6 Red Plants to Consider Growing in New York

Red plants can add a pop of vibrant color to your garden. Which ones should you consider growing in New York?

Red plants add romance and emotional energy to a garden. By strategically positioning bright red-colored plants, you can influence the way others see your garden or landscape. Additionally, many pollinators, including hummingbirds and butterflies, are drawn to red flowers.

New York’s planting zones vary widely depending on location. So it is essential to find hardy plants that grow well under varying conditions. The following is a list of red plants you should consider adding to your New York landscape.

1. Red October (Andropogon gerardii)

Red October, also known as Andropogon gerardii, distinguishes itself with its rich green summer leaves and stunning blood-red fall foliage.

It is a tall, warm-season grass producing thin, green leaves that grow in tall and erect clumps. The grass, which can reach a height of 6 feet, is an excellent performer in the garden.

Red October thrives in low-nutrient, sandy, or heavy soils. It is an attractive plant due to its incredible architectural height and unique flower/seed heads. 

tall bluestem grass in the field

2. Helena Red Shades (Helenium autumnale)

Helenium autumnale is a clumping perennial wildflower with remarkable winged stems and long, brilliant green leaves. A versatile plant,  Helenium, will grow anywhere there is light, partial sun, and wet to moist soil. 

Helena Red Shades is covered with profusions of coppery red flowers from mid-summer until the end of the blooming season. A large number of pollinators visit the flowers. In the fall, the leaves are adorned with a profusion of golden flower heads that resemble daisies.

red and yellow helena flowers

3. Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)

Diervilla lonicera, often known as bush honeysuckle, has thick, dark green foliage that turns yellow-orange, red, and purple in the fall. Colors are even more vibrant on plants that receive a lot of sunlight. 

The small, bell-shaped flowers emerge yellow-green and eventually turn orange or purplish-red. This drought-tolerant native plant easily adapts to rocky, poor soils. The species is regarded as an excellent native replacement plant in place of invasive and non-native honeysuckles. 

pink honeysuckle flowers under the sun

4. Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Red maple, or Acer rubrum, is a deciduous tree that grows in various Adirondack Mountain habitats. It is one of the most widespread and abundant trees in eastern North America.

The tree’s popular name, red maple, refers to its red or reddish-colored flowers, fruits, leaf stalks, and fall foliage. The red maple is one of the first trees to bloom in the spring, generally a few weeks before their leaves appear.

With a diameter of 4 feet and a height of up to 90 feet, it grows well in medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

red maple tree during spring

5. Red Rage (Nyssa sylvatica)

The native Nyssa sylvatica, Haymanred, also called blackgum or black tupelo, produces beautiful young red leaves that mature to glossy dark green. The leaves turn a vibrant scarlet-orange again in the fall. The furrowed black bark adds a unique depth to any landscape.

It is valued for its remarkable pyramidal growth habit, maturing to a height of roughly 35 feet and a spread of 20 feet. It requires minimal maintenance and is an excellent choice for attracting birds to your garden. It grows best in wet, organic, acidic soils and is intolerant of urban pollution.

red leaves of a nyssa sylvatica tree

6. Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Virginia creeper is a popular, hardy, sturdy vine that can be used as a screen. It’s an excellent ground cover for hiding stumps and rock piles and preventing erosion on slopes.

Virginia creeper leaves can fully cover any surface and change to stunning mauve, scarlet, and purple colors in the fall. This plant is easy to grow and has a high tolerance for poor soil and urban settings. It is incredibly adaptable and grows rapidly.

virginia creeper vines covering the front house
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
More ArticlesFlowers and Ornamentals