Do you absolutely love gardening? Are you passionate about your garden? Why not show it by adding in some gorgeous red annual flowers this year?
Red is a gorgeous color, one that can’t help but draw the eye and turn some heads. One of the best things about adding red to your garden is that the type of flower itself transforms the shade into a variety of symbols. You can add in a funky flower to evoke whimsy, a rich-blooming rosette to evoke love and passion, and even a spire-shaped bloom to add intensity and boldness.
We’ve put together a list of 10 stunning red annuals that are sure to add an element of bold beauty to your garden.
- Best Garden Flowers for Color All Summer
- Blooms You Can Bet On
- Perennial Hibiscus (H. moscheutos)
- Purple Wave Petunia (Petunia F1 ‘Wave Purple’)
- Profusion Zinnias (Z. hybrida)
- Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)
- Sea Holly (Eryngium)
- Stella de Oro Daylily (Hermerocallis)
- Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
- Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
- Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium species)
- Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
- Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
- Marigolds (Tagetes)
- Plants with red flowers
- Planting partners for red flowers
- Perennial Plants for South Texas Landscapes
This stunning beauty comes in a kaleidoscopic variety of exquisite colors, red being one of the real showstoppers of the group. The striking spires of Celosia blooms have twisted fire-like shape that easily resembles a fiery sunset. Be careful not to overwater these funky flowers. Instead, plant them in a well-drained area and lightly mist the blooms. Celosia is a delicate flower to care for and will grow best in zones 10 and 11. These flowers also can be hung upside down and dried to preserve their beauty.
These warm-loving flowers are a container and box-garden favorite, originally found in tropical and subtropical forests. Begonias are constant bloomers, making them a perfect addition for a summer garden or grown in a windowsill. Their fancy foliage has interesting markings and designs that make the leaves just as lovely as the blooms. These flowers grow well outdoors in zones 9-11 but make good houseplants in almost any region if they are kept relatively warm and receive sunlight.
Also called mums, Chrysanthemums are popular decorative flowers because of the meaning associated with each color, the red chrysanthemum conveying love. While their blooms come in varying forms, these decorative flowers are most often seen with daisy-like petals and decorative interior pompon-style buttons. They bloom well in a garden when kept dry with at least five hours of sunlight in zones 5-9.
The spiky, daisy-like blooms of a red dahlia make it a truly exquisite addition to any garden. Dahlias are showy bloomers, flowering from summer all the way through late fall. They are often grown to be used as cut flowers around the house and they play well with other flowers as well as vegetables. Dahlias are very susceptible to frost and can be grown in zones 2-11 when gardeners take special care to avoid frost.
These beautiful flowers are an easy-to-grow garden favorite, even flourishing when moved indoors during the colder months. Red geraniums are rich in hue and, like all geraniums, emit a delicate scent from their bundles of pleated, rosette blooms. They look wonderful in window boxes and pots. Geraniums will grow best in zones 10 and 11, but they can often be grown down to zone 7 if they are carefully tended to.
Impatiens is a garden favorite due to their hardiness and ability to flourish in zones 2-11, even being able to withstand very dry soil. Red impatiens is very cheerful flowers, with five broad petals and a deep purple center eye. They make excellent border plants and also do well in containers. Impatiens prefer at least partial shade.
Petunias come in a variety of lovely colors that are treasured for their lasting color and simple care. The trumpet-shaped 3-4” blooms grow upright and look especially lovely when they are allowed to spill over a garden border or container edge. Petunias grow best in zones 9-11, but they can also excel in slightly colder zones when properly cared for.
Want an exceptional burst of fierce red in your garden? Add red zinnias along with several other colors of this easy-to-grow flower to attract butterflies all summer long. Zinnias are excellent cutting flowers, with one daisy-like bloom sprouting off each separate stem. This hardy flower will thrive in zones 3-10.
