It's not only full-size trees that put on an amazing fall color display when autumn arrives. Quite a few deciduous shrubs turn red in the fall before they lose their leaves for the winter. If you want your outdoor living space to showcase jewel-toned foliage in autumn, all you need to do is add some bushes that turn red in the fall to your landscape. Explore a selection of 11 shrubs with leaves that turn red once autumn arrives.
Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) typically grows to between four and six feet tall with an equivalent spread. It produces white flowers in the spring followed by beautiful, tart berries that are a blackish purple color in the fall. During the spring and summer, this plant's leaves progress from light to dark green. When fall arrives, they transition to multiple shades of red. Black chokeberry is hardy in USDA Zones 4-8.
Brandywine viburnum (Viburnum nudum 'Bulk') produces masses of gorgeous edible berries that can be eaten directly from the plant or used to make jelly or jam. This lovely bush has long leaves that are green during the warm months, then turn a deep shade of red when autumn arrives. Brandywine viburnum grows to reach between five and six feet tall with an equivalent spread. This shrub is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
Crimson Pygmy Barberry
Crimson pygmy barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Atropurpurea Nana') is a compact shrub that generally grows to between 18 inches and two feet tall. With a spread of up to three feet, this shrub tends to be wider than it is tall. Its leaves are a reddish purple tone most of the year, but they transition to a deep crimson red in autumn. Birds love to munch on barberry berries. Crimson pygmy barberry is hardy in USDA Zones 4-8.
Dwarf Burning Bush Euonymus
Don't let its name fool you. Dwarf burning bush euonymus (Euonymus alatus 'Compactus') is a sizeable plant. It grows up to 10 feet tall and has an equivalent spread, so it takes up quite a bit of space in a landscape. This shrub produces lovely red flowers during the summer. When fall arrives, its green leaves turn bright red. Dwarf burning bush euonymus is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
Henry's garnet (Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet') is sometimes referred to as Henry's garnet sweetspire or Virginia sweetspire. This bush reaches a height of three to five feet and can spread up to six feet wide. In the spring, it produces impressive white bottlebrush flowers with a backdrop of green leaves. In the fall, its leaves turn a rich shade of red. Henry's garnet is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
Highbush blueberries are known for producing yummy berries during spring and summer. That's important work, but these plants also contribute immensely to the beauty of a fall landscape due to the fact that their ordinarily green leaves turn red during autumn. Northern highbush blueberries can grow up to 12 feet tall, while southern highbush varieties typically don't grow beyond four feet tall. Both types can spread as wide as they are tall. They are hardy in USDA Zones 3-8.
Mount Airy Fothergilla
Mount Airy (Fothergilla 'Mount Airy' ) is a dwarf fothergilla cultivar. This deciduous shrub is known for producing beautiful white bottlebrush flowers in the spring as well as putting on an impressive red foliage display in the fall. This shrub is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9. It is a relatively small shrub, growing only to reach between three to five feet tall with an equivalent spread.
Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is known for its profuse production of gorgeous flower panicles that bloom in the summer, but this shrub also puts on an impressive show when autumn arrives. In fall, oakleaf hydrangea foliage changes color to take on a deep red hue accented by bronze and purple tones. Oakleaf hydrangea is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9. This plant generally reaches between five and eight feet tall, with an equivalent spread.
Red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) is a large shrub that produces edible red berries that are often used to make jam. It has green leaves during spring and summer, but its leaves transition to a lovely orangish red color in the fall. Red chokeberry shrubs typically stand between six and 10 feet tall with a spread of between three and six feet wide. Red chokeberry is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is a very large shrub. It typically reaches between nine and 15 feet tall with an equivalent spread. Assuming that there are male and female shrubs in proximity to one another, this plant produces edible berries that are often used to make tea. Its leaves are green during the warm months, but turn a lovely shade of orangey red in the fall. This plant is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
Witch alder (Fothergilla major) is sometimes called large fothergilla or mountain witch alder. This shrub's height ranges from six to 10 feet tall and it can spread between five and nine feet wide. It produces fragrant white flowers in spring. In the fall, they put on an amazing show featuring leaves that turn yellow, orangey-red, and purplish red. Witch alder is hardy in USDA Zones 4-8.
Plant Bushes That Turn Red in Fall
Boost the wow factor of your fall yard by adding some of these incredible shrubs to your landscape. Red autumn leaves are not the only benefit you - and your yard - will gain. These bushes will beautify your yard all year long, and some will even provide you with tasty berries to enjoy. When fall arrives, of course, that's when they'll put on their most spectacular show. You'll be able to sit back, relax, and view spectacular fall foliage just outside your window. Once they turn red, it won't be long before winter arrives and they, along with any other deciduous shrubs and trees you have, lose their leaves until springtime.