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7+ Shrubs With Red Leaves All Year (+ Our Red Leaf Deciduous Shrubs Guide!)

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If you wish to add a real showstopper to your garden, evergreen shrubs with red leaves all year will do the trick. Whether you’re looking for something that can withstand cooler temperatures or just a striking pop of color, it can be tricky knowing which shrubs to plant.

So – let’s explore some of the best evergreen shrubs with red leaves that won’t fade away before you get a chance to enjoy them. We’ll also discuss a handful of the most breathtaking deciduous shrubs with red leaves for part of the year. Hopefully, you’ll find one (or a few) that you enjoy.

Heuchera coral bells growing with lovely red foliage.

Sound good?

Then let’s begin!

7+ Evergreen Shrubs With Reddish Leaves All Year!

Have you ever been out walking and noticed a shrub with red leaves – even during winter? Perhaps you’ve seen it in your garden or at the park. You stand there, mesmerized by its beauty, but you can’t help but wonder what type of shrub it is. Well, if that’s been your experience, then don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Here are several gorgeous evergreen shrubs with reddish leaves that look spectacular in any garden, walkway, or front yard.

(And you may recognize a few of them as old-time or new favorites.)

Let’s look closer!

1. Heuchera

brown heuchera growing in a summer garden alongside a lovely homestead
Don’t overlook perennial Heuchera shrubs if you want red leaves all year. Here’s why! We’ve found that some Heuchera cultivars (such as Southern Comfort Coral Bells) are evergreen in warm climates. We’ve also read that hundreds of Heuchera cultivars exist – with lovely new cultivars invented yearly. So whether you want brown, burgundy, purple, or orange leaves, we bet there’s a Heuchera cultivar that can help. Some Heuchera plant leaves may change color gradually as they age.

These evergreen perennials are well known for their beautiful foliage, which ranges from deep purple to bright red to yellow-golden tones. Heucheras are easy to grow and require minimal maintenance. But ensure they get planted in rich soil with good drainage and plenty of sunlight or light shade.

They can tolerate cold winters as long as they get protected from frost damage, so they’re great for colder climates (USDA Hardiness Zones 4-10). Heucheras generally grow between 12 inches and 18 inches high, although some larger varieties can reach heights of up to 3 feet!

2. Fringe Flower

fringe flower growing in the garden with dark purple red and maroon foliage
Want red leaves all year? Start here! It’s one of the only true evergreen shrubs we could find with dark red to maroon leaves. The Chinese Fringe Flower! The Chinese Fringe Flower grows new leaves in the spring sporting a ruby red color scheme. The leaves eventually turn a much darker burgundy color during the autumn. Some Fringe Flower cultivars have bright red coloring – such as Ever Red (Chang Nian Hong) or Red Diamond (Shang-Red).

If you’re looking for something different, consider this unique evergreen shrub that produces cascading clusters of fragrant yellow flowers from early summer through fall against dramatic bronze, olive green, or burgundy foliage. It reaches 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide when mature, preferring full sun or light shade with moist soil.

3. Red Tip Photinia

red tip photinia with red leaves growing in a beautiful spring garden
Red Tip Photinia is another breathtaking evergreen shrub with excellent red foliage. While the Red Tip Photinia is an evergreen, the leaves don’t stay red indefinitely. Instead, new leaves appear bright red. But the red leaves turn green after several weeks to a month. The good news is that red buds are often visible throughout the year. The consistent red foliage earns Red Tip Photinia a spot on our list, as it delivers gorgeous red foliage and bright colors throughout the seasons.

Red Tip Photinia is an evergreen shrub with glossy red, stunning foliage that can be trimmed into a hedge or left alone for an informal look. It grows shockingly fast! It’s perfect if you’re looking for something that won’t take forever to fill out. This shrub loves full sun but will do well in partial shade.

4. Burgundy Loropetalum

fringe flower or strap flower evergreen shrub growing with dark red foliage
Here’s another Fringe Flower cultivar. Burgundy Loropetalum is one of our favorite evergreen shrubs with red leaves all year! Here you see a Chinese Fringe Flower with to-die-for red to purple foliage that matures into a deep burgundy-green shade. As one of the few true evergreens that keeps red leaves all year, we think Burgundy Loropetalum deserves a top spot on our list.

