6 Red Plants to Consider Growing in Wisconsin


Red are often the pride and joy gardeners. Which red plants should you consider growing in Wisconsin?
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Red is an eye-catching color that looks amazing next to the color green. Gardeners often include the red-green color scheme in gardens and landscaping because red stands out.

Here’s a list of red plants that will add color and brightness to your Wisconsin garden.

1. Cardinal Flower 

The cardinal flower is a garden plant that’s popular for its scarlet red flowers, which bloom in late summer and attract butterflies and other pollinating insects and birds.

Cardinal flowers require little maintenance once planted. Although it can tolerate direct sunlight, ensure cardinal flowers’ roots remain cool by watering the plant regularly and adding mulch around its base.

red cardinal flower in the garden

2. Red-Osier Dogwood 

Red-osier dogwoods are native to Wisconsin and provide food and shelter to over 100 different species of birds. These hardy plants can be grown as an attractive hedge or border plant in almost any soil type.

Red-osier dogwoods offer a magnificent color contrast when planted near evergreens, especially in the winter, as their young stems emerge in a bright shade of red. In the fall, it produces clusters of white berries. 

This hardy plant helps control erosion control and only requires minimal upkeep.

red osier dogwood in the dry grassland

3. Red Maple 

This deciduous tree grows to be 40 – 60 feet tall. It has medium to dark green leaves, but all of its new foliage and branches grow in red or have a slight crimson hue. 

Its flowers bloom before its leaves appear in late winter to early spring. 

Red maple is a popular landscape tree. A young red maple tree grows quickly and can produce samaras in 5 years. It can tolerate different types of soil, but it grows best in soil that’s moist and slightly acidic.

beautiful red maple tree in the forest

4. Black Chokeberry 

Black chokeberry is a deciduous shrub that grows to be 3 – 6 feet tall. It naturally grows in low-lying areas and woods, marshes, and bogs.

The berries it produces are edible, although they are too acidic to eat fresh. They can also survive the winter and provide food for birds and other animals. Its foliage turns red, orange, or purple in the fall.

In the spring, this shrub produces clusters of eye-catching white flowers. 

red leaves with growing black chokeberry

5. Eastern Wahoo 

Eastern wahoo is a small tree or shrub that grows in wooded areas, near streams, and in thickets. Its dark green, oval leaves turn red in the fall. 

This shrub produces small purple flowers that grow and bloom for a month from late spring through early summer. 

Its red berries attract wildlife and pollinating insects. This shrub is widely popular for its red berries and colorful fall foliage.

beautiful pink flowers starting to bloom

6. Winterberry Holly 

Winterberry holly is a deciduous shrub that grows off-white flowers in the spring; these berries become bright red berries in the winter and spring. 

Its berry-filled branches complement evergreen landscapes. The winterberry holly plant is often associated with the Christmas holiday.

small red winterberry holly in the backyard
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.
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