In a sea of green, red leaved plants shine. One of the easiest ways to add visual interest and excitement to a space filled with greenery is to find a way to add a pop of color.
It’s no wonder that many landscapers and homeowners seek out trees or shrubs that offer vibrant red leaves all year round to add to their garden or outdoor spaces. Below, you’ll find 13 unique trees and shrubs full of leaves that give off bold red hues all season long.
13 Shrubs With Red Leaves All Year
1. Ninebark Diablo
The Ninebark Diablo offers unique textured bark, stunning creamy-white flowers, and red foliage making it a top choice for gardeners and landscapers. The tree can be grown in USDA zones 3-7 which covers a majority of the mainland United States.
With a maximum height of 10 feet and a spread to match, the Ninebark Diablo tree can be grown in most yard spaces. The tree has textured bark that keeps your landscape design interesting even when the burgundy leaves have fallen from the tree.
Ninebark Diablo trees can be grown in full or partial sun. If you are growing in an area with hot summer months, try to grow your tree in morning sun and afternoon shade to help protect the leaves from sun damage.
2. Japanese Maple Bloodgood
The Japanese Maple Bloodgood tree makes the perfect addition to any homeowner’s garden space. The tree boasts stunning red leaves all season long. However, the color for the red changes with the seasons. Beginning as orange-red in spring, bronze-red in summer, and settling to a deep purple-red by fall.
The tree grows up to 15 feet in height with a spread of 12-15 feet wide. Its small size makes it a great addition to almost any garden or outdoor space and can be grown in USDA zones 5-9. The Japanese Maple Bloodgood prefers to be grown in partial shade.
3. Ninebark Tiny Wine
Grown in USDA zones 3-8, the Ninebark Tiny Wine is the perfect tree for almost any gardener wanting to add color to their yard space this year. The shrub grows to a maximum height of 4 feet with a spread of 3-4 feet and prefers to be grown in full sun.
The Ninebark Tiny Wine is pest resistant and disease resistant, making it attractive to many homeowners, landscapers, and gardeners. The ninebark tiny wine produces springtime cluster flowers in reddish white against maroon colored leaves that it will keep all season long. The bark of the tree has a unique effect to it, making the tree a standout even in the winter months.
Heuchera plants, also known as Coral Bells, come in a variety of colors. While almost all varieties offer some reddish hues, Forever Red, Berry Smoothie, Caramel, and Red Lightning have vivid crimson or red hues sure to light up your garden space.
Grown in USDA zones 4-9, Coral Bells are a popular choice for landscapers and homeowners. The plant and its vibrant colors last all season, even through the winter. Coral Bells are slightly taller than other low growing plants, growing to be between 12-18 inches at maturity.
They can be grown in full sun or partial shade, just be sure to offer sun protection if you notice their leaves are getting burnt or if the plant seems droopy during the hottest parts of the day.
5. Ajuga Black Scallop
Also called Bugleweed, Ajuga Black Scallop shrubs can be a great addition to any garden in the USDA zones 4-9. While other types of shrubs offer more vibrant red colored leaves, the black scallop gets its name from its deep maroon leaves that are almost black.
Nevertheless, the Ajuga Black Scallop shrub offers stunning contrast when deep-lavender flowers pop against the nearly black leaves in the springtime. With a height between 4-6 feet and a 3 foot spread at maturity, the ajuga black scallop looks beautiful in any garden or outdoor space. The shrub only requires partial sun to thrive.
6. Japanese Maple Inaba Shidare
With a maximum height of 15 feet, the Japanese Maple Inaba Shidare tree makes a unique addition to any garden or yard space. The shrub displays bold ruby-red leaves that get more vivid throughout the season. By autumn, the weeping style tree turns blazing crimson in color.
The Japanese Maple Inaba Shidare grows in USDA zones 5-9. Be sure to plant it in partial to full sun for the most vivid colors. If you live in areas with hotter summers, planting the tree in part shade will help protect it from the harsh sun. The darker color of the leaves draws more heat than green leaves.
