8 Shrubs That Have Red Leaves All Year

Spiraea Double Play Big Bang

Last Updated on January 27, 2022

Red is a beautiful and vibrant color that makes any plant seem tropical and unique – almost ‘out of this world’. Typical green plants can become boring, and let’s face it red plants are certainly more fun. They are more interesting to look at and bring a different aura to your garden.

They bring a brightness to your garden that simply isn’t there with the usual green shrubs and you find yourself looking forward to Fall when the leaves start turning shades of red, dreaming that this is what they’d look like year-round. Well, what if I were to tell you that you can have red shrubs all year round?

Of course, some shrubs are seasonal and will only flower during certain periods of the year, however, some plants exist that stay the same bright and vibrant red year long. So, let’s get into it…

Spiraea Double Play Big Bang

8 Shrubs That Have Red Leaves All Year 1

Although a mouthful to say, this shrub is one of the most beautiful. Throughout the year the leaves will turn from shades of red, orange, and yellow creating a warmness to your garden. If you are a fan of all the Fall colors then you will love this plant. It would be like having Fall in your garden all year long.

There are a variety of Spiraea shrubs, each of them looking slightly different and having differing characteristics. In the Summertime, these shrubs will grow small pink blooms, adding another shade to your garden. Spiraea shrubs are also known as meadowsweets.

The best zones to plant your shrubs are USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8, for the greatest chance of growth. Speaking of growth, how big do they get? It all depends on where they are placed and how they are treated, but generally speaking, they grow between 2 to 3 feet tall, and in width.

This shrub loves the sun, so for maximum growth plant them in an area that reaches sunlight often, in well-draining soils.

Red Majestic

Red Majestic

The Red Majestic shrub is unique because its branches always tend to grow whimsically and magically – twisting in and out of one another. Not only do the branches have a habit of that, but the leaves are large and have a crinkly texture, making them unique from any other leaf.

The color of this shrub is burgundy-red, from the deepest shades to the lightest. This plant does well in soil that is well-draining, and slightly alkaline – although it can cope in most other types of soil as well. This shrub typically grows in height and width up to 7 feet and needs partial to full exposure to the sun.

This plant should be grown in USDA hardiness levels 3 through 9, meaning there are many suitable places where this shrub can grow. It is a gorgeous and unique shrub that has lots of character. 

Smokebush

Smokebush

This showstopping plant generates purple-red tones, with plum-colored to the lavender shade leaves all year round. This is a very large shrub that adds a lot of texture and uniqueness to any landscape. The ovate leaves of this plant will be either purple or green depending on the cultivar you pick, both providing another beautiful color to add definition to your garden.

One thing to consider with this shrub however is how big it is. The Smokebush can grow to 10 or even 15 feet tall and wide! It will be the center of attention to any landscape. This shrub grows in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9, meaning that there are a lot of opportunities and places where this plant can grow.

It is a very durable plant that requires full sun exposure, however is very tolerant to droughts. Alongside this it can tolerate most types of soil, making it one of the less fussy shrubs on this list. 

Japanese Barberry Seeds

Japanese Barberry Seeds

This year long shrub with red and purple foliage will look great in your garden to add a burst of warm-toned colors. The leaves turn from shades of reds to purple hues and in the Springtime flower beautiful yellow buds. This is a perfect shrub to introduce color into your landscape, especially if you are drawn more towards purplish red.

One thing to watch out for though with this shrub, are the thorns it grows in the Spring while it flowers! But hey, what can you do, a shrub has to protect itself right? This plant grows at an average pace and will grow in length and width up to 4 feet.

It needs well-draining soil that in the first year of its life needs plenty of watering and hydration. As the seasons progress, you do not need to water it as frequently as you did in the beginning. This plant also requires a lot of sunlight to grow to its optimum capability.

This shrub should be grown in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8. Berberis Thunbergii is its botanical name if you want to be scientific. 

Diablo Ninebark

Diablo Ninebark

The elongated leaves of the Diablo Ninebark make it a unique and interesting addition to any landscape. Purplish-red in color, the leaves have a very distinct look to them, providing a difference in texture. The bark of this tree is also a shade of red and peels back revealing the different shades beneath it.

It is a truly remarkable and unique plant to have, which also produces small white flowers during the Spring season. Not only are the leaves interesting but so are the bark and the flowers of the plant, making it a beautifully different plant that will stand out against many other shrubs in your garden.

The Diablo Ninebark grows in height and width between 8 and 10 feet, putting it on a larger scale of shrubbery. For best results when trying to grow this beautiful plant, grow it in USDA hardiness levels 3 through 7 in well-draining soil. This plant needs a fair amount of water and attention, as well as exposure to sunlight.

The best type of soil for this plant to excel in is some that are slightly acidic. Interestingly, this shrub is related to the Spiraea family of shrubs we have previously mentioned!

Burgandy Loropetalum

Burgandy Loropetalum

This is one of the more vibrant in color shrubs that last year. As we’ve mentioned, some of these red shrubs do change colors slightly throughout the year, but not this plant! The purple and red leaves of this plant stay year round, with bright and beautiful pink flowers blooming in the Spring.

This shrub has also been known as the Chinese Fringe Flower due to the fringe-like petals of the pink flowers that bloom. This shrub usually grows 4 feet in width and between 4 and 5 feet in height. This plant needs to be planted in full to partial sun because this variety of shrubs typically grows and performs better with some shade.

Although they need to be watered regularly, they should not ever be overwatered as that can be damaging for them. This plant can be shaped and the leaves change from different shades of red and purple during the year. This is also a shrub that should be fertilized three times a year for its healthcare. 

Red Tip Photinia

Red Tip Photinia

Although this shrub eventually matures to shades of green, it will always have speckles of red dotted on its leaves. This is because when the first grow in they are a vibrant red, and ensure you always have red leaves you can force new growth by frequently trimming the ends of shoots.

This is the perfect shrub to create hedges with as they grow to a whopping 12 to 18 feet in both height and length, meaning it is perfect for privacy! Not only does this shrub produce colors of green and red, but also small cream and white flowers during the Spring season.

This plant needs to be grown in USDA hardiness levels 6 through 9 and in a location that receives partial sunlight. You should always avoid wetting the leaves of this plant when watering and instead just water the soil it is growing in, which needs to be well-draining. 

Purple Leaf Sand Cherry

Purple Leaf Sand Cherry

This little shrub is a member of the rose bush species, so you just know that it is going to be beautiful. It is also known as a Plum Leaf Sand Cherry, because the purplish tones of the leaves are reminiscent of the color of a plum. It is a medium-sized shrub that can grow up to 8 feet when fully matured, and that is in both its height and its width.

The leaves and foliage of this shrub are tones of purple, red, brown, and maroon. In the Spring, like a lot of the other shrubs we have mentioned, it produces pretty whitish-pink blooms. USDA hardiness zones 2 through 8 are most ideal for this plant to grow and thrive in.

It needs moist, well-draining soil and partial to full sunlight to reach its fullest potential. It is a truly wonderful shrub that has the most beautiful blossoming flowers that will look spectacular in any landscape.

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