Fall Color: Getting Red Leaves Into Your Garden

The Gardenist

Leaves turn all sorts of colors, from drab browns to beautiful yellows, and russet oranges to glowing reds. Having a mix makes for a satisfying garden this time of year. Red — I guess because it is so eye-popping — tends to be the color most people try and capture, so I thought I would share with you some of the best trees, shrubs and plants to bring this color into your fall garden.

The main picture is my own garden (snapped with Instagram). I didn't plant the virginia creeper that climbs the pine tress in the background — that was mother nature's doing — but I did plant the Sedum Autumn Joy in the foreground. The repetition of these two plants give me a very satisfying shot of red (actually a beautiful mauve purple red) this time of year.

I also have a Threadleaf Japanese maple that is deep burgundy throughout the growing season, but when the leaves prepare to fall, they turn a vibrant crimson. Many varieties of maple turn brilliant shades of reds and oranges.

Aronia (chokeberry), which is a medium sized shrub, not only has leaves that turn bright red, but its small berries are beautiful too. Other great options include the Oakleaf Hydrangea, Crepe Myrtle, and Sweetspire.

A common plant you'll see on a list like this is Burning Bush, but, while it is a beautiful red, it is invasive in many areas (namely New England) and some states have outlawed its sale. If you like it, check first about its behavior in your area.

Here is a Quick Reference List of some great plants for Autumn Reds:

Feel free to add other red-leaved fall plants in the comments.

(Images: 1 & 2. Rochelle Greayer, 3. Naturally Curious with Mary Holland, 4. Plantdatabase.co.uk, 5. Fine Gardening, 6. Pacific Horticulture, 7. Farmington Gardens, 8. Oregon.edu)