foliage. Shrubs with red coloring also stand out when placed in front of light-color siding, taupe stucco and grey stone.
Red in Spring and Fall
Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) and Japanese spirea “Froebelii” (Spiraea japonica “Froebelii”) produce reddish emergent leaves in spring, followed by red flowers and red fall foliage. Purchase Persian ironwood trained as a multi-stemmed shrub, not a small tree. Its somewhat inconspicuous flowers come out in early spring and it grows about 15 feet tall. Expect the leaves to turn green in summer and then yellow and orange to red in the fall. The brownish-red spring foliage on “Froebelii” soon turn blue-green and then change to wine-red in the fall. It begets red flowers in early summer, grows 3 to 4 feet tall and is considered invasive in some regions. Both shrubs grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8.
Hues of Red and Purple
Add hues of red and purple to your landscape with Japanese maple “Inabashidare” (Acer palmatum var. dissectum “Inabashidare”) and Knock Out shrub rose “Radrazz” (Rosa “Radrazz”). The foliage on “Inabashidare” comes out deep purple, turns purple-red by summer and becomes bright-red in autumn. Its modest reddish flowers come out in spring and it grows 6 to 10 feet tall. In the summer, “Radrazz” has purplish-green leaves that turn purple to burgundy in autumn. Its fragrant, cherry-red roses blossom from spring through frost and it grows 3 to 4 feet tall. Both shrubs grow in USDA zones 5 through 9.
Bronze in Spring and Red in Autumn
Certain shrubs splash your yard with bronze in spring and red in autumn. The leaves on crape myrtle “Gamad I” (Lagerstroemia indica “Gamad I”), also known as “Razzle Dazzle Cherry,” emerge bronze in spring, promptly change to dark-green and turn burgundy-red in autumn. Considered invasive in some areas, its red buds open in summer to reveal cherry-red flowers and it matures to about 3 feet tall in USDA zones 6 through 10. The leaves on viburnum “Dawn” (Viburnum x bodnantense “Dawn”) come out with bronze tints in spring, soon change to deep-green and turn burgundy-red in autumn. It presents rosy-pink blossoms in spring, followed by small red fruit that turns black by fall. “Dawn” grows 8 to 10 feet tall in USDA zones 5 through 7.
Red in Late Fall or Winter
Certain shrubs with red coloring offer late fall or winter interest. Although considered invasive in some regions, burning bush (Euonymus alatus), also known as winged spindle tree, is well-known for its green leaves that turn fiery-red in autumn in USDA zones 4 through 8. Easy to grow and tolerant of almost full shade, its inconspicuous flowers yield small red fruits in fall that burst to reveal seeds nestled inside orange-red casings that attract birds. Chokeberry “Brilliantissima” (Aronia arbutifolia “Brilliantissima”) has shiny, dark-green leaves that turn bright-red in autumn and white flowers in spring that yield a profusion of shiny-red fruit borne in clusters in late summer that persist well into winter. It grows 6 to 8 feet tall in USDA zones 4 through 9.
- Colorado State University Extension: Water Wise Landscaping -- Principles of Landscape Design
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Spiraea Japonica "Froebelii"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Parrotia Persica
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Rosa "Radrazz" Knock Out
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Acer Palmatum Var. Dissectum 'Inabashidare'"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Aronia Arbutifolia "Brilliantissima"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Euonymus Alatus
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Viburnum x Bodnantense "Dawn"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Lagerstroemia Indica "Gamad I" Razzle Dazzle Cherry
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images