12 Plants with Red Leaves: Painting Your Garden in Nature’s Fiery Palette

Want to bring a fiery splash of color to your garden? Check out these 12 plants with red leaves to add vibrant, eye-catching beauty to your outdoor space!

11 Plants With Red Leaves: Options To Add A Pop Of Color To Your Garden

1. Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum Bloodgood tree in autumn

Japanese maples are renowned for their stunning red foliage, making them a standout choice for your garden.

Among the many varieties, Bloodgood features reddish-purple leaves that may turn greener in full sun and can grow up to 20 feet tall, ideal for patio landscaping.

Another option, Red Dragon, boasts delicate, deeply dissected red foliage throughout the growing season.

2. Coleus

Coleus ('Defiance') plant foliage background. Beautiful colorful leaves of coleus plant growing outdoors

Coleus plants are known for their vibrant, colorful foliage and come in a variety of red shades.

Among the varieties, Brilliancy showcases bright red leaves with green scalloped edges, ideal for semi-shade areas.

For a bold choice, Kong Rose features a large green margin with burgundy veins and a magenta center, sometimes with white patches depending on sun conditions.

With proper care, these red coleus varieties will bring life and energy to your garden, grabbing attention and making a statement.

3. Coral Bells

Heuchera hollywood or Coral Bells or alumroot with its flower stalks in backyard garden in early summer

Coral bells are known for their vibrant foliage and delicate, bell-shaped flowers, making them a beautiful addition to any garden.

Consider Forever Red, with its ultra-red ruffled leaves and white flowers in late summer to early fall, or Red Lightning, which features golden chartreuse leaves with striking dark red veins.

Plant coral bells in partial shade and well-draining soil for best results. These plants will add stunning red hues and attract hummingbirds and butterflies, making your garden lively and vibrant.

4. Polka Dot Plant

Ornamental leaf plant called Polka Dot plant (HYPOESTES PHYLLOSTACHYA)

This eye-catching plant features leaves with a pink base color and green spots, while some varieties have purple, white, or red accents.

Polka dot plants are low-maintenance, making them ideal for busy gardeners. They can be grown indoors or outdoors and typically reach 6 to 18 inches in height.

To grow a polka dot plant in your garden, make sure to provide it with bright, indirect sunlight, well-draining potting soil, and consistent moisture.

5. Caladium

Caladium bicolor with pink leaf and green veins (Florida Sweetheart)

Caladiums are beautiful garden plants with red and heart-shaped leaves and stunning patterns.

You might consider choosing the Florida Sweetheart variety for its rosy red heart leaves, green margins, and dark pink veins.

Another great option is the Miss Muffet caladium, with chartreuse leaves sprinkled with dark pink or red spots.

For a striking display, plant at least three together, spaced about 10 inches apart.

6. Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry). Berberis thunbergii Coronita

Japanese barberry is a hardy deciduous shrub that can grow up to 6 feet tall.

Its leaves turn stunning shades of red, orange, purple, and yellow in fall, and it features sharp thorns and red berries lasting into winter.

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) branch fresh ripe berries natural green background Berberis thunbergii

Pair it with green, silver, or gold-leaved plants for a beautiful contrast. Plant in fall, late winter, or after spring flowering in well-drained soil with full sun or partial shade.

However, be aware of its invasive nature and take necessary measures to control its growth.

7. Diablo Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius, commonly called common ninebark

Diablo Ninebark, or Physocarpus opulifolius Diabolo, is a versatile and eye-catching garden plant that you'll love for its red foliage. 

This multi-stemmed shrub can grow from 4 to 8 feet tall and up to 8 feet wide, making it perfect for adding visual interest to your garden.

To grow Diablo Ninebark, find a spot with full sun to partial shade. This shrub is quite adaptable and can thrive in various soil types, from well-drained to clay-loam soils.

Don't worry too much about maintenance either, as this plant is resistant to insects and diseases.

8. Photinia Fraseri Red Robin

A photinia fraseri red robin tree with both red and green leaves

Photinia Fraseri Red Robin is a beautiful evergreen shrub known for its striking red-tinted young leaves that offer an eye-catching display in your garden. 

