7 Red Evergreen Shrubs

Red evergreen shrubs can really break the lush greenery and add a dimension of color to your garden, backyard, or landscape. The color red is very quick to draw everyone's eyes in the vicinity, from home guests to beautiful wildlife creatures like birds and pollinators.
7 red evergreen shrubs.

Your place would look like a colorful canvas where chirping allies come and rest from time to time. From spring to the fiery hues of fall, and even in dull winter, these evergreen sentinels ensure that your surroundings remain a captivating mosaic of colors throughout the year.

Finding a plant that is both an evergreen shrub and adorned with red foliage is quite rare. Not all the plants listed in various sources are true evergreens or boast a vibrant red hue. After extensive research, we have narrowed down a selection of exceptional red evergreen shrubs that maintain their foliage and colorful beauty throughout the year.

Fringe Flower (Burgandy Loropetalum)

Burgundy Loropetalum is a low-maintenance evergreen shrub with reddish-purple leaves. As it grows, the color changes to dark olive green. When fully grown, it reaches a height and spread of around 7-8 feet. This multi-stemmed shrub has a sweet smell, and its flowers are shaped like spiders, somewhat round. 

Burgundy Loropetalum thrives in rich, acidic soils and can handle consistently moist conditions. The shrub can live for 40 years or even longer. While it stands out in many landscape layouts, it is recommended you establish an accent design or hedge.  

Red Tip Photinia

Also known as Fraser Photinia, this evergreen shrub features broad and vibrant red foliage when it’s young, and its flowers are white.

While it might look good in hedges, there is a risk of fungal disease there. To ensure healthy growth, it’s best to plant them at least 5 feet apart, which allows for good air circulation.

When it comes to growth, it can reach a height of up to 15 feet and spread about the same. The ideal placement for this shrub is in direct sunlight, but it can also remain healthy in partial to full shade, especially during summer afternoons. However, it’s best to leave it fully exposed to the sun in winter.

Despite requiring medium maintenance, regular watering is mandatory during the dry season. While watering the plants, pour in the base of the plant rather than the top. That’s considered the best practice for caring for this shrub.

Japanese Barberry

The Japanese Barberry is an evergreen shrub with multiple stems. But many of the Japanese Barberry varieties are deciduous. It boasts a range of colors, including reddish stems, leaves, and berries, as well as yellow flowers that appear in mid-spring. Various shades of color in Japanese Barberry can help to create an attractive residential landscape or garden. 

Although originally from Japan and other East Asian countries, it’s also found in North America. This shrub is tolerant to drought and cold weather and resistant to deer with its sharp thorns.

It doesn’t grow very fast and can achieve a height and width of up to 6 feet. For optimal growth and health, it prefers full exposure to the sun. Also, it has berries that serve as a food source for birds during harsh winters. 

An interesting landscaping idea with this shrub is to create a hedge by planting them in rows. Their thorns might even act as a protective barrier for wildlife. While it is tolerant to any conditions and soils, a strong wind can damage this shrub. 

Keep in mind that this shrub can be invasive and negatively impact the growth of native plants. Therefore, isolating the Japanese Barberry from other plants is recommended to prevent this issue.

Cordyline Australis’ Red Star’

Cordyline Australis’ Red Star’ stands out in any spare space as a unique shrub-like tree by its compact size and reddish-bronze leaves. These leaves are long, thin, and arching, contributing to their distinctive appearance. 

Moreover, these evergreen shrubs grow upright and eventually adopt a palm-like structure as it matures. Its ability to retain its colorful foliage year-round, even in cold weather, ensures a visually appealing landscape throughout every season.

During the late spring to summer transition, ‘Red Star’ unfurls large panicles of small, sweet-scented ivory-white flowers. These blooms create charm and invite pollinators like bees and butterflies.

The palm-like aspect and vibrant foliage of ‘Red Star’ bring a tropical vibe to your garden or outdoor space with a tropical essence.

Pieris ‘Forest Flame’

Pieris’ Forest Flame’, a broadleaf evergreen shrub, can reach a maximum height and spread of 7 feet. This slow-growing shrub boasts foliage of varying colors. Its new leaves come to life in a captivating flame-red hue and then transition to green as they mature. 

Not only does this shrub offer evergreen foliage in an array of colors, but it also produces delightful lily-of-the-valley-like white flowers. The dense growth habit of ‘Forest Flame’ makes it especially captivating when cultivated as a hedge.

However, Pieris’ Forest Flame’ requires relatively higher maintenance. This includes tasks such as pruning old flower clusters and addressing potential lace bug issues. As such, if you’re aiming for a low-maintenance landscape, this shrub might not be the best choice. Additionally, giving it ample space to grow is recommended to fully appreciate its beauty.

Photinia x Fraseri’ Camilvy’

With deep-red shoots and leaves, Photinia x Fraseri’ Camilvy’  can give your landscape a vibrant color and an eye-catching focal point. Its neat yet vigorous growth habit makes Camilvy a versatile shrub, suitable for hedging, specimen planting, or even container gardening. 