Verbena is prized by gardeners for the old-fashioned appearance of its fragrant, fern-like flowers. The brilliant blossoms of Verbena bloom in clusters of bold colors and have frolicsome white eyes. Verbena will grow to its prime in zones 7-11.
Most commonly used as a bedding plant in summer gardens or in a hanging basket, Nemesia has fan-like petals that gather around a bright center eye. Nemesia can be grown as an annual plant in zones 2-11 and can thrive as a tender perennial in zones 9-11.
Best Garden Flowers for Color All Summer
Blooms You Can Bet On
No doubt you’ve heard that a well-designed garden should include plants prized for their striking foliage, as well as some that produce fall color or berries, and others that provide good structure in winter. But lets face it: most of us want flowers. Lots of them. All the time. That’s where the summer flowering plants below come in. They’ll churn out blooms for weeks on end this summer. In most cases, you can harvest armloads to fill vases or give away, and still have plenty left to enjoy in your garden beds long past Labor Day.
Perennial Hibiscus (H. moscheutos)
Photo by Indu Singh
Also known as rose-mallow and swamp hibiscus, this garden standout was bred from wildflowers native to the East and South. Huge red, pink or white flowers can be as much as a foot across on stems that range from 2 to 8 feet high, depending on the variety. Flowers bloom from late spring until frost. Stems die back to the ground each winter.
Requires full sun; regular to abundant water. Grows as a perennial in zones 5-10.
Purple Wave Petunia (Petunia F1 ‘Wave Purple’)
Before 1995, when this hybrid was named an All-America Selection winner, gardeners thought of petunias as upright plants. Purple Wave petunias (and later Wave introductions in pinks and lilac) are more like vines—perfect for growing in hanging pots, along retaining walls or even as a ground cover.
Requires full sun; regular water. Grows as an annual in all zones.
Profusion Zinnias (Z. hybrida)
Grow zinnias if you want to be able to cut armloads of flowers for bouquets and still have a bright band of color alongside a path or a lawn. All zinnias thrive in hot weather, but Profusion zinnias keep on blooming well into fall, whatever the weather. Profusion White, Orange and Cherry, which have daisy-like flowers, each have won multiple garden awards. If you want fluffy pom-poms, look for double Profusion varieties in cherry, gold, white and “fire,” an orange-red.
Requires full sun; regular water. Grows as an annual in all zones.
Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)
For year-round enjoyment, these clover-like flower heads are hard to beat. The papery flowers last a long time in the garden and in fresh bouquets, and the blooms are easy to dry for use in wintertime arrangements. Depending on the variety, flowers are white, red, pink, lilac or purple. ‘Strawberry Fields,’ with bright red blossoms, and ‘All Around Purple’ are two standouts.
Requires full sun to partial shade; moderate water. Grows as an annual in all zones.
Sea Holly (Eryngium)
Photo by Kurt Stueber
If you want to add contrast to a flowerbed or to fresh or dried flower arrangements, this dramatic spiky plant is a great choice. It resembles thistle, but the flower colors blend in more with the prickly blue-green leaves, which are often streaked with silver. Alpine sea holly (E. alpinum) is a deep steel blue, while E. amethystinum is more silvery blue. Miss Willmott’s Ghost (E. giganteum) produces especially striking conical flowers, each surrounded by a wreath of silvery, spikey bracts.
Requires full sun; moderate to regular water. Grows as a perennial in zones 3-8.
Stella de Oro Daylily (Hermerocallis)
Tough and trouble-free, daylilies produce showy flowers above a mound of sword-shaped leaves. Whether in the garden or in a vase, each blossom lasts just one day; they are daylilies, after all. But each stem holds numerous buds that open on successive days. Low-growing Stella de Oro keeps churning out new stems with a profusion of golden-yellow blossoms for up to five months, far longer than most daylilies.
Requires full sun to light shade; regular water. Grows as a perennial in zones 3-9.
Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
Small clusters of delicate white flowers appear in low-growing clumps in spring, and continue into the fall. The shiny, dark-green leaves stay on all winter, so the plant remains attractive year-round.
