Adding vibrant color to your garden can make it stand out. One excellent way to do this is by incorporating shrubs with red leaves that maintain their colorful foliage all year long. Unlike other plants that only provide short bursts of color in spring and fall, these red-leaved shrubs give you 12 months of rich hues. Their brilliant red foliage persists throughout the rest of the year.
Here, we’ll highlight some of the best shrubs and bushes with red leaves all year. From deep burgundy purple red to vivid bright scarlet and to the Black Lace leaves, these shrubs offer long-lasting color for every season.
Their leaves begin as bright red leaves in the spring, and the red color continues through summer, and red leaves that turn bronze come fall and winter. We’ll look at popular red shrubs like spiraea shrubs, Barberry, and photinia that have new red growth emerging three times a year. And we’ll showcase types of shrubs like hibiscus, hazelnut, and loropetalum with large, gorgeous red leaves.
Our guides highlight some of the best evergreen shrubs on this list, with reddish leaves you can use to enhance your landscape. From deep burgundy to bright scarlet red, these varieties of shrubs offer long-lasting color for every season. By the end, you’ll better understand all the varieties of shrubs with red leaves that can be a fantastic addition to any garden. (Read Tropical Plant With Red Flowers)
7 Evergreen Shrubs With Red Leaves All Year!
Let’s take a look at some of the top options when it comes to shrubs with red leaves all year round:
Heuchera, also known as coral bells, are gorgeous shrubs, and the evergreen shrub produces bright pink flower on tall spikes in the summer. But the deep maroon burgundy red leaves make this plant stand out. The foliage is a rich red hue that persists all year long, with new leaves growing in beautiful shades of red to purple.
Plus, the leaves have ruffled edges for extra texture. Heuchera is a smaller shrub, growing up to 18 inches tall and wide, making it an excellent compact addition to flower beds and borders. It’s perfect for adding a pop of color with its vibrant red foliage. The leaves start in spring as a bright crimson red before maturing to a deeper maroon.
2. Fringe Flower
The fringe flower (Loropetalum chinense) is an eye-catching evergreen shrub with lush burgundy red foliage. Some varieties have leaves ranging from bright red to deeper purple and maroon hues. This flowering shrub grows 4-8 feet tall and blooms with delicate, fringe-like pink or white flowers in spring that offer a nice contrast against the colorful leaves.
But it’s prized for its long-lasting colored leaves in vibrant shades of red throughout the seasons. It offers leaves that look large and oval-shaped. The leaves are deep red tones year-round, and the leaves are even red in the fall. Though it blooms in spring, the fringe flower is grown primarily as a foliage plant to provide rich color in borders, foundation plantings, and more. It prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. (Read Wine And Roses Weigela Problems)
3. Red Tip Photinia
The red tip photinia is aptly named – the new leaves emerge bright red when young and eventually fade to a deeper green as they mature throughout the seasons. However, the shrub constantly produces new growth, maintaining its signature red-tipped foliage year-round. This fast-growing evergreen shrub reaches up to 10 feet tall.
The older leaves provide a lovely backdrop for the bright red new leaves that appear in vivid crimson hues all year long. Small white flowers bloom in spring, contrasting with the colorful foliage. Red tip photinia is easy to grow and tolerates drought, heat, cold winters, and coastal conditions. It’s an excellent choice for hedges, screens, and foundation plantings where its red-tipped leaves can be shown off. However, avoid wetting the leaves when watering.
4. Burgundy Loropetalum
For an extra punch of dramatic dark color, grow the Burgundy loropetalum variety. This eye-catching shrub has foliage; the large, broad leaves are a deep shade of maroon red that almost appears black at certain angles.
It’s prized for its deep, saturated, near-black reddish-purple foliage that earned it the name “Chinese Fringe Flower.” New leaves emerge in red, purple, and burgundy jewel tones for multi-season interest. White fringe-like blooms contrast elegantly in spring against the dark foliage. Burgundy loropetalum grows 10 feet tall and wide, making a beautiful specimen plant. Site in full to partial sun for maximum color saturation in the leaves.
5. Coral Bells Berry Smoothie
Coral bells offer some of the most intense ruby red leaf color you can find. Berry Smoothie is one of the brightest, with glossy red leaves all season long, keeping its vibrant color through summer, fall, and winter. It’s a compact, low-growing evergreen shrub reaching just 16 inches tall, perfect for containers, borders, and rock gardens.
The shiny, scalloped leaves have serrated edges. Light pink flowers bloom on tall spikes in summer, contrasting with the constant red foliage. Berry Smoothie stays neat all on its own, with no pruning needed. It is easy to grow, preferring partial shade and average to dry soil. For the most intense leaf color, provide full sun. This petite shrub packs a big punch when adding a persistent red color. (Read Does Triazicide Kill Bagworms)
6. Fairy Wing
Another compact option is the fairy wing shrub, also known as Breynia disticha. It has vivid red stems and branches with gorgeous little oval leaves in a mix of red, pink, and green shades all season long.
