6 Red Plants to Consider Growing in New Jersey

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

Because of the number of plants that thrive in New Jersey’s climate, everyone in the state can have lovely gardens with blooming flowers.

Red flowers stand out in the landscape and complement a variety of other brightly colored plants. The foliage, flowers, or berries of these attractive plants will add a splash of color to your garden.

Here are 6 plants that do particularly well in the Garden State.

1. Red Maple (Acer Rubrum)

The red maple is an oval-shaped tree that grows quickly. This medium-sized deciduous tree can reach a height of 75 feet and produces a stunning crimson fall color.

The tree’s fruits follow clusters of red flowers that emerge in March and April. Native bees and honeybees greatly benefit from the nectar produced by the flowers.

This plant promotes biodiversity by acting as a host for moth and butterfly larvae. The caterpillars are also a source of food for birds in the early spring.

The red maple is often used as a specimen or shade tree, but keep it away from sidewalks and driveways since its shallow roots can cause the pavement to buckle.

beautiful bright red maple in the field

2. Red Chokeberry (Aronia Arbutifolia)

The red chokeberry is a native, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that provides interest all year. 

Clusters of white to light pink flowers emerge in the spring. The leaves are lustrous and green in the summer and turn orange-red in the fall. The vibrant red, pear-shaped berries appear in the fall and can last all the way into the winter. The reddish-brown bark adds character to winter gardens.

Red chokeberries have an upright growth habit. Their texture blends into the landscape, but it can stand out when paired with either coarser or finer plants.

red chokeberry in a narrow village road

3. Black Chokeberry (Aronia Melanocarpa)

The black chokeberry is a hardy, small- to medium-sized shrub that grows upright and has a mounding habit. In the spring, it produces eye-catching white flower clusters. In the fall, the leaves turn from green to a vibrant red, orange, and purple shade.

Although the fruit of a black chokeberry can be consumed fresh, they have an acidic flavor. The tart fruit is best used to make jams and jellies. It also serves as a food source for birds and wildlife.

red leaves with growing black chokeberry

4. Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)

The flowering dogwood is a small deciduous tree with delicate branches. In the spring, the large, beautiful flowers are usually greenish-white, but they can also be pink or yellow.

This native tree is an excellent addition to the garden landscape, especially as a specimen tree. It produces red berries in the fall, and the leaves turn a deep red before disappearing for the winter. 

Flowering dogwoods thrive in partially shaded areas of the yard and prefer moist, acidic, organic soils.

beautiful blossoms of white and pink flowers

5. Cardinal Flower (Lobelia Cardinalis)

Cardinal flowers bloom at the top of an upright, unbranched stem. At maturity, this plant produces lance-shaped, dark green leaves and tall spikes of cardinal red flowers.

The flower cluster grows on slender pedicels known as racemes, blooming from the bottom up. Overall, they grow to a height of 4 and 5 feet.

Although cultivars with white and rose-pink flowers are available, the original variety features scarlet red blossoms. But no matter which variety you choose, they all make excellent landscape plants for gardens with damp soil.

red cardinal flower blooming in unbranched stem

6. Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja Coccinea)

The Indian paintbrush is a biennial plant that forms rosettes in its first year and bloom stalks in its second year, usually in the spring or early summer. The plant deteriorates and dies after releasing its seed.

The flower petals are very inconspicuous, but the sepals take on a red color. The brilliant red projections that appear to be petals are actually bracts, a type of modified leaf. 

Indian paintbrush requires full sun and well-drained soil. It grows best in a grassland or wildflower meadow, where it is surrounded by other native species.

Alaine Connolly
Alaine has been working way too hard in horticulture since 1992, beautifying golf courses, resorts, and hotels. She is a part time landscape designer who works full time caring for a 28,000 square foot public garden. At home, she maintains her own 400 square feet plot. Alaine lives in northern Illinois - zone 5b.
More ArticlesTrees and Bushes