This hybrid plant typically grows to 10-15 feet tall and as wide as possible, making it a fantastic option for hedges or screening.

To grow Red Robin successfully, plant it in a sunny position with at least half a day of direct sunlight. It's tolerant of a wide range of soils but prefers well-drained conditions. 

9. Cercis Canadensis Forest Pansy

Cercis canadensis red purple foliage

The Cercis Canadensis Forest Pansy, also known as Forest Pansy Redbud, is a beautiful deciduous tree with red-purple leaves. 

A great addition to your garden, this tree provides a stunning display in spring, when rosy-pink, pea-sized flowers appear before the foliage.

Your Forest Pansy will grow to a mature size of 20-30 feet tall and 25-35 feet wide in USDA hardiness zones 5-9

Plant it in an area with full sun to partial shade and average, well-drained soil with medium moisture. The soil pH can be adaptable, but a neutral to slightly acidic pH is ideal.

10. Aglaonema

Red Aglaonema Siam Aurora leaves (Aglaonema Lipstick Plant) with water drops in sunny day at ornamental garden house

Aglaonema plants, or Chinese evergreens, are native to Southeast Asia and feature vibrant red or pink leaves. Their strikingly patterned leaves make a stunning garden addition.

A popular variety, Aglaonema Siam Aurora, has pointy leaves with green centers and red edges.

These plants tolerate both moist and dry conditions and thrive in low light, perfect for gardens with less-than-ideal light exposure.

11. Croton

Partly blurred red iceton type of fire croton or codiaeum variegatum foliage background

Crotons are stunning garden plants known for their colorful and vibrant foliage. Their leaves come in various shades of red, as well as other colors like yellow, pink, and green. 

One popular red-leafed variety to consider is the Red Iceton Croton.

To care for your croton, place it in a well-draining medium and ensure it receives bright sunlight.

Keep the room temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain a humidity level of 40 to 80 percent to prevent leaf drop.

12. Ti Plant

Colourful cordyline fruticosa or Ti plants foliage growing near wooden window and cream concrete wall.

The Ti plant, also known as Cordyline fruticosa, is an attractive garden plant with red leaves.

This tropical beauty, sometimes called Good Luck Plant, adds a pop of color to your garden.

Ti plants thrive under partial sun and shade and prefer well-draining soil. Water your Ti plant deeply when the top inch of the soil feels dry, and avoid using fluoridated water.

Benefits of Garden Plants with Red Leaves

Garden plants with red leaves are not only beautiful but also offer several benefits to your garden and home.

Here are some reasons why you should consider adding plants with red leaves to your garden:

Aesthetically Pleasing

Plants with red leaves add visual interest and depth to your garden. They provide a striking contrast to green foliage and can be used to create a dramatic effect. 

Low Maintenance

Many plants with red leaves are low maintenance and easy to care for. They require minimal watering and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. 

Attract Wildlife

Plants with red leaves can attract wildlife to your garden. Birds are particularly attracted to red berries, which are produced by some red-leaved plants, such as the Japanese barberry. 

Adding plants with red leaves to your garden can help to create a wildlife-friendly environment.

Plants with Red Leaves - The Missing Piece of Your Garden

A collage of plants with red leaves. 11 Plants With Red Leaves: Options To Add A Pop Of Color To Your Garden

Incorporating garden plants with red leaves into your landscape can create visually stunning effects. 

These vibrant hues add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your outdoor space. Different shades of red, from deep burgundy to fiery crimson, can complement various home decor styles.

Red-leaved plants can also be used to create a focal point in your garden or to draw attention to a specific area.

Consider adding some of these beautiful and beneficial plants to your garden today!

Here are more posts to enjoy:

Can You Root Japanese Maple Cuttings In Water?

What To Plant Under Maple Trees [Inc. Japanese Maple]


  1. I learned how to plant and grow( I guess I got my green thumb) I should say from my Nanny. I love plants and anything to give life..

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