The red stems provide excellent winter interest. This petite, mounding shrub grows up to 3 feet tall and wide – perfect for Asian-style gardens or as a specimen plant.
The colorful green and red variegated leaves offer year-round appeal. Fairy Wing prefers partial sun to light shade. It tolerates heat, humidity, and periods of drought once established. The red stems shine once the mottled foliage drops in winter. It fills out quickly and requires minimal care for an easy-going shrub.
7. Red Leaf Hibiscus
Hardy hibiscus is known for its huge, tropical-looking blooms in pink, red, and white colors. But varieties like Red Leaf hibiscus offer the benefit of having red-tinted leaves for twice the color impact. The large, maple-shaped leaves emerge a bright crimson red in spring and gradually tone down over the seasons to a deeper maroon red by fall before dropping.
But new red growth appears again in spring. This fast-growing deciduous shrub grows 4 to 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide. The bold reddish-purple foliage contrasts the 6-8” saucer-like blooms that arrive in summer. Red leaf hibiscus is easy to grow, tolerating heat, humidity, drought, and poor soils. For the best leaf color, provide full sun. It makes a beautiful specimen plant or tall hedge.
More Shrubs that have red leaves all year round
Here are additional picks for shrubs with red foliage that persists into winter:
- Spiraea Double Play Big Bang is a gorgeous flowering shrub that produces green leaves edged in bright red leaves that start in the spring. It grows to 3-5 feet tall. The red and burgundy leaves persist throughout the year, providing color to your garden.
- Japanese Barberry is a popular garden with maroon leaves and purple foliage. The Little Rouge variety is an excellent compact shrub that reaches just 3 feet tall. Its beautiful red leaves last into the fall.
- Red Majestic is a unique dwarf-contorted hazelnut shrub with vivid purple-red leaves that turn red and twist. It has a striking form, growing only 3 feet tall. The deep red leaves provide interest all year long.
- Crape Myrtle Black Diamond has nearly black dark red foliage that is dramatic against its bright pink summer blooms. This flowering shrub grows up to 8 feet tall, and its dark leaves are nearly evergreen.
- Japanese Maple Bloodgood is renowned for its gorgeous deep red leaves – one of the most vibrant red leaf colors of any Japanese maple variety. Its leaves turn red in autumn but stay red throughout winter.
- Purple Leaf Sand Cherry delivers a pop of color with its vivid purple foliage that lasts well into fall before the leaves drop. This deciduous shrub also bears delicate white flowers in the springtime.
- For multi-season appeal, Sutherland Gold Elderberry combines red stems and bushes with elegant yellow leaves and red variegated leaves. The red berries in fall are a bonus.
As you can see, many options exist for finding shrubs with red leaves that persist year-round. Add a few of these to your garden for vivid color that lasts.
Shrubs with red color of the leaves throughout the year offer outstanding views to your landscape that stand out. Unlike other plants that only provide short bursts of color in spring and fall, these shrubs give you 12 months of rich red hues ranging from deep burgundy to bright scarlet.
Some top picks for evergreen shrubs with red leaves include Heuchera, Fringe Flower, Red Tip Photinia, Burgundy Loropetalum, and Coral Bells Berry Smoothie. Many deciduous shrubs hold their red foliage well into winter before dropping leaves, such as Japanese Maple Bloodgood.
Make sure to choose varieties that are suitable for your planting zone. Give them full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Once established, these red-leaved shrubs require minimal care. They are easy-to-grow additions that can provide vivid color throughout your garden. (Read My Bottle Brush Tree Looks Dead)
What are some small shrubs with red leaves?
Good small shrubs with deep red foliage include Coral Bells Berry Smoothie, Fairy Wing/Breynia, and Red Majestic contorted hazelnut. All reach around 3 feet tall at maturity.
Do crape myrtles have red leaves?
Some crape myrtle varieties, like Black Diamond, have very dark burgundy-red leaves. Other types have green, purple, or variegated leaves and foliage.
What shrub has red tips?
The red tip photinia is named for its bright red new growth. The ends of the leaves maintain their red hue as they mature.
What shrub has purple leaves?
Some top picks for purple-leaved shrubs are the purple leaf sand cherry, Japanese Barberry, and burgundy loropetalum varieties.
How do I get more red leaves on my shrub?
Choosing varieties that naturally have red foliage is the best bet. Providing full sun will help maximize bold leaf colors. Avoid over-pruning.
What plants keep red leaves in winter?
Evergreen shrubs like Japanese holly, purple beautyberry, and heavenly bamboo keep orange-red leaves in winter. Deciduous options drop leaves but have red stems for color.