This showstopper features brilliant pink flowers against rich burgundy foliage from late spring through summer before turning a deep mahogany color in wintertime! This hardy shrub can reach up to 10ft high by 10ft wide. You can also prune it back if needed. Ensure it gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day with moist yet well-drained soils for optimal growth.

5. Coral Bells Berry Smoothie

colorful coral bells heuchera leaves wet with raindrops in a perennial garden
Here’s one of our favorite evergreen Heuchera cultivars with purple, lavender, or burgundy leaves. It’s Berry Smoothie! It’s perfect for colorful winter gardens or homesteaders growing in cold climates. Berry Smoothie also has white flowers throughout the spring and summer. (And yes. Pollinators love them!)

This evergreen perennial has bright red foliage that adds waves of color all year round! This plant loves full sun or partial shade (USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9) and requires moist but well-drained soil. It reaches up to 1 foot tall with an equal spread – great for those with limited space.

6. Fairy Wing

red epimedium with red and green foliage growing abundantly
Let’s add another broadleaf evergreen groundcover crop with red leaves that last. Shall we? It’s Fairy Wing! Fairy Wing is also called Epimedium, and at least 70ish cultivars exist! Some of the Epimedium cultivars we’ve seen have red, maroon, copper, or green leaves. They’re also famous for tolerating shady growing conditions – making them perfect for slopes, walkways, gardens, and colorful interests around your homestead.

This evergreen shrub produces bright glossy green leaves that turn red when temperatures cool down (USDA Hardiness Zones 6-10). It’s best grown in full sun with moist but well-drained soils – too much moisture can lead to root rot.

7. Red Leaf Hibiscus

red leaf hibiscus with a beautiful red flower shining in the sunlight
The first things we noticed about Red Leaf Hibiscus are the lovely dark maroon stems and leaves. We read that Red Leaf Hibiscus is a photoperiod plant. In other words – it blossoms when the days get shorter. They produce gorgeous-looking flowers in November and December – making them one of our favorite cold-weather shrubs with red leaves. (We should note that Red Leaf Hibiscus, while technically a perennial, is also cold-sensitive and may not survive freezing temperatures.)

This stunning shrub boasts beautiful dark magenta blooms surrounded by bright red foliage all summer long (USDA Hardiness Zones 9–11).

8. Ajuga Black Scallop

ajuga shrub with dark red and green foliage
Black Scallop Ajuga is an excellent semi-evergreen perennial ground cover crop with striking dark maroon or burgundy to purple foliage. It’s famously compact and exhibits beautiful purple flowers during the spring that contrast beautifully with the dark red foliage. It’s flawless as a low-crawling groundcover if you want red leaves all year. (We also read that bees and hummingbirds love Ajuga shrubs. Perfect!)

This evergreen perennial is perfect for adding texture to your garden, as its dark green foliage intersperses with scalloped edges of deep purple-red. It grows up to 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide and prefers moist soil and partial shade.

Read More!

20 More Deciduous Shrubs With Lovely Red Foliage, Berries, and Flowers!

We couldn’t find many shrubs with consistent red leaves or flowers all year. Only a few qualify! But – we want to showcase a barrage of red, burgundy, and maroon leaves and blooms with varying blossoming times.

That way – you can enjoy crimson flowers and red leaves all year round!

Sound good?

Then here’s our list of red-leaved deciduous shrubs. And we’re starting with one of our all-time favorites!

1. Japanese Barberry

barberry shrub branch with fresh ripe berries colorful floral
Japanese Barberry trees are deciduous and have majestic-looking red or purple leaves in the fall and elegant-looking bright red fruit throughout summer and winter. It’s a popular landscape shrub because it looks beautiful and is easy to manage. Unfortunately, Japanese Barberry has a somewhat negative reputation among some gardeners for hosting ticks and being invasive.

This deciduous shrub grows up to 3 feet tall and wide and thrives in full-sun areas. It has small spines on the stems and red foliage all year long, making it an attractive accent plant for any garden. Japanese Barberry is hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and prefers moist but well-drained soil.