Requires full sun to part shade; regular water. Grows as a perennial in zones 5-9.
Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Brilliant yellow or orange flowers with a raised brown polka-dot center stand out in a perennial border. R. hirta varieties bloom from seed the first year and are grown as annuals; in the warmest areas, they’re wintertime bloomers. Most other kinds are perennial and gradually form showy, spreading clumps as hardy as their wildflower ancesters, native to the East. All are good cut flowers as well. One to search out: R. fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm,’ an especially flower-covered variety.
Requires full sun; moderate to regular water. Grows as an annual or perennial, depending on the variety (as noted), in all zones.
Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium species)
Despite the scary name, this is a lovely wildflower native to our Eastern meadows that draws butterflies and birds. One especially showy variety, E. maculatum ‘Gateway,’ has wine-red stems 5 to 7 feet tall, topped by dusky rose nosegays a foot across. Use as a tall anchor in a perennial bed or as a temporary screen, since stems die back to the ground in winter.
Requires full sun; average to abundant water. Grows as a perennial in zones 4-8.
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Pink to purple daisy-like flowers about 4 inches across cover this perennial from mid-summer into autumn. The plant is especially hardy and unfussy, and you can divide clumps after several years to get new plants. The flowers draw butterflies and last well as cut flowers. ‘PowWow Wild Berry,’ which has rosy pink flowers, was chosen as an All-America Selections winner for 2010.
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
With large, easy-to-plant seeds and magnificently showy flowers, sunflowers are perhaps the perfect flower for kids to grow. Classic single-stem kinds such as ‘Mammoth Russian’ and ‘Russian Giant’ grow 10-15 feet tall and produce plate-size flowers with edible seeds. Newer, shorter kinds include ‘Ring of Fire,” which is about 4-5 feet tall and has 5-inch flowers that work in a vase, and ‘Sunspot,’ which grows just 2 feet tall. ‘Indian Blanket’ is a branching kind with numerous smaller flowers suitable for cutting. Sunflower blooms face the sun, so choose a bed where the sun will be behind you.
Requres full sun; regular water. Most grow as annuals in all zones.
These perky yellow or orange flowers really light up a garden bed. The plant’s distinctive (should we say strong?) odor also keeps pests away. Marigolds are great as cut flowers, too. ‘Moonsong Deep Orange,’ a hybrid that was named an All-America Selection winner for 2010, has frilly, densely packed flowers. But many other marigolds look more like daisies, with just a row or two of petals around a dark center.
Requires full sun; regular water. Grows as an annual in all zones.
Plants with red flowers
The colour of red flowers is caused by the presence of certain biological pigments in the petals, such as carotenoids, anthocyanins and betalains.
Red-flowered plants, chosen wisely, can be the crowning glory of a planting scheme. Grow them alongside plum-coloured blooms for a sumptuous border or container display. Or combine with zingy oranges and cornflower blues for bolder effect.
Plus, hot borders wouldn’t be complete without red blooms combined with spicy yellows and oranges.
Check out our handy Plant Finder to discover lots more red-flowered plants.
Discover 10 of the best plants with red flowers, including perennials, shrubs and climbers, below.
There are flowers to grow in a kaleidoscopic range of colours, from royal purples to carmine reds.
Poppies are one of the best known red flowers to grow. Annual poppies include (Papaver rhoeas, Papaver commutatum, Papaver somniferum, while the popular perennial poppy of choice is Papaver orientale. All enjoy a spot in full sun.
Red and black flowers of poppy ‘Lady Bird’
When grown in the UK, mask flowers (alonsoa) are usually treated as annuals, though, as perennials, it’s possible to overwinter them. Growing to around a metre tall, they’re ideal for the middle of borders.
Red-orange mask flowers
Dianthus, or pinks, are cottage garden favourites. Grow these short-lived perennials at the front of borders or in containers. If you dislike the more showy cultivars, try growing Dianthus cruentus – a gorgeous species with single, magenta flowers.
