It’s the color of passion and a sign of power. Red is one of the most expressive shades around, and when you add it to your garden, the results speak for themselves. While a little bit of red goes a long way, more of this bold color goes even further! Don’t be afraid to use red plants in groups of three to four.
Or you might even try a monochromatic look, mixing several different reds in a single container or flower bed.
Red is also the favorite color of hummingbirds. So with a little bit of planning, your yard could be abuzz with these amazing fliers. Take a look at these top perennial picks, and start seeing red this growing season with a few of our favorite red flowers to attract hummingbirds.
- Krishan Photography
(Hemorocallis, Zones 3 to 10)
You’ll have blooms all summer when you plant this backyard favorite. Grow just about any shade imaginable in full sun or partial shade. They reach 10 inches to 4 feet tall and 1½ to 4 feet wide.
Why we love it: It’s a snap to share daylilies with friends. Divide them every three to five years to revitalize and to prevent crowding.
Buy It: Daylily Plants at Burpee.com
- Ball Horticulture
(Aquilegia, Zones 3 to 9)
You can find columbine in just about any shade, including popular bicolored blooms. Plant in sun or shade for spring to early-summer flowers. Grows 1 to 3 feet high and 6 to 24 inches wide.
Why we love it: It’s a wonderful companion plant. Pair red-and-white columbine with blue pansies for an easy, early patriotic display.
Buy It: Columbine Plants at Burpee.com
(Lobelia cardinalis, Zones 3 to 9)
There’s a reason this plant was named after such a beautiful bird. The scarlet flowers light up gardens, growing up to 4 feet high and 2 feet wide. You can grow it in partial shade
to full sun.
Why we love it: This beauty seems to reach out and beckon hummingbirds. Plant several in one spot, and you’re sure to see a flying jewel hovering in your garden.
Buy It: Cardinal Flowers at Burpee.com
(Penstemon, Zones 3 to 9)
You can grow these cheerful, colorful trumpets in full sun to light shade. Grow in well-drained soils, and most will tolerate droughty conditions once established.
Why we love it: The blooms might look delicate, but they pack quite a punch, especially when you group several of them together.
Buy It: Penstemon Plants at Burpee.com
(Monarda didyma, Zones 3 to 9)
You can find newer bee balm varieties in purple, pink and white, but the classic red shade is still best at luring hummingbirds. Grows 3 to 4 feet high and up to 26 inches wide. It grows in full sun but will also tolerate afternoon shade.
Why we love it: Bumblebees, butterflies and hummingbirds just can’t resist it, and the unique shapes of the blooms add interest to any perennial bed.
(Hibiscus species, Zones 4 to 10)
Bold, beautiful and impressive, this perennial grows up to 15 feet tall. Its huge blooms are 4 to 12 inches wide and last from early summer to the first frost. Keep this stunner in full sun and in rich, moist soil.
Why we love it: Look for tropical species of these plants to add to your favorite container display. One plant alone will add a gorgeous touch of the tropics.
Buy It: Hibiscus Plants at Burpee.com
(Paeonia, Zones 3 to 8)
Giant blooms in spring and early summer offer loads of sweetness for butterflies and hummingbirds. They grow up to 3½ feet tall and wide. Dig and divide the rhizomes in fall.
Why we love it: You can make a big impact with just one peony plant. For a spectacular shade, try the Karl Rosenfield cultivar pictured here.
Buy It: Peony Plants at Burpee.com
(Heuchera, Zones 3 to 9)
Known primarily for its fabulous foliage, this tough perennial also offers distinctive bell-shaped blooms. It grows up to 3 feet high when in bloom and 24 inches wide, blooming in late spring to early summer. For red blooms, look for the cultivars Blood Red, Lipstick and Havana.
Why we love it: While it won’t do well in heavy shade, coral bells will make it in partial. Go ahead and give it a try. You just might discover it to be a fabulous alternative to shade-loving hostas.
Buy It: Coral Bells at Burpee.com
(Phlox paniculata, Zones 3 to 8)
Garden phlox is a resilient plant that continues blooming throughout the season with the help of a little deadheading. Grow this charmer in full sun. It reaches up to 36 inches high and wide.
Why we love it: Newer varieties resist powdery mildew. Ask your local nursery for mildew-resistant picks, or look for the Flame series.
Buy It: Garden Phlox Plants at Burpee.com
(Papaver orientale, Zones 4 to 9)
Poppies always look better in bunches. Plant these ruby-red dazzlers in spring, sowing the very fine seeds directly into the soil. By early summer the following year, you should see the signature fuzzy buds and cup-shaped blooms. Plants grow up to 36 inches tall.
Why we love it: When the blooms are spent, the seedpods make attractive additions to wreaths or fall arrangements.
Buy It: Oriental Poppy Plants at Burpee.com
- Ball Horticulture
Ready for Red
They might be newer to the scene, but these perennial favorites from perennialresource.com show why red is a can’t-miss color for any bloom.
Coneflower. This Hot Papaya echinacea (pictured above) was introduced in 2009. It boasts spicy red-orange flowers with a pom-pom center. Buy It: Coneflower Plants at Burpee.com
Coreopsis. The coreopsis Big Bang series features cultivar, Caliente. The crimson blooms go a long way: Just one plant should provide you with reliable color all summer long. Buy It: Coreopsis Plants at Burpee.com
Yarrow. This drought-tough perennial most commonly comes in yellow, but now you can get red and pink hues, thanks to cultivars like Strawberry Seduction and Paprika.
- More From Birds & Blooms