2. Smokebush

lovely red smokebush shrub with red leaves growing in the garden
Smokebush is a lovely-looking deciduous shrub perfect for walkways, pollinator gardens, or flower gardens. It sports a lovely pinkish-red floriferous blossom during spring and summer and then finishes with magnificent purple-to-red foliage in the fall. You may also notice that your smokebush turns a striking fire leaf color during the autumn. A sight worth seeing!

This deciduous shrub grows up to 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide with a rounded shape. The leaves are deep purple or red when they first emerge in spring, turning bronze or yellow during summer before fading to purple or red (again) in fall. Smokebush is hardy in USDA zones 4-9 and prefers moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil conditions.

4. Spiraea Double Play Big Bang

beautiful double play big bang shrubs growing in the garden
Double Play Big Bang is another lovely deciduous shrub with dark orange, yellow, or red foliage. North Carolina University’s JC Raulston Arboretum has our favorite photos of the Double Play Big Bang. Check out the dark orange to red colors! The leaves usually darken, and the pink flowers bloom well into late summer.

This deciduous shrub grows up to 4 feet tall and wide with an upright form. It has bright evergreen foliage that turns orange-red in fall, then white flowers from late spring to early summer. Spiraea Double Play Big Bang is hardy in USDA zones 5-8 and prefers moist, well-drained soil conditions.

5. Diabolo Ninebark

ninebark diabolo shrub growing in a rural cottage garden
Diabolo ninebark is a medium-sized deciduous shrub of about ten feet by ten feet with lovely reddish-purple foliage for much of the season. Diabolo ninebark also has showy red fruit that lasts well into late fall. We love the varying shades of magenta, pink, red, and maroon.

This deciduous shrub grows up to 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide with an upright form. It has glossy dark green foliage throughout the growing season that turns reddish purple in fall. We also adore the white flowers from late spring to mid-summer. Diabolo Ninebark is hardy in USDA zones 3-7. It can tolerate a wide range of conditions, provided that it grows in well-draining soil.

6. Crape Myrtle Black Diamond

lovely crape myrtle shrub with breathtaking dark red foliage
Crape myrtle (black diamond) is one of our favorite deciduous tree cultivars for landscaping, hedges, front yards, or gardens. They have breathtaking red-to-pink flowers in the summer and orange-to-red foliage during fall. Crape myrtle is also an ideal landscape shrub as it’s easy to grow, and some cultivars (like Cherokee and Acoma) only reach ten feet tall.

This deciduous shrub grows up to 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide with a rounded form. It has bright green foliage throughout the growing season that turns a stunning orange-red hue in fall and white flowers from late spring through early summer. Crape Myrtle Black Diamond is hardy in USDA zones 6–10 and prefers moist but well-drained soil conditions.

7. Japanese Maple Bloodgood

magnificent looking deep reddish purple bloodgood maple tree
Japanese Maple Bloodgood is a lovely deciduous shrub with breathtakingly deep red leaves throughout the summer. It’s one of our recommended shrubs if you want red leaves all year because it offers beautiful red shades during the warm weather when many other deciduous shrubs only turn red during the fall and winter. Unfortunately, the Japanese Maple Bloodgood may turn a bronze color and lose its crimson luster during the autumn.

Another popular option is the Japanese Maple Bloodgood. This small tree grows best in zones 5-8, with a height of 10-15 feet and a width of 8-20 feet, depending on how you prune it. It prefers moist but well-drained soil and can tolerate full sun and partial shade. Its bright red foliage pairs beautifully with its unique shape and texture, making it an eye-catching addition to any landscape design.

8. Smokebush Velveteeny or Royal Purple

royal purple smokebush with beautiful dark purple or red foliage
We love Smokebush Royal Purple! It’s a deciduous shrub with lovely lavender-looking flowers throughout much of the spring and summer. Royal Purple Smokebush also showcases breathtaking foliage colors during autumn with showy red or burgundy leaves. (The fall leaves may also appear orange to yellow.)

Another choice for those seeking reddish leaves is Smokebush ‘Velvetteeny’ or ‘Royal Purple.’ This bush does best in zones 4-7 with heights ranging from 6-10 feet and spreads from 4-6 feet wide. It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade, especially during hot summers. Smokebushes are known for their vibrant purple foliage, which turns red in the fall months when temperatures begin dropping.