Single, magenta dianthus
There are a huge variety of dahlias to grow, red cultivars included. For pollinators, choose single varieties like ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ or the bronze-leaved ‘Tally Ho’. Here’s our advice on how to lift dahlias for winter.
Deep-orange bloom of dahlia ‘Alva’s Doris’
Bergamot (monarda) is a tough, herbaceous perennial that grows best in moist soils. The foliage is aromatic and the shaggy blooms are loved by bees. For scarlet blooms, grow a cultivar like ‘Cambridge Scarlet’ or ‘Squaw’.
Shaggy, scarlet bergamot blooms
Salvias with red flowers to grow include ‘Silas Dyson’ and ‘Royal Bumble’. They’re best planted in a sheltered spot in full sun, in a moist, well-drained soil. Love salvias? Discover 16 spectacular salvias to grow.
Intense-red, narrow flowers of salvia ‘Honey Melon’
Crocosmias are much-loved for their sprays of hotly coloured flowers. One of the best known red-flowered cultivars is ‘Lucifer’. Others include ‘Hellfire’ and ‘Harvest Sun’. Try combining with perennials like Verbena bonariensis and calamagrostis grasses.
Deep-orange flowers of crocosmia ‘Lucifer’
There are lots of roses with red flowers you could grow. To cover garden boundaries and structures, try a climbing rose like ‘Parkdirektor Riggers’ (pictured). If you’re after a deep red rose, ‘Black Beauty’ is one of the best.
Red rose climbing a stone pillar
Callistemons are unusual plants, also known as bottlebrush plants, owing to the striking red flowers. The foliage has a lovely, lemony scent. Grows to the size of a large shrub or small tree.
Spiky, red flowers of the bottlebrush plant
Peonies are gorgeous and robust plants, with lots of red-flowered cultivars available to buy and grow. For year round structure, try a tree peony like ‘Shin Jitsugetsu Nishiki’, or for fragrance, take a look at ‘Monsieur Martin Cahuzac’, which has a rich, spicy scent.
Advertisement Deep-red peony ‘Chocolate Soldier’ Red salvias with pink echinecea
Planting partners for red flowers
- Liatris – striking perennial with bottlebrush, amethyst blooms. Great for bees
- Echinacea – lots of cultivars to choose from. Pink and orange types combine especially well
- Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ – red flowers stand out against the dark bronze foliage of this cultivar
- Calamagrostis – these grasses are ideal for breaking up planting schemes and adding texture
- Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ – rich, plum-coloured blooms and popular with pollinators
- Birches – these small trees are perfect for underplanting with red-flowered plants
For spectacular, attention-getting color in the garden, nothing can outdo red flowering perennials. Red draws the eye like no other color and is a masterful complement to the greenery in the background.
Not only does red pop for humans, but it also attracts lovely hummingbirds and other wildlife to your garden.
Each perennial described below can be found in a shade of red, and each will contribute its own interesting detail to your landscaping. For instance, bleeding heart, named for its heart-shaped blooms, adds drama while cranesbill geraniums add classic beauty. Armeria, or thrift, stands tall with its stiff stems and bears rose-red blooms for many weeks.
Salvia can be planted en masse or lined up for a striking accent, and bergenia provides deep red autumn and winter color.
Saxifraga forms a low mound of green leaves underneath gorgeous red cup-shaped flowers. Daylilies with their trumpet-shaped blooms grow up to three feet tall, and each bloom lasts for only around 24 hours. Dianthus with its red lacy flowers blooms profusely from spring into fall.
Valerian, with its fragrant, star-shaped flowers also has a long blooming season and attracts birds and butterflies. Yarrow has velvety blooms and fern-like foliage to add grace and elegance to your garden oasis.
Yarrow is an excellent perennial to grow when planning your garden. Yarrows have flat-topped clusters of tiny flowers and feathery leaves. They bloom in red, lavender, pink, white or yellow. Yarrow bloom for over three months, from late spring to fall. They prefer full sun and well-drain to dry, slightly acidic soil.
We love red valerian, Jupiter’s beard! They smell lovely and also attract butterflies. Red Valerian bloom in red, pink or white. They grow to be 2 to 3 feet tall and do well in full sun or light shade. They thrive in average well-drained soil. Valerians grow in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9
Red Dianthus bloom in red, pink and white. Flowers have a spicy sweet fragrance. They grow to be 4 to 18 inches and spread 8 to 18 inches. They prefer full sun to light shade. Make sure to deadhead regularly so that they rebloom throughout the summer and even into fall. Grow them in USDA Hardiness zones 3 to 9.
Cranebill is another excellent perennial to grow. They bloom in different colors, but red is beautiful. Red cranesbill prefers full sun to partial shade. They thrive in moist, well-drained soil.
Salvia grows in just about every climate imaginable. They bloom in red, blue, pink, purple or white. They put on a big show in the summer months that could last over two months. They do prefer full sun or light shade. Salvias are drought-tolerant.
Bleeding Heart with their gorgeous heart-shaped flowers is a beautiful choice for a garden with red perennials. They prefer full sun to partial shade for best blooms. They thrive in rich, moist soil and cooler climates.
Who doesn’t love Daylily? This popular perennial needs no introduction. They bloom in different colors, red being our favorite. Daylilies are super easy to grow. They prefer full sun to partial shade. Keep these plants slightly moist at all times for maximum blooms.
Armeria called Sea Thrift is an excellent red perennial to grow near rocky cliffs near the sea. These plants can take a lot of rough conditions like wind and rain. They prefer full sun to light shade. And they grow in zones 4 to 9.
Bergenia is another red perennial favorite. They also bloom in different colors link pink, rose, purple or white. Bergenia grow to be 12 to 18 inches tall. They thrive in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil.
Also, known as red rockfoil is a low-growing plant. They prefer light shade to deep shade. Some species thrive in loamy soil. Grow Saxifraga in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9.
These perennials provide an amazing variety of shapes, heights, and interesting details, but are united by their spectacular red flowers. Whether you hope to add passion, drama, or just fantastic pops of color to your garden, these red perennials will become your favorites.
Perennial Plants for South Texas Landscapes
YARROW (Achillea millefolium): selection available in red, pink, or white (white form is weedy); fern-leafed foliage; blooms spring and fall; drought tolerant; good groundcover; excellent cut or dried flowers; full sun to part shade; 1 foot. OXBLOOD LILY (Rhodophiala bifida): dark red flowers which resemble half-size amaryllis; dry, slightly alkaline soils; sun to part shade; 1 foot. HINCKLEY’S COLUMBINE (Aguilegia Hinkleyana): exotic yellow flowers, delicate foliage; Texas native; moist organic soil; susceptible to spider mites; shade to part shade; 18 inches.
GERMAN RED CARNATION (Dianthus carophyllus): fragrant, red flowers; everblooming; good cut flower, cool weather plant; sun to part shade; 1 foot. HARDY AGERATUM (Eupatorium coelestinum): blue flowers; fall blooming; invasive; Texas native; hardy; drought tolerant; shear in summer to promote business; sun to part shade; 2 feet. SUMMER PHLOX (Phlox paniculata): magenta pink flowers; blooms in summer; hardy; drought tolerant; 3 feet.
MEXICAN HEATHER (Cuphea hyssopifolia): small, lavender flowers; compact foliage; tender; sun; 6 inches. ‘NEW GOLD’ LANTANA (Lantana camara): many flower colors; shear occasionally; everblooming; heat and drought tolerant; sun; 2 feet. ROCK ROSE (Pavonia lasiopetala): pink, mini-hibiscus flowers; shrubby; everblooming; shear occasionally; drought tolerant; sun; 3 feet.
BLUE SHADE (Ruellia “squarrosa”): lavender flowers; everblooming; shear occasionally; excellent groundcover, drought tolerant; sun to shade; 8 inches. ‘INDIGO SPIRES’ SALVIA (Salvia hybrid): purple flowers; shear occasionally; very vigorous; excellent; sun; 3 feet. FIREBUSH (Hamelia patens): red-orange, tubular flowers, prized by hummingbirds; red fall foliage; everblooming; drought tolerant; shear occasionally; sun to part shade; hardy; 2 – 3 feet.
MEXICAN HONEYSUCKLE (Justicia spicigera): orange, tubular flowers; everblooming; drought tolerant; shear occasionally; sun to part shade; hardy; 2 feet. MEXICAN MINT MARIGOLD – “Yerba anise” (Tagetes lucida): yellow flowers; fragrant “licorice” scented foliage; blooms in fall; shear occasionally; drought tolerant; hardy; sun; 2 feet. MEXICAN PETUNIA (Ruellia Brittoniana): purple flowers; everblooming invasive; shear occasionally; drought tolerant; hardy; sun; 2 feet.
MEXICAN OREGANO (Poliomintha longiflora): lavender flowers, aromatic foliage; shrubby; everblooming; shear occasionally, drought tolerant; hardy; sun; 3 feet. OBEDIENT PLANT (Physostegia virginiana): pink flowers; blooms in fall; hardy; sun; 2 feet. PINK AUTUMN SAGE (Salvia greggii): pink flowers; aromatic; shrubby; everblooming; shear occasionally; drought tolerant; sun; 3 feet.
‘TEXAS-TUFF’ VERBENA (Verbena hybrid): pink, purple or red flowers; everblooming; shear frequently; excellent groundcover; drought tolerant; susceptible to spider mites; sun; 8 inches. CIGAR PLANT (Cuphea micropetala): orange-yellow, cigar shaped flowers; prized by hummingbirds; blooms in fall; drought tolerant; heat loving; sun; 2 feet. FALL ASTER/MICHALMAS DAISY (Aster sp): lavender-colored flowers; blooms in fall; shear during summer; drought tolerant; sun or partial shade; 2 feet.
PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea purpurea): hot pink flowers; blooms in spring, summer, and fall; excellent cut flowers; drought tolerant; full sun; 2 feet. DWARF INDIAN BLANKET (Gaillardia grandiflora): red-yellow, bi-color flowers; everblooming, remove spent blooms to extend bloom time; heat and drought tolerant; full sun; 1 foot. OXALIA (Oxalis crassipes): pink flowers, clover-like foliage; blooms in spring and summer; great border plant; sun to partial shade; 8 to 10 inches.
SHRIMP PLANT (Justicia brandegeana): yellow or red-brown flowers; blooms in summer, fall; great cut flowers; sun to partial shade; 3 feet. TRAILING LANTANA (Lantana montevidensis): lilac flowers; blooms in spring, summer, fall; very drought tolerant; great as a groundcover, in containers or hanging baskets; sun or partial shade; 1 to 2 feet. BLUE PLUMBAGO (Plumbago auriculata): clusters of baby blue flowers; drought tolerant; well-drained soil; full to part sun; 2 to 3 feet.
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis): grayish-green, fleshy, needle-like foliage with pale blue flowers; blooms spring, fall, and winter; both upright and trailing forms are available; 1 to 4 feet. MEALY CUP SAGE (Salvia farinacea): blue, white, or purple flower spikes; blooms spring, summer, fall; shear occasionally; full sun; 2 to 3 feet. OX-EYE DAISY (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum): white flowers; blooms in spring; hardy; sun to part shade; 3 feet.
COREOPSIS (Coreopsis grandiflora): yellow flowers, blooms late spring to summer; excellent landscape plant (Baby, Sun, and Early Sunrise are dwarf forms); 2 feet.