When the summer rolls around, it’s time for your flowerbeds to start blooming. Taking a moment to admire the beautiful display of color while you relax on the patio and sip some tea is what summer living is all about, right?
What are you thinking about planting this season? This post gives you a few ideas for red flowers suitable for your garden. We love red colors; from bright poppy reds to deep scarlet hues, there are plenty of options for your flowerbeds.
The warm red colors can help gardeners influence the theme and perception of the landscape. Planting a border of red flowers around your beds helps create a focal point, drawing attention from other areas in the yard.
Red is also the color of romance, creating a theme of emotional energy throughout the flowerbeds and garden. Talented gardeners can use red flowers to create spectacular displays that tug on the emotional heartstrings of visitors to your garden.
Consider mixing your reds with other colors like orange and yellow blooms or a contrasting white. Here are our top choices of the top red flowers for your garden.
Hardy Jewel Coreopsis
The Hardy Jewel features beautiful red flowers edged in other colors on the edges of the petals. Like the Ruby Frost, some of the cultivars have white edging, while the Desert Coral has peach or coral edging. Typically, these flowers reach heights of 16 to 18-inches, spreading up to double that size.
The flowers are somewhat fragrant, attracting pollinators to the yard, and it’s a deer-resistant flower. Established plants can tolerate dry conditions, but they won’t bloom as vibrantly in parched gardens. The Hardy Jewel does well in USDA Zones five through nine.
Plant them in well-draining soil and let the plants dry out between waterings. Don’t overwater as it may cause the onset of root rot in plants with “wet feet.”
This tropical flower is a shrubby perennial with woody stems, and there are plenty of cultivars, with gardeners creating hybrids of different colors. The plants reach heights of four feet, with large red and pink blooms spreading out as far as 10-inches in diameter.
The plants die back during the late fall, and you can overwinter them in milder climates. Even cooler regions will see the flowers return the following summer. Cut back the stems of the plants to three to four inches from the base after the flower begins to die.
Hibiscus does well in USDA Zones four through nine. It requires planting in the full sun with moist, rich soil for the best flower production.
Chrysanthemums, or “The Hardy Mum,” comes in various colors, including several reds. These annuals are readily available at nurseries for planting, producing a burst of color in the garden in the fall. Planting in the early summer in milder climates allows you to overwinter the plant, turning it into a perennial that returns each year to bloom.
Most cultivars of Mums are hardy down to USDA Zone five, but they do well in USDA Zones five through nine, with plants reaching two to three feet in height before flowering. Growing the plants as a perennial requires the gardener to pinch-prune the plants in the spring and summer for a bushy, denser growth and huge bloom in the fall.
Plant the Hardy Mum in rich soil that drains well. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing seasons. When these plants dry out, they tend to get leggy.
Chrysanthemums Guide: How to Care for “Mums” or “Chrysanths”
The red Peonie cultivars produce dramatic blooms, with more than 30 species of the short, shrubby perennials. Typically, those Peonies grown by gardeners fall into one of three hybrids. The fern-leaf peony features crimson flowers, thriving for decades in the right conditions.
Other popular hybrids include options like the “Jean Eriksen,” “Early Scout,” and the “Fairy Princess.” Some of the tree-like varieties include the “Duchess of Kent.” Peonies are somewhat hardy plants, thriving in regions across the country in USDA Zones three through eight.
Plant your Peonies in the full sun or partial shade, with full sun planting producing the best blooms. These flowers enjoy growing in moist, fertile soil with good drainage. They are somewhat drought resistant but do better with regular watering.
Our Complete guide to Peonies for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for “Peony Flowers”
The Fan Scarlet
The Lobelia family features annual and perennial species producing red flowers. The Lobelia Cardinalis, otherwise known as the Cardinal Flower, is a perennial wildflower native to the US. Some Cardinal hybrids like the “Fan Scarlet” are common in gardens throughout the United States.
The Fan Scarlet reaches heights of up to 28-inches, with the stalks covered in buds that flower in the early summer. It’s a great choice for a mixed border for your flowerbeds and contrasts well with coarse-textured plants.
Plant the Fan Scarlet in USDA Zones four through nine, in full sun or partially shady conditions. Full sun planting provides better blooming. The Fan Scarlet can tolerate somewhat boggy soil conditions without developing root rot.
The Pelargonium genus features many hybrid cultivars seen in hanging baskets, window boxes, and even decorative cemetery plantings. These plants are very different from the hardy species of geranium that are the true descendants of the geranium genus.
The Zonal Geranium is a tropical perennial, and many gardeners choose to plant them as annuals. Some gardening enthusiasts don’t enjoy planting Zonal Geraniums due to the overuse of the flower in gardens over the last few decades. However, it remains a great choice for potting and beginner gardeners looking for a forgiving plant.
Zonal Geraniums produce huge amounts of flowers all season, from the early summer through to the early fall. The plants grow upright and then cascade over the sides of hanging baskets and pots. These plants do well in USDA Zones ten and eleven, and they prefer planting in the full sun in well-draining, moist soil conditions.
A field of red poppies is a classic sight to behold. The perennial oriental poppy comes in a bright orange-red color that looks fantastic in the garden.
