Garden design and maintenance

18 garden shrubs with red leaves for beautiful garden design

Garden shrubs with red leaves corylus-avellana-purpurea-iris-germanica

With the beginning of spring it gets greener outside and the topic of garden design is becoming more and more important. Aside from blooming flowers, you can also use various shrubs to decorate your garden. Green is not the only color that nature can “paint” the leaves with. Garden shrubs with red leaves look unusual and always attract attention. In the following, we will introduce you to beautiful plant species that are characterized by their interesting red leaf discoloration and can therefore be found in many gardens. Create colored eye-catchers in the different beds.

Garden shrubs with red leaves are a real eye-catcher in the garden

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Iresines (Iresine Diffusa Brilliantissima) grow as climbing or upright shrubs and, depending on the species, can have smooth or hairy leaves. The plant is not hardy and must therefore be properly overwintered. Therefore it can best be used in the bucket or you can dig it up again at the end of the season. Alternatively, you can simply replace the plant with a new one next spring. Iresinen can be used to create great carpet beds, where they will come into their own in the midst of green or high-contrast blooming specimens.

Garden shrubs with red leaves look beautiful in all seasons

Garden shrubs with red leaves loropetalum-chinense-var-rubrum-chinese-fringe-flower

Loropetalum chinense var rubrum is a plant with dark red, hairy leaves and flowers in bright pink to pink. It blooms from February to March, whereby the flowers smell wonderfully and must be placed in a sunny or partially shaded place. The location of these garden shrubs with red leaves should also be protected from the wind and, above all, be safe from the first frost on the ground. Their sensitivity to frost requires a warm wintering location with between 8 and 12 degrees.

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Beautiful varieties of club lilies with a wonderful dark red color

Garden shrubs with red leaves cordyline-australis-cabbage-tree

Palm trees give your garden an exotic look and if they have such an unusual color, they quickly become a striking accent. The Cordyline Australis club lilies come from Australia. The location even in summer is not a problem – they can also thrive in full sun. But that also means regular and abundant watering, because the root ball should not only be well moistened. It should never dry out completely between the individual waterings. In addition, attention should be paid to waterlogging. The water must be able to drain well to prevent the roots from rotting. A warm place to overwinter with a temperature of at least 12 degrees should also be planned.

The beautiful dwarf blood plum adorns the garden

Garden shrubs with red leaves prunus-x-cistena-dwarf blood plum

The dark red, glossy leaves of the dwarf blood plum contrast nicely with the white small flowers in the flowering period, which usually lasts about 3 weeks in May. The botanical name of the plant is Prunus X Cistena. It can grow up to 2 meters high and needs plenty of sun, regular pruning and nutrient-rich soil. In addition, the shrub is also resistant to the cold. The flowers are by no means the only thing that impresses these garden shrubs with red leaves. In autumn, the plants delight the eye with just as red fruits that are even edible and tasty.

The South Sea myrtle stands out with its small pink flowers

Garden shrubs with red leaves leptospermum-scorparium-suedseemyrte

The South Sea Myrtle (Leptospermum Scorparium) is native to Australia and New Zealand and prefers bright locations without direct sunlight. It does not tolerate extreme cold and must be stored in rooms where the temperature does not fall below 3 ° C. You can enjoy the small pink flowers, which also exude a pleasant scent, from March to June. In the hot summer days, it should be watered abundantly. Otherwise it doesn’t need any special care. With a regular cut, you can keep the fast growing plant of any size and shape.

The wig bush blooms heavily in June and July

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The wig bush (cotinus) is a decorative bush that is extremely insensitive to heat and drought. It needs calcareous, loose and well-drained soil with a high pH value. It grows up to 2-3 meters high and is frost hardy, so that it does not need any special care in winter. The garden shrubs with red leaves can withstand cuts. However, these are not absolutely necessary, as the shrubs are characterized by uniform growth. It is best to plant this type of shrub so that the sunlight shines through the leaves from behind and its red colors are even more effective.

Elderberry brings a lot of health benefits and looks beautiful in the garden


The black elder (Sambucus nigra) is a species of plant that belongs to the genus elder (Sambucus). Some varieties such as “Black Lace” and Thundercloud “have beautiful dark red foliage and many flower umbels in pink nuances that smell wonderfully of lemon. The plant is very undemanding and thrives in any soil. It is best planted in autumn or spring. However, if you missed this season and don’t want to wait until autumn, any other period in between is suitable.

The leaves of the blood barberry change their colors with the seasons

garden shrubs-red-leaves-hardy-berberis-thunbergii-atropurpurea-nana-japanese-barberry

The blood barberry, up to 0.5 meters high, is perfect as a ground cover for smaller areas. The botanical name is Thunbergii Atropurpurea Nana. The plant forms small dark red leaves in spring that turn bright red in autumn. The small shrub feels best in a sunny or partially shaded spot and is hardy. The barberry is an equally undemanding shrub that even beginners can try. The flowering time is in May, when yellow inflorescences create a contrast with the leaves. In autumn the bright red berries appear, which provide color in the garden well into winter.

