Red Foliage Plants

Sharing is caring!

Red foliage plants add a vibrant and eye-catching element to any garden landscape. While there may not be as many red leaf plants compared to green-leaved varieties, there are still plenty of options to choose from.

The color of red foliage plants is attributed to the pigment anthocyanin, which gives them their red or purple appearance. These plants photosynthesize like any other plant, but the anthocyanin masks the green hues caused by chlorophyll.

Incorporating red foliage perennials, shrubs, and trees can provide accents or serve as bold pops of color in your garden. Some notable red foliage plants include Sweetspire ‘Henry’s Garnet,’ Grace smoke tree, Coryus avellana ‘Red Dragon,’ Heuchera ‘Fire Chief,’ and Rex begonia ‘Ruby Slippers.’

Key Takeaways:

  • Red foliage plants add vibrancy and eye-catching appeal to gardens.
  • The red color in these plants comes from the pigment anthocyanin.
  • Incorporating red foliage perennials, shrubs, and trees can provide accents or bold pops of color.
  • Notable red foliage plants include Sweetspire ‘Henry’s Garnet,’ Grace smoke tree, Coryus avellana ‘Red Dragon,’ Heuchera ‘Fire Chief,’ and Rex begonia ‘Ruby Slippers.’
  • By choosing red foliage plants, you can create a visually stunning garden landscape.

Add a Pop of Red to Your Garden with These Striking Varieties

If you’re looking to add a pop of red to your garden, there are several striking varieties to consider. These vibrant red foliage plants will undoubtedly catch the eye and bring a touch of exotic beauty to your landscape. From trees to shrubs and smaller plants, there’s something for every garden size and style.

One stunning option is the Red-Leaf Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’), a showstopper with its compact size and mesmerizing foliage. Its deep red leaves make a dramatic statement and create a focal point in any garden.

Another choice is the Red Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’), which adds texture and movement with its burgundy-red foliage. This grass-like plant sways in the breeze, creating a dynamic and captivating display.

If you prefer smaller plants, the Crimson Pygmy Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy’) is a perfect option. It may be small in size, but its fiery red foliage packs a punch. The Burgundy Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense rubrum ‘Burgundy’) offers a cascading form and deep burgundy leaves, adding drama and sophistication to your garden.

Other stunning red foliage plants to consider include Poinsettia, Copperhead Copper Plants, Coleus, Diablo Ninebark, Gagnepain’s Barberry, and Japanese Clove Cherry. Each of these varieties brings its own unique charm and color to your outdoor space.

Striking Varieties of Red Foliage Plants

Red-Leaf Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’)A showstopper with compact size and stunning foliage.
Red Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’)Adds texture and movement with burgundy-red foliage.
Crimson Pygmy Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Crimson Pygmy’)A small yet fiery addition with vibrant red foliage.
Burgundy Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense rubrum ‘Burgundy’)Offers a touch of drama with cascading form and deep burgundy leaves.
PoinsettiaKnown for its iconic red bracts during the holiday season.
Copperhead Copper PlantsFeatures stunning red foliage and metallic copper accents.
ColeusOffers a variety of hues and frilled leaves.
Diablo NinebarkBoasts burgundy foliage and attractive white flowers.
Gagnepain’s BarberryProduces clusters of red berries and vibrant foliage.
Japanese Clove CherryKnown for its vibrant red foliage and fragrant flowers.

Small Plants and Bushy Varieties with Red Leaves

Red foliage plants aren’t limited to large garden spaces. They can also be incorporated into smaller areas and containers, adding a burst of color to even the tiniest corners. One popular choice for container gardening is Coleus.

With its vibrant hues and frilled leaves, Coleus is not only decorative but also easy to grow and maintain. It comes in various shades of red, offering a range of options for adding a pop of color to your patio or balcony.

red-leafed plants for containers

Begonias are another fantastic choice for containers, providing both beautiful flowers and red leaves in certain varieties. Their compact size makes them ideal for small spaces, and they can thrive in partial shade or bright indirect light.

Ajuga is a low-growing ground cover plant with red leaves that form a stunning carpet-like effect. It produces spikes of purple flowers in spring, adding another dimension of beauty to your garden.

When it comes to bushy varieties with red leaves, Firebush, Weigela, and Smoke Bush are excellent options. Firebush, also known as Hamelia patens, is a tropical shrub that attracts hummingbirds with its tubular red flowers.

Weigela offers stunning red flowers in addition to its red foliage, making it a standout choice for borders and hedges. Smoke Bush, or Cotinus coggygria, is known for its airy plumes of pinkish-red flowers and attractive red-purple leaves.

Small Plants and Bushy Varieties with Red Leaves

Plant Name
Special Features
ColeusAnnualCompactFrilled leaves in various shades of red
BegoniaAnnual/PerennialCompactRed leaves and beautiful flowers
AjugaPerennialLow-growingRed leaves and spikes of purple flowers
FirebushShrubMediumTubular red flowers and tropical appeal
WeigelaShrubMedium to largeRed flowers and attractive foliage
Smoke BushShrubMedium to largePinkish-red flower plumes and red-purple leaves

These small plants and bushy varieties with red leaves offer a range of options for adding color, texture, and visual interest to your garden. Whether you have limited space or want to create vibrant container displays, these plants are sure to make a statement. Experiment with different combinations and placements to create a personalized garden that showcases the beauty of red foliage plants.

Grasses and Other Red Foliage Plants

If you’re looking to add a touch of vibrancy and movement to your garden, consider incorporating grasses and other red foliage plants. These plants not only provide a striking visual appeal but also add a dynamic element with their swaying leaves. Let me introduce you to some fantastic options!

One stunning choice is the Red-Leaf Mangave, an eye-catching succulent that features red-tipped leaves. Its compact size makes it perfect for containers or as a focal point in a rock garden.

Another option is the Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus), which transforms into a fiery red hue during the fall season. This deciduous shrub is an excellent choice for creating a bold statement in your garden.

If you’re seeking a ground cover with red foliage, Coral Bells are an ideal choice. Known for their scalloped leaves and vibrant colors, they make for a beautiful backdrop for smaller plants. The Canadian Redbud Tree is another fantastic ground cover option with its heart-shaped leaves that turn a stunning shade of red in autumn.

Lastly, the Red Leaf Rose (Rosa glauca) and Weigela are versatile plants that can be used as shrubs or ground covers. With their cascading form and red leaves, they add depth and visual interest to any garden landscape.

After reading this, check out our other articles on:


What are red foliage plants?

Red foliage plants are plants that have leaves that are red or have shades of red. These plants add a vibrant and eye-catching element to any garden landscape.

How do red foliage plants get their color?

The color of red foliage plants is attributed to the pigment anthocyanin, which gives them their red or purple appearance. Anthocyanin masks the green hues caused by chlorophyll, resulting in the red coloration.

Can I incorporate red foliage plants in small spaces or containers?

Yes, red foliage plants can be incorporated into smaller spaces and containers. There are various small plant options with red leaves such as coleus, begonias, ajuga, euphorbia, coral bells, caladium, canna, heucherella, and sedum.

Are there red foliage grasses?

Yes, there are grasses with red foliage that can add vertical beauty and motion to your garden. Examples of red foliage grasses include Red-Leaf Mangave, Burning Bush, Red Leafed Mukdenia, and Red Leaf Sumac.

What are some red foliage ground cover plants?

Red foliage ground cover plants include coral bells, Canadian redbud tree, red leaf rose, and weigela. These plants provide a backdrop for smaller plants and add depth and visual interest to your garden landscape.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *