There’s no doubt about it, flowers are lovely. But for true season-long interest in the garden, the best shrubs don’t just produce pretty flowers. They also have foliage that offers a burst of color and texture for months on end. Today, we’ve teamed up with the good folks at Bloomin’ Easy Plants to introduce you to four amazing colorful shrubs that are real standouts in the landscape.
Why plant colorful shrubs?
Shrubs with colorful foliage are among the shining stars of the garden. Not only do they dress up foundation plantings and shrub beds, they also add form and structure to perennial borders, mailbox gardens, and even hedgerows and privacy plantings. Their brightly colored leaves lend their hues to the garden for the entire growing season, not just while the plant is in flower.
As an added bonus, shrubs with colorful foliage often change in appearance throughout the growing season. Their new leaves may emerge one color in the early spring, only to change to a different shade through the summer months. Then, come autumn, they may turn yet another color before the leaves fall from the plants. This kind of season-long interest is hard to come by in the garden, but these shrubs have it in spades.
Of course in addition to their beautiful foliage, the best colorful shrubs for your garden also have gorgeous blooms. Regardless of their shape or color, the flowers these shrubs produce add a whole other layer of interest to the landscape. Plus, many are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, as well. Colorful shrubs are a win-win for so many reasons.
The best colorful shrubs for your garden
These four vibrant and easy-care shrubs from Bloomin’ Easy Plants are exceptional choices for any garden that receives full sun. They’re fully winter hardy down to at least -30 degrees F and require very little pruning due to their smaller stature.
1. Nightglow™ Diervilla
A stunning shrub whose foliage emerges a beautiful burgundy before deepening into a dark, velvety near-black when summer arrives, Nightglow™ bears clusters of yellow, tubular flowers from spring through summer. At autumn’s arrival, this colorful shrub changes to a brighter red before leaf drop (see photo above). Maturing at just two to three feet in height with an equal spread, this well-behaved Diervilla is perfectly suited to landscapes both big and small.
2. Rainbow Fizz™ Spirea
This shrub is like a living rainbow! In early spring, the new foliage is a coppery red (see the photo at the top of this page). But as summer’s heat arrives, the leaves change to multiple hues of gold, yellow, and orange. Yes, all those colors are on the plant at the same time! Oh, and to top it off, Rainbow Fizz™ also puts on a show of pink fuzzy blooms almost all summer long. Autumn brings a flush of coppery red to this colorful shrub. Its small stature of just three to four feet in height and width, combined with a mounded growth habit, make it the perfect shrub for along walkways and even in containers.
3. Electric Love™ Weigela
Weigela is a favorite of the hummingbirds in my garden; they adore feeding on the tubular blooms. But Electric Love™ offers so much more than just colorful blooms early in the season. The red flowers are backed by dark leaves with green veination that look rich and velvety all season long. Standing just one to two feet tall with double the spread, this compact flowering shrub with colorful foliage is so versatile. I suspect it would do just as well in a container or patio planting as it would in a shrub island or foundation bed.
4. Strobe™ Weigela
Much like the previous weigela, Strobe™ is covered in trumpet-shaped flowers in the spring, though this time they’re a brilliant hot pink. Behind the bright pink blooms is a cascade of foliage colors throughout the growing season. First, the foliage on this three foot by three foot shrub is green and bronze. Then it ages to orange before turning a lovely crimson red in the autumn. The color changes may be somewhat dependent on night temperatures, so if you live where summer nights are hot, the color change may not be as dramatic. But, in areas where summer nights are a bit cooler, prepare to have your socks knocked off by this colorful shrub.
We hope you’ll plan to include some of these shrubs with colorful foliage in your garden. Fall is an excellent time to get planting! To find a local, independent garden center near you that carries the colorful shrubs described above, please visit the “Find a Retailer” feature on the Bloomin’ Easy website.
A big thank you to Bloomin’ Easy Plants for sponsoring this post and allowing us to help spread the word about the benefits of including foliage shrubs in your garden.
For more on great shrubs for your garden, check out the following posts:
- Dwarf flowering shrubs for small gardens and landscapes
- Panicle hydrangeas: 3 no-fail choices for reliable blooms
- Flowering shrubs for your garden: 5 beauties for full sun
- Flowering shrubs for the shade
What are your favorite shrubs with colorful foliage? We’d love to hear about them in the comment section below.