If you’re searching for plants that add a touch of drama to your garden, ones with red stems are an excellent choice. These vibrant plants can bring a burst of color, even during the winter months. Master Horticulturist Peter Lickorish explains that a combination of bright greens and striking reds can create a powerful design feature, reminiscent of Japanese gardens. In this article, we’ll explore twenty stunning plants with red stems that can thrive in the UK. Let’s dive in!
1) Purple Bergenia
The purple bergenia kicks off our list in style. This perennial boasts thick red stems adorned with lovely pink, trumpet-shaped flowers in the spring. Bees and butterflies are attracted to these beautiful blooms, making it a pollinator-friendly addition to your garden. Once established, purple bergenias require minimal care and can be incorporated into various garden displays.
2) Common Dogwood
Known for its colorful foliage, the common dogwood is a hardy shrub that truly stands out. Even after its leaves have fallen in winter, it reveals a stunning array of fiery red branches and stems. These make excellent shelter for wildlife and can be a bold choice for a low-maintenance, informal garden hedge. For a warming display, consider the ‘Midwinter Fire’ cultivar and prune larger cultivars every 2-3 years in mid-spring to enhance stem color.
3) American Pokeweed
American pokeweed is a unique perennial shrub that boasts pinky-red stems. Its large oval leaves and racemes of pink and white flowers add beauty to your garden during summer and autumn. Come autumn, it produces black berries that dangle from their own red stems, creating an ornamental statement. This shrub thrives in a sheltered location and clay or loam-based growing medium, making it a delightful addition to any garden.
4) Japanese Barberry
The Japanese barberry is a small shrub that packs a punch. Its red woody stems and small rounded leaves bring a vibrant touch to your garden. The leaves turn red in September, fall off, and then reappear as green buds in spring. Plant Japanese barberry at the edges of your garden or create a bushy hedge by planting multiple shrubs in a row. This low-maintenance option is perfect for adding color to your landscape.
5) Christmas Berry ‘Red Robin’
With its bright red leaves that turn green as they mature, the photinia ‘Red Robin’ is a shrub that offers more than just red stems. This evergreen shrub is also suitable for hedging, though it requires slightly acidic to neutral soil pH. The effort is worth it, as you’ll be rewarded with creamy-white flowers in spring. Add this photinia variety to your garden for a burst of color.
Stay tuned for the remaining plants…
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