21 Red Flowers & Plants for a Radiant Garden
The search for the elusive true red flower is over! We know the color red is widely interpreted to mean everything from dark pink to wine purple when it comes to plants. As you plan your spring and summer containers or design your landscape, use this list as a guide to finding the perfect shade of red.
RED FLOWERING ANNUALS
This exquisite double-flowered calibrachoa will add instant elegance to your patio containers, window boxes and porch baskets. From spring into fall, deep red blossoms cover the cascading stems as it spills over the edges of your containers. Since the flowers are self-cleaning, there’s no need to take the time to remove the spent blossoms to keep it blooming all season long.
6-12” tall x 12-24” spread. Part sun to sun.
This cheerful Superbells brings life to combination containers, hanging baskets and window boxes as a filler or spiller for sunny porches and patios. Each bright red blossom is decorated with a sunny yellow star pattern. Calibrachoa grows best in containers with good drainage, so make sure there is at least one hole in the bottom of the one you use.
6-12” tall x 12'-2' spread. Part sun to sun.
An iconic annual for shade, Rockapulco impatiens produce gorgeous double flowers which resemble roses in bud and bloom. The series includes red, orange, coral, pink, lavender and white varieties, but if you’re going for true red, choose Rockapulco Red. It grows into a perfectly rounded mound that is covered in showy, self-cleaning blossoms from spring to fall. You could grow it all on its own in a decorative container or plant a whole border of them in your shaded landscape.
10-20” tall x 12-24” spread. Part shade to shade.
INFINITY® Red New Guinea Impatiens
10-14” tall x 6-12” spread. Part shade to shade.
In the world of petunias, true red can be an elusive color to find, but we’ve found one worthy of the Supertunia name. Supertunia Really Red runs toe-to-toe with all the others in this series of exceptionally high-performance petunias, producing true red flowers from spring into fall. They’re self-cleaning, so there’s no need to take the time to remove the spent blossoms to keep it blooming all season long. This is the perfect plant to include in your patriotic container plantings for summer holidays.
6-10” tall x 8-12” spread. Full sun.
You wouldn’t guess by its looks, but this fiery red phlox is an extremely heat-, humidity- and drought-resistant annual that grows best in similar conditions as succulents thanks to its southern native roots. Its mounding foliage becomes completely blanketed in glowing true red flowers starting in early spring and continues all the way through fall without deadheading. Plant it in the sunniest spot in your landscape for an extra pop of color or grow it right along with your other patio container plants. It requires far less water than many flowering annuals, so you won’t need to worry about it wilting if you go away for the weekend.
10-16” tall and wide. Full sun.
This Superbena bears some of the brightest, true red flowers you’ve ever seen. Like all our Superbena verbenas, it produces large clusters of flowers through the heat of summer without going to seed and is exceptionally resistant to powdery mildew. Try it in hanging baskets, upright containers and window boxes and enjoy its pretty blooms from spring through fall.
6-12” tall x 18"-3' spread. Part sun to sun.
Enjoy large, vibrant flowers all summer on heat- humidity- and drought-tolerant plants. Use in pots, window boxes, baskets or as a ground cover. They are tough plants that will tolerate poor soils and do not need fertilizer or deadheading to perform well.
4-8" tall x 12-16" spread. Full sun.
Canna lilies are fantastic landscape plants and lend a tropical feel to gardens in any locale. They're also great plants for use as the thriller in large combinations, or on their own in a container. Scarlet will bloom all summer, even in heat and humidity.
3-4' tall x 18"-2' spread. Part sun to sun.
RED FLOWERING PERENNIALS
All natural, but exactly the same shade of red as artificially colored maraschino cherries, this hardy perennial’s flowers absolutely glow. Hot cherry red flowers exude a sweet fragrance as they top the mounded, icy blue foliage every year in late spring and early fall. They make excellent cut flowers, so be sure to clip a few for your bud vases. Dianthus grows best in a sunny spot that has well-drained soil. It prefers to dry out a bit between waterings, so don’t plant it on your daily watering route.
9-11” tall x 12-14” spread. Full sun to light shade. Perennial in zones 4-9.
This incredible daylily is a must-have for your sunny landscape. Its gigantic, ruby red blossoms measure up to 9” across. Long petals open wide to display the radiating golden yellow throat. This is a taller daylily that works best in the middle to back of the border where it is sure to make a huge visual impact.
3' tall x 18"-2' spread. Part sun to sun. Perennial in Zones 3-9.