This short-lived flower is suitable for cooler climates, and it tends not to flower in warmer regions. It’s ideal for planting in gardens in USDA Zones three through seven and enjoys the full sun in your flowerbed.
Oriental poppies typically fade out in the mid-summer, and that start to produce new leaves in the fall that lead to more blooms the following summer. The flowers self-seed, and leaving them in the flowerbeds sees a new generation come to life the next growing season.
Maltese Cross Flowers
The Maltese Cross gets its name from its large, lobed flowers. The plant reaches heights of three to four feet, with a single stem standing straight up. The Maltese Cross produces clusters of scarlet-red flowers in the early to mid-summer, and it’s a reasonably drought-resistant plant.
Also known as the “Jerusalem Cross Flower,” the Maltese Cross produces a pleasant fragrance that brings pollinators into the yard in the height of the summer months. This plant prefers growing in full sun conditions; planting in partial shade results in a flimsy stem that may require staking.
As a Mediterranean native, the Maltese Cross does well in climates with hot, dry summers and mild winters. It’s suitable for planting in USDA Zones four through ten in we-draining soil.
As a close relation of the Rhododendrons, the Azalea Shrub is a deciduous woody plant blooming in the early spring. The Azalea comes in a huge range of colors, including the “Stewartstonian,” a bright red variety that looks fantastic in flowerbeds.
Azaleas do well in USDA Zones five through eight, with their green foliage turning a mahogany color in the wintertime. The Azalea does well in cool and warm climates, going as far north as USDA Zone three. Most plants reach three to four feet in height, with planting in partially shady conditions.
Azaleas require rich, moist soil that drains well, and it’s advisable to mulch around the base of the plants in the early summer. Mulching prevents water loss and temperature variations in the soil.
The Coleus is available in many varieties. However, unlike the other plants in this review, the Coleus gets its red pigment in its foliage. The plant produces bright red to scarlet-red leaves, and it’s suitable for planting in the garden or containers.
This perennial enjoys growing in partially shady to shady conditions around the yard, and it’s a great choice for container growing on patios. The Coleus does bloom, but they aren’t anything special, and gardeners can pinch off the flowers to enhance the foliage growth in the plant.
The Coleus prefers growing in USDA Zones ten and eleven, and it likes rich, moist soils that drain well. Some species can endure planting in the full sun, but they do better in partially shady conditions.
The classic red tulip is a symbol of love, and it’s a great alternative to planting roses in your yard this year. Tulips come in a range of spring-blooming bulbs in various classes and varieties, with each category featuring plenty of reds.
Tulips are suitable for growing in cooler regions of the US, doing well in USDA Zones three through eight. The bulbs require a chilling period of dormancy to awaken in the summer.
In cooler climates, the tulip is hardy and adopts perennial qualities. The flowers bloom in early spring to mid-summer, and tulips require planting in the full sun in rich, well-draining soil.
The Red Salvia is part of a genus of plants producing large red flowers. The Salvia Splendens is the best of the bunch, and it also goes by the names “Red Salvia” or Scarlet Sage.” Many gardeners and homeowners use the Red Salvia for decorative purposes around holidays like Halloween and the 4th of July.
This pant develops perennial qualities in tropical climates, but it’s an annual in most other regions. Salvia enjoys warmer temperatures, and it’s suitable for planting in USDA Zones ten and eleven. The plants grow vigorously, covering a lot of ground in the growing season. They prefer growing in full sunlight conditions and planting in the shade results in poor blooming in the summer.
Love Lies Bleeding
The name of this plant is innovative, and it suits the blood-red flowers produced by this beautiful plant. The Love Lies Bleeding is part of the Amaranth genus, creating dangling flower clusters. The genus includes both perennial and annual species, and many gardeners consider the plants somewhat weedy.
The Love Lies Bleeding grows to heights of three to five feet, producing flowers all the way through to the first frost. Gardeners like using these plants for borders, and some gardeners like planting the smaller cultivars in hanging baskets to benefit from the drooping flowers.
The Love Lies Bleeding does is one of the few red flowers that do well in all USDA Zones, suiting planting anywhere in the country. It’s a winter-tolerant plant that returns every year to bloom with the right growing conditions. Plant it in the full sun or partial shade in rich, well-draining soil.
This perennial vine grows aggressively, reaching lengths of over 50-feet. Some states may label this creeper as invasive because of its vigorous growth and ability to overpower other plants on the flowerbed and yard.
However, when properly maintained, the Virginia Creeper is a great addition to the yard. The plant produces brilliant red foliage that looks spectacular along the walls and across structures and awnings. The plant does produce small green-white flowers, but they aren’t impressive. Most gardeners deadhead the flowers to enhance the foliage growth in the plant.
The plant also drops berries that are a favorite with local bird populations. It’s a great plant for disguising certain features of your yard, like the tool shed or cracks in walls. The Virginia Creeper also works as a ground cover, and it’s somewhat hardy.
Plant your Virginia Creeper in well-draining soil with medium levels of moisture. It does well in USDA Zones four through nine, with planting in the full sun or partial shade.