9. Japanese Maple Inaba Shidare

lovely inaba shidare maple tree with reddish foliage
Inaba Shidare is one of our favorite deciduous Japanese maple cultivars! It’s perfect if you want red leaves all year round because it has showy red leaves throughout the summer and fall seasons. It’s also a compact shrub or tree and only reaches about ten feet high. (They’re also slow growers, and you may find they’re more expensive to buy than other shrubs on this list.)

This ornamental tree has deeply cut red-purple foliage that makes a stunning display throughout the year. It’s slow-growing, reaching 8-12 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide, and it does best in full sun or partial shade with moist soil.

10. Ninebark Tiny Wine

tiny wine shrub in a summer garden with lovely maroon and one of the shrubs with red leaves almost all year round.
Ninebark Tiny Wine is a lovely deciduous hedge shrub, border crop, or garden cultivar with deep purple to maroon leaves. It only grows three to four feet high and wide – so it’s perfect as a hedge or garden border crop.

This deciduous variety only reaches 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide but has a massive impact thanks to its deep burgundy-maroon leaves that stand out against other plants in the garden. It prefers full sun but can tolerate shade. It also likes well-drained soil.

11. Black Lace Elderberry Plant

black elderberry with lovely dark maroon leaves on a bright sunny summer day
Here you see the dark-maroon leaves of the Black Lace Elderberry plant. It’s a dark-leaved deciduous shrub that reaches around six to eight feet high. It won’t provide bright red leaves all year, but it showcases lovely interest throughout several seasons. In the summer, Black Lace Elderberry plants produce beautiful pink flowers and dark-red fruit that wildlife loves to eat.

If you’re looking for an eye-catching shrub that provides seasonal interest, this is the one for you! The lacy foliage emerges bright red in spring before turning dark purple in summer and scarlet in fall. It reaches 6-8 feet tall and 5-7 feet wide. It prefers full sun to partial shade and moist soil.

12. Wine & Roses Weigela

wine and roses weigela branch with reddish green leaves and bright pink flowers
Here you see a lovely specimen for red leaf gardens. The Wine & Roses Weigela! It’s a deciduous shrub reaching about four to five feet tall. Wine & Roses shrubs also grow excellent-looking pink flowers and leaves that appear dark burgundy to purple.

This popular flowering shrub produces bright pink flowers against deep purple foliage from late spring through summer. It grows 3-5 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide and likes full sun or partial shade with well-drained soil.

13. Dart’s Gold Ninebark

colorful yellow leaved ninebark growing in the summer garden
Dart’s Gold Ninebark is a deciduous shrub, unlike most others. The leaves start yellow in the summer. Then, their leaves turn a distinct lime green in the late summer. In the fall, they begin to fade and turn dark orange to yellow again! We admit that Dart’s Gold Ninebark doesn’t have the best case for inclusion in this list of red-leafed shrubs. However, you may find their bright and colorful orange fall foliage perfect for any homestead, garden, or yard. (Their leaves arguably turn orange to reddish in the fall.) Don’t discount them!

Another evergreen option with reddish leaves is this compact and popular variety which only grows 2–3 ft high by 2–3 ft wide, making it ideal for small gardens where space is limited. The golden foliage turns coppery red in cold weather, so it’s an excellent choice for winter interest. It enjoys full sun or light shade with well-drained soil.

14. Purple Leaf Sand Cherry

purple leaf sand cherry with beautiful foliage and blooms
Purple Leaf Sand Cherry is one of our favorite deciduous shrubs for privacy screens, garden accenting, and garden bird housing! It produces elegant-looking pink flowers in the spring with dark maroon leaves for much of the summer. Unfortunately, we’ve read from several reliable sources that Purple Leaf Sand Cherry can be a short-lived plant because it attracts leafhoppers, Japanese beetles, aphids, caterpillars, and other nasty plant pests.

Purple Leaf Sand Cherry might be the one for you if you want something more unique. This small deciduous shrub has purple-red foliage and produces edible red cherries in the summertime. It’s easy to grow and only reaches about 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide at maturity. Plant it in full sun for best results.