The growth pattern of this specific variety tends towards an upright form and flourishes well in smaller gardens or limited areas. 

Another important characteristic of these flowers is that they require minimal effort for their overall growth and well-being. If you are considering shrubs for a low-maintenance landscape, Camilvy is a suitable choice. 

It’s worth noting that, if allowed to grow untrimmed, the petite white blossoms produced by Camilvy during spring possess the ability to entice pollinators.

Nandina Domestica Obsessed ‘Seika’

Nandina domestica Obsessed (Heavenly Bamboo Obsessed) is a compact evergreen shrub with vivid bright red foliage and feathery leaves. Despite the name ‘Heavenly Bamboo Obsessed,’ this shrub is not related to bamboo. Probably, the shrub’s bamboo-like canes and slender foliage inspired this name.

People use this plant as a focal specimen or potted around a patio. This shrub definitely makes gardens more colorful. However, optimal placement in full sun is recommended to achieve its intense crimson-red color. 

It can also grow healthily in partial shade. This shrub is suitable for those with small gardens or limited outdoor space, as it reaches a maximum height of 60 centimeters. As for maintenance, only the old canes need pruning, which can be considered medium pruning. 

Benefits of Red Evergreen Shrubs

When it comes to flowers, personal preference and visual appeal often outweigh practical benefits. However, there are certain advantages to red evergreen shrubs that might convince you a bit more.

Year-round appeal

Evergreen shrubs keep your patio, garden, or outdoor space alive and glowing throughout the years. Even in winter, when the plant usually becomes dormant, evergreen shrubs, whether red or green, showcase the intense colors that decorate the landscape.

Visual Attraction 

Red foliage stands out distinctly against the surrounding greenery, creating a beautiful contrast that immediately catches the eye. These shrubs easily grab anyone’s attention and act as a focal point in your yard or landscape. 

Low Maintenance 

Red evergreen shrubs often replace flowers requiring intensive care and maintenance to elevate attractiveness and visual interest. Besides, they retain their foliage year-round and reduce the need for pruning and cleanup, making red evergreen shrubs a low-maintenance landscape plant. This advantage makes people choose evergreen shrubs over deciduous plants and flowers. 


If you read through the whole article, you can see all the red evergreen shrubs are drought tolerant. This means they adapt and grow well in low water. Their foliage and internal mechanisms enable them to retain moisture efficiently, even in arid or dry conditions. 

As a result, these shrubs can maintain their attractive red foliage and overall health without requiring frequent watering.

Design of Landscape 

The distinct form and color of red evergreen shrubs can serve as design elements. They add structure and personality to garden layouts and elevate the aesthetics of your home landscape. 

Attracts Birds 

The deep red foliage can attract birds and pollinators, which helps in plant production and enhances your landscape’s beauty. Moreover, birds prefer to hide in the shrubs from predators. Also, many red evergreen shrubs have berries which are delicious food for many birds. 


Many people choose evergreen shrubs as a way of privacy and put them in hedges. Evergreen shrubs, including those with red foliage, can be used to create privacy screens or hedges, blocking unwanted views from the street and neighborhood.   


Why Do Some Plants Have Red Leaves Instead of Green?

Ans: Leaves are typically green due to a molecule called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll captures all colors from light except green, which is reflected in our eyes, causing us to perceive them as green. 

Reds or other colors in certain plants are attributed to pigments known as anthocyanins and carotenoids. These pigments are produced in response to various environmental factors, including sunlight, temperature changes, and stress. 

In essence, pigmentation is a complex biological process that contributes to the diverse coloration of foliage, including red.

Do Red Evergreen Shrubs Stay Red All Year?

Ans: Some plants change color, while others do not. Certain shrubs change their leaf color during certain times, going from green to red, orange, yellow, and more. But, red evergreen shrubs keep their leaves all year round, regardless of whether they remain red. 

Yet, their red color’s intensity can change based on factors like the season, sunlight, and the plant’s health. This red color often stands out more during particular times, such as spring and fall.

Do Red Evergreen Shrubs Attract Pollinators?

Ans: Yes, some red evergreen shrubs with showy flowers can attract pollinators like butterflies and bees. The combination of red foliage and colorful flowers makes these shrubs appealing to beneficial insects, contributing to a more vibrant garden ecosystem.

Do Red Evergreen Shrubs Require Special Pruning?

Ans: Red evergreen shrubs require the same pruning as other deciduous shrubs to maintain their shape, health, and vibrant foliage color. But they don’t require any special pruning or maintenance. 

The maintenance needs of red evergreen shrubs can vary; some may require more attention, while others might have moderate to minimal requirements. The specifics vary from one plant to another.


Red evergreen shrubs offer a wide variety of benefits to gardeners and homeowners. Their year-round appeal, low maintenance requirements, and ability to create striking focal points make them versatile for landscapes of all sizes and styles. 

Their capacity to withstand drought conditions while providing an ecosystem for birds and pollinators showcases their value as decorative elements and contributors to a thriving natural balance in the landscape.

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