7. Smokebush ‘Velveteeny’
Another small shrub that can add a big impact to your outdoor or garden space is the Smokebush ‘Velveteeny’. The shrub maxes out at a height of 4 feet and a width of 3-4 feet, unlike the royal purple tree. The royal purple is the big brother of the smaller Smokebush ‘Velveteeny’, offering the big bold colors and flowers in a much smaller package.
The Smokebush ‘Velveteeny’ has deep maroon leaves and grows fluffy dove gray and pink flowers in the summer. As the season continues, the leaves begin to fade to a bright scarlet red.
The Smokebush ‘Velveteeny’ can be grown in USDA zones 4-8 and can tolerate light shade. However, the more sun the tree receives, the more vibrant the colors will be of both the foliage and the flowers.
8. Panicle Hydrangea Quick Fire
For those who want a hydrangea with a little extra vibrance, the Panicle Hydrangea Quick Fire may be perfect for you. The plant produces pure white clusters of flowers that sit on large leaves with deep red veining throughout.
Grown in USDA zones 4-8, the Quick Fire blooms earlier than most other hydrangea types. It reaches a mature height and width of 6-8 feet, making it a large shrub. Be sure you have the space for the plant to reach its mature size.
Luckily, the Panicle Hydrangea Quick Fire has a little brother named Little Quick Fire. This shrub offers the same beauty as the Quick Fire but on a much smaller scale. The Little Quick Fire only grows to about 3 feet in width and height at maturity.
9. Little Miss Maiden Grass
Sometimes, adding pops of red color to your outdoor space requires more than just a tree or shrub.
Grown in USDA zones 5-9, the Little Miss Maiden Grass is a great option for those who are looking for a unique way to add color to their garden space. Unlike a shrub or tree, Little Miss will add movement and visual interest. The plant also takes less space.
The grass prefers full sun and will only grow 2-3 feet in height. The foliage appears in the early part of the spring season. Little Miss will go from ruby to scarlet to an intense purple as the seasons change.
10. Fairy Wing ‘After Midnight’
More commonly known as Fairy Wing, this particular type of Barrenwort is named After Midnight thanks to its stunning chocolate brown and green leaves that seem to be edged in bronze paint. The plant blooms clusters of tiny white flowers that sit on cherry red stems.
Many gardeners like to grow this low-growing shrub near walkways or shady areas between plants as they create the perfect backdrop for other flowers and flowering shrubs.
After Midnight can be grown in USDA zones 5-9 and only grow to be about a foot tall and a foot wide at maturity.
11. Spiraea Double Play Big Bang
Spiraea Double Play Big Bang, also called Meadowsweets, is a stunning flowering shrub with uniquely colored foliage. Thriving in full sun and in USDA zones 3-8, this shrub shows off with leaves that change from red to orange to yellow as the seasons change.
Meadowsweets is a smaller shrub, only growing to 2-3 feet at maturity, but it packs a big design punch. Small pink flowers blossom in the summer, adding another layer of color to your garden or yard space.
12. Pure White Black Diamond Crape Myrtle
Perhaps one of the most commonly grown trees in North America is the crape myrtle. Crape myrtles are loved for their stunning flowers that present each spring.
For the Pure White Black Diamond Crape Myrtle, the pristine white blooms offer a great contrast against its deep red foliage. The best part is, the flowers are produced spring through summer, offering plenty of time to enjoy this beautiful tree with red leaves.
Grow your Pure White Black Diamond Crape Myrtle in full sun to ensure the most vivid red leaf colors throughout the growing season. The shrub can be grown in USDA zones 5-9.
13. Penstemon ‘Onyx & Pearls’
A long lying perennial with tall spikes of white flowers, Penstemon ‘Onyx and Pearls’ is a shrub that truly exudes beauty.
Grown in USDA zones 3-8 in full sun, the shrub only reaches a maximum height of 3.5 feet. But its small stature doesn’t take away from its striking deep burgundy foliage, especially when the springtime white flowers bloom.
Penstemon “Onyx and Pearls” is also deer resistant, making it the perfect addition to border beds and barriers. Pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are all drawn to the plant and many gardeners like to include it near their gardens.