15. Sutherland Gold Elderberry

red elder shrubs growing in a springtime woodland with young leaves budding
Sutherland Gold Elderberry is a deciduous shrub that doesn’t have the most prominently-red leaves on this list. However, we included it because their leaves may appear bronze, gold, or reddish as they emerge in spring. The bronze hue is shortlived, as the foliage turns lime-green during summer. You may also notice that Sutherland Gold leaves appear fern-like, heavily cut, or incised. (We also love the light maroon leaf bud colors!)

‘Sutherland Gold’ Elderberry is another colorful option with its bright yellow-green leaves tipped in red and burgundy during the growing season. This fast-growing shrub is tolerant of wet soils and drought conditions, making it perfect for many gardeners. It matures at 6-8 feet tall and can handle full sun or partial shade conditions quite nicely.

16. Penstemon Onyx and Pearls

foxglove beardtongue growing and blooming during spring
Onyx and Pearls (Beardtongue) is a lovely perennial shrub with dark maroon foliage and light pink flowers. Onyx and Pearls refer to the plant’s dark foliage (onyx) and light-looking flowers (pearls). It also attracts honeybees and hummingbirds, so we advise growing it whether you want red leaves or not!

This evergreen sub-shrub has beautiful dark purple foliage and white flowers in the spring. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a hardy plant that can handle full sun or partial shade. Penstemon ‘Onyx and Pearls’ is best grown in USDA hardiness zones 5-9 and should cultivate in well-drained soil that is slightly acidic or neutral. It grows up to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide, making it perfect for small gardens.

17. Panicle Hydrangea – Quick Fire

hydrangea paniculata growing in a beautiful autumn garden
We admit Panicle Hydrangeas aren’t exactly red. However, they are abundant woody shrubs with lovely pink blooms. They’re famous for staying active throughout the entire summer. We’ve also read not to prune your Panicle buds too severely until late winter. If you’re dead set on cultivating red Hydrangea flowers, consider other Panicle Hydrangea cultivars such as Vanilla Strawberry or Invincibelle Ruby. Both grow lovely red flowers.

With its striking pink blooms on dark red stems, this deciduous shrub is sure to be a showstopper in any garden. Panicle Hydrangea ‘Quick Fire’ prefers full sun or part shade, so make sure it gets planted somewhere that gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day (USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8).

This shrub grows up to 8 feet tall with an equal spread, so make sure you have enough space before planting! As far as soil type goes, it needs moist but well-drained conditions – too much water will cause root rot.

18. Little Miss Maiden Grass

colorful ornamental grass growing in the autumn
Little Miss Maiden Grass is one of many Maiden Grass cultivars with lovely reddish foliage in the fall. Various Maiden Grass cultivars exist, and we’ve found sources listing them as high as 20. Maiden Grass is also a famous deciduous perennial that returns each year.

This grass has delicate pink flowering spikes that turn deep red in autumn when temperatures start cooling off (USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9). Plant this grass in partial shade or full sun on well-drained soils. It likes a lot of moisture during summer but doesn’t need much fertilizer throughout the rest of the year.

19. Purple Beech

purple beech tree showing off lovely maroon and deep purple springtime foliage. No shrub with red leaves all year, but stunning nonetheless!
Purple Beech is an elegant yet powerful deciduous tree that can reach up to 80 feet tall. The leaves are usually a lovely lavender to maroon color with hints of dark orange to bright red in the autumn.

This tree has large glossy purple foliage, which turns deep scarlet during autumn before falling off for winter (USDA Hardiness Zones 5–10). Plant this tree somewhere sunny, where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. It needs moist but well-drained soils. So make sure you add plenty of compost when planting!

Final Thoughts

No matter what climate you live in or the style of garden you prefer, there are plenty of options for adding a splash of red color year round!

From Barberry Bush to Japanese Maples, these breathtaking varieties of shrubs offer beautiful contrast against other plants while requiring minimal maintenance! And growing many of these shrubs is surprisingly easy.

But which shrubs with red leaves all year is your favorite? Or maybe we forgot to add your favorite red-leaf tree or shrub?

Let us know!

And thanks again for reading.

Have a great day!

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