Garden shrubs with red leaves – the miracle tree

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The botanical name of the miracle tree – Ricinus Communis – comes from the Latin word for tick. Other names the plant is known by are dog tree, lice tree, and cross tree. The wonder tree, which comes from North Africa, likes a lot of sun and grows very quickly. In winter it needs a bright, humid place where the temperatures do not fall below 10 ° C. Hardy species die off above ground, but grow back again in spring. It is important to know that the seeds are poisonous. Keep this in mind if you have children.

Garden shrubs with red leaves – Black beech (Fagus sylvatica Purpurea Pendula)


The black and red beech (Fagus sylvatica Purpurea Pendula) is an attractive variety of the red beech. It is characterized by glossy, dark red foliage, thrives best in a sunny location and has no other special requirements. The bushy look attracts everyone in the garden and can either be used as a background in a bed or, as here, as a single plant in the middle of the garden. With a regular cut, you can also shape these garden shrubs with red leaves nicely and keep them in check in terms of size.

Lambert’s rabbit (Corylus avellana purpurea)


The Lambert’s Hazel (Corylus Avellana Purpurea) is a medium-high shrub that can reach a height of 2-3 meters. It is very similar to the common hazel – only the leaves are dark red. Soil rich in nutrients is required, while a location in the sun is preferable. The nuts are small, round, and edible when they ripen in the fall. Usually the moisture brought by the rain is enough for the plant. In the case of longer dry periods in hot summer, however, additional watering can be used. Otherwise nothing special needs to be considered with these garden shrubs with red leaves. Whether in the middle of the green bed or in combination with other red-leaved shrubs, the hazel bush definitely creates a wonderful accent in your outdoor area.

 Create beautiful beds with Weigela Florida “Midnight Wine”

garden bushes-red-leaves-midnight-wine-purple-weigela-florida

You can often see the lovely weigela in the gardens as it is a great ornamental shrub. Some varieties like “Midnight Wine” have beautiful dark red leaves and small pink flowers that show from April to June. The plant originally comes from China and Japan, grows at heights of up to 2 meters and is frost hardy. Choose a sunny or at least partially shaded location, as well as fresh, nutrient-rich soil that is permeable to avoid waterlogging. Irrigation can be done sparingly, but care must be taken that there are no longer periods of drought, because the plant cannot tolerate these. You don’t get the shadow at all either.

The narrow-leaved sticky seed, variety “Tom Thumb” can be converted into a hedge

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The narrow-leaved sticky seed (Pittosporum tenuifolium) is a decorative, evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.5 meters high. It should be watered regularly and fertilized with special container plant fertilizer every two weeks from April to September. The narrow-leaved sticky seed is only partially frost-hardy – it can withstand temperatures down to -5 ° C. Because of this, it depends on the region whether the plant can be planted in the garden. Otherwise a partial shade or a sunny location is preferable. Short dry periods are harmless.

The blood plum is a striking tree with red leaves

tree with red leaves prunus cerasifera cherry plum

The blood plum (Prunus Cerasifera Nigra) belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae). Their original home is in the Balkans, Asia Minor and Central Asia. The low tree or shrub bears small edible fruits and is hardy.

Sweet little flowers and dark red leaves of the snowball-leaved bubble spar

garden bushes-red-leaves-purple-ninebark

The snowball-leaved bladder sparrow (Physocarpus opulifolius) is an upright shrub up to 3 meters high, which is still very soil-tolerant, wind-resistant and frost-hardy. The “Diabolo” variety has dark red to brown leaves and white flowers that contrast nicely. The plant prefers shade and should not be cut too heavily.

The Japanese maple is a must-have for all admirers of garden shrubs with red leaves


The varieties Acer palmatum, Acer japonicum and Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’ can be assigned to the Japanese maples. All of these are among the most popular garden plants because of the fine shape and bright colors of the leaves. The maple rarely needs to be cut and watered regularly in summer.

Sage Purpurascens has leaves with green-red shades

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Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’, also called red sage, stands out because of its aromatic, two-colored leaves. Their color ranges from brown-purple to gray-green, with the youngest leaves being particularly strongly discolored. The purple-blue flowers appear in summer.

Vinegar tree (Rhus typhina)

Tree with red leaves in autumn Vinegar tree or Deer cobumach Rhus typhina

Staghorn sumach is a small tree or large bush whose fern-like leaves turn bright crimson in October. The ornamental tree also forms very interesting, fine-haired inflorescences in early summer.

Red dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)

Bush with red leaves Red dogwood Cornus sanguinea

The red dogwood is a thicket-like large shrub with light green leaves that turn scarlet in autumn. It forms creamy white flowers from May to June.