We called this hardy hibiscus “the holy grail” from its inception because we knew we had something special. There’s a whole lot to love about this plant, beginning with its incredible dark, near-black foliage of beautiful, oval-shaped leaves. Rich, deep red flowers are enormous at 8-9 inches across. The red and black colors perfectly complement each other. As an added bonus, once the flowers are finished, bright green calyxes starkly contrast the dark foliage. Use in an area with consistent moisture as a focal point to build your garden around.
4-4.5’ tall x 5' spread. Part sun to sun. Perennial in Zones 4-9.
The spiky flowers and upright habit give a unique drama to your landscape, with rebloom extending the color late into the season. Grass-like foliage provides textural contrast to bold-leaved perennials, like Hibiscus. These tropical looking plants are hardy to either zone 6, or 5B if you provide protection. Rocket’s Red Glare has long flower spikes with vibrant warm red buds that open to creamy peach flowers.
2.5-3’ tall x 18"-2' spread. Sun. Perennial in Zones 6-9.
RED FLOWERING SHRUBS
There's so much to love about Oso Easy Double Red™ rose with its lush, deep red color. The way the blooms are held on long stems—well above the foliage for a truly memorable display. And speaking of foliage, its a beautiful, lustrous green with excellent resistance to powdery mildew and black spot, so it stays looking good all season. No need to deadhead to keep those beautiful blooms coming, too!
3-4’ tall and wide. Sun. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Some plants just take care of themselves, and weigela is near the top of that list. Just give it plenty of sunshine and water until its roots are established, then leave it be and let it shine. It’s perfect for foundation plantings and in landscapes at the back of the border. Sonic Bloom Red is an especially floriferous type of weigela with lipstick red flowers. Unlike most that only bloom in late spring, this cultivar blooms again and again all summer long until frost. You won’t need to deadhead or prune it to encourage those flowers to come—it naturally blooms like crazy! You’ll likely spot a hummingbird or two enjoying this shrub’s blooms on warm, sunny days.
Perfecto Mundo® Red azalea is a neat, rounded shrub that's covered with rich red blooms in spring, when other azaleas bloom, but then after a brief rest, begins blooming again in mid summer and continues through frost. It will bloom heavily in sun or part shade and is resistant to lacebug.
3-4' tall and wide. Part sun to sun. Hardy in Zones 6-9.
Double Take® Scarlet puts on a spectacular early spring display of large red, double flowers. These bright flowers are great in mixed borders and cutting gardens, or for hedging and mass plantings.
4-5' tall x 3-4' wide. Sun. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
RED FOLIAGE PLANTS
'Scarlet Flame' has vivid red, strap-shaped leaves liberally marked with pink and white speckles and handsomely finished with a bright green margin. It works well in patio planters or the landscape. It works especially well in borders.
15"-20" tall. Sun or shade. Annual.
For those that loved the bold texture of Cinnamon Curls™ comes an improvement that keeps the popular shape and color, but adds increased vigor and size. New leaves are bright red, heavily ruffled, and form a low, mounding habit. In summer, the bright color persists, maturing to a rich mahogany red. Dark burgundy stems hold light pink flowers and dark rose calyxes from early to midsummer. A wonderful color for all seasons.
Foliage Height: 8-10,” With Flowers: 18-22”. Part Shade to Shade. Perennial in Zones 4-9.
They say redheads have more fun, and this exuberant red coleus is all you need to bring life to your patio pots and landscape. It grows vigorously in sun and shade to form a robust clump of garnet red foliage. This is a big plant, so give it plenty of space to strut its stuff. Like all ColorBlaze coleus, it was bred to bloom very late or not at all, extending its garden performance into fall.
24-34” tall. Sun or shade. Annual.
There is drama written all over this gorgeous ruby red coleus. It has purple undertones that help it to pair easily with almost any other color in combination containers where it will play a starring role of thriller or filler. It forms a bushy, upright clump that is denser than coleus with large leaves, so its overall look is more refined. You could also try massing it in landscapes as a neat backdrop for shorter flowers along a border.
18-24” tall. Sun or shade. Annual.
Ideas for using red flowers and plants in your garden
Red is a great color to add spice to a garden bed or container. Here are a few ideas to get you rolling:
- To create a festive feel, pair red with orange and yellow flowers.
- Add blue and white to your favorite red plant and show your patriotism.
- Try mixing every shade of red under the sun for a colorful, but simple monochromatic look.
- Plant types that attract hummingbirds with trumpet-shaped flowers.
More red flowers to consider
The following plants also have beautiful red-flowering varieties:
- Calla lily
- African daisy
Kerry Meyer also contributed to this article.