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

Are you tired of the same old greenery in your garden? Why not add a pop of color with plants that have red leaves?

Not only will they add a bold and striking contrast to your garden, but they'll also make a statement that's hard to miss.

From deep burgundy to bright crimson, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this article, we've compiled a list of 11 garden plants with red leaves that will make your garden stand out.

Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these plants are sure to make a beautiful addition to your outdoor space.

So, why settle for a dull and uninspiring garden when you can easily add some vibrancy with these stunning red-leaved plants?

Let's dive into our list and discover which ones will work best for you.

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

1. Japanese Maple

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

There are countless varieties to choose from, each offering unique characteristics and colors.

For instance, the 'Bloodgood' cultivar is a popular choice, with reddish-purple leaves that tend to turn greener in full sun.

Acer palmatum Bloodgood tree in autumn

It grows up to 20 feet high, making it suitable for patio landscaping. 

Another option is the 'Red Dragon' which has delicate, deeply dissected red foliage throughout the growing season.

Get this Bloodgood Japanese maple on Amazon.

2. Coleus

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

Coleus plants are known for their vibrant and colorful foliage. They come in a wide variety of red shades, making them a perfect addition to your garden. 

Brilliancy is a stunning option for semi-shade areas, showcasing bright red leaves with green scalloped edges.

Feeling bold? Kong Rose has a large green margin with burgundy veins and a magenta center, sometimes with white patches depending on sun conditions.

When planting coleus, remember they thrive in well-drained soil and can grow in both shade and sun.

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 beautiful plants known for their vibrant foliage and delicate, bell-shaped flowers. Add some to your garden to create an eye-catching display. 

One variety to consider is the heuchera 'Forever Red', offering ultra-red ruffled leaves and white flowers in late summer to early fall.

Another option, the heuchera 'Red Lightning', showcases golden chartreuse leaves with striking dark red veins.

This variety exhibits its remarkable color throughout the growing season.

Remember, when planting coral bells, choose a spot with partial shade and well-draining soil to get the best results.

These plants will not only add stunning red hues to your garden, but they'll also attract hummingbirds and butterflies, making your space more lively and vibrant.

You can get coral bell seeds on Amazon.

4. Polka Dot Plant

Ornamental leaf plant called Polka Dot plant (HYPOESTES PHYLLOSTACHYA)

Polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is a wonderful addition to your garden if you're looking for plants with red leaves.

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 an ideal choice for busy gardeners.

They can be grown indoors or outdoors and typically reach heights between 6 to 18 inches.

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

Caladiums are beautiful garden plants with red leaves, perfect for adding a splash of color to your yard.

These tropical plants feature heart-shaped leaves with stunning patterns and colors.

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

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.

To grow healthy caladiums, plant them in well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

You can create eye-catching caladium arrangements by planting at least three of them together, or more if space allows. Space them approximately 10 inches apart for a visually pleasing display.

Get your Florida Sweetheart on Amazon.

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 transform into stunning shades of red, orange, purple, and yellow during fall, adding vibrant colors to your garden. 

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

This plant also features sharp thorns and red oblong berries, which last well into the colder months.

Incorporating Japanese barberry into your garden will create a beautiful contrast with other plants. For example, you could pair it with greens, silvers, or gold-leaved plants to create a visually compelling display. 

You can plant a Japanese barberry during fall, late winter, or after its flowering period in spring.

You’ll need a well-drained soil and ensure it receives full sun or partial shade. However, be aware of its invasive nature and take necessary measures to control its growth.

7. Diablo Ninebark

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

Physocarpus opulifolius, commonly called common ninebark

This multi-stemmed shrub can grow from 4 to 8 feet tall, and up to 8 feet wide. It's 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 has excellent resistance to insects and diseases.

Get your red Ninebark starter plant on Amazon.

8. Photinia Fraseri Red Robin

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. 

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

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

To successfully grow Red Robin, plant it in a sunny position with at least half a day of direct sunlight.

It is 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

Aglaonema plants, also known as Chinese evergreen, feature vibrant red or pink leaves and are native to southeast Asia. 

These colorful plants make a stunning addition to your garden, especially with their strikingly patterned leaves.

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

A popular variety is Aglaonema siam aurora. This plant has pointy leaves with green centers and red edges. It's an eye-catching addition to your garden.

As a plant owner, you'll appreciate their tolerance for both moist and dry conditions.

They thrive in low light, making them a perfect choice for gardens with less-than-ideal light exposure.

11. Croton

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. 

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

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.

Get your first Croton on Amazon.

12. Ti Plant

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

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

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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