Plants with maroon leaves can be precisely what you need to add balance to your landscape. They provide interest in the off-season when other plants aren’t blooming or are dormant, and they can bring out the color of bright plants and flowers.

Plants with Maroon Leaves

Our experienced gardening specialists have listed 15 species with maroon and burgundy leaves to help you create the perfect garden setup.

A List of Maroon-Leafed Plants to Complement Your Garden

1. Oakleaf Hydrangea

This flowering shrub is an excellent choice for woodland gardens, with coarse leaves that contrast beautifully with the foliage of nearby delicate plants.

– Planting

Also known as Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Burgundy’, it grows to be about eight feet tall and eight feet wide, so it can be a foundation or border plant. You should grow this plant in rich, slightly acidic soil, and plant it in late fall or early spring, so the high temperatures don’t affect it.

– Growth Conditions

Ensure the soil is well-draining, and provide your plant with compost to boost flowering.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

It appreciates some afternoon shade, and you’ll have to water it depending on how much light it receives.

– Benefits

The oakleaf hydrangea provides an all-year interest in your garden, as the beautiful flowers appear white in the spring and then slowly turn pink in the summer. After they fade, the attractive fall foliage will fill your garden with warm shades of maroon, burgundy, red, purple and orange bronze while the peeling branches add more texture to your landscape.

2. Eastern Redbud

The Cercis canadensis is one of the first trees to bloom in your winter garden. It has heart-shaped leaves that turn yellowish-burgundy in fall and winter.

– Characteristics

Compared to other trees, this one is short-lived, as it can live for up to 20 years. In late or early spring, bright pink flowers appear on the stems, and then they fade to form seed-filled fruits.

Eastern Redbud

This plant attracts pollinators to your garden and withstands allelopathic plants like black walnut trees.

– Planting

This tree takes two years to get established, and then it becomes tolerant of various weather conditions, although it doesn’t like to be transplanted.

– Growth Conditions

This plant can tolerate sandy and clay soil, but flowers need access to full sun to bloom. Water this tree once a week, and increase watering during dry spells.

3. Mount Airy Dwarf Fothergilla

This shrub is an exciting addition to your garden in spring and fall. It’s a plant with many cultivars, some of which have been awarded at various competitions.

– Characteristics

It can be about three to five feet tall, which makes it a good border or screen plant, and it grows small bottlebrush-like white flowers in the spring. This Fothergilla cultivar grows white flowers that smell like licorice.

– Growing Conditions

You should grow this shrub in well-draining soil that should be kept moderately moist.

Mount Airy Dwarf Fothergilla

The plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and should be monitored because the suckers can make it spread fast in your garden.

– Special Features

The irregular witch hazel-like leaves are green with blue-gray undersides and turn to beautiful warm shades of orange, maroon and golden in the fall. You can grow it as a colorful addition to your woodland garden or as an interesting hedge.

4. Zygopetalum Orchid

These fragrant burgundy flowers are native to tropical regions, and their fragrance ranges from chocolaty to spicy.

– Flowering and Light

This epiphytic orchid plant can bloom up to four times a year with proper care, with the blooms lasting for up to four weeks. They need filtered light, but some partial shade will protect them from sunburn.

– Characteristics

The leaves are deep green, and the flowers have burgundy, purple, green, white and sometimes even blue petals.

Zygopetalum Orchid

You can grow these plants in pots or containers in addition to orchid mounts.

– Growing Conditions

These plants don’t tolerate soggy soil, which can damage the roots. You can grow them in slightly acidic, well-draining soil and water them regularly to encourage frequent blooming.

5. Crape Myrtle

The Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) ‘Black Diamond’ is a small tree that grows in USDA zones 6 to 9.

– Planting Options

It’s considered a low-maintenance tree, and this is why it’s a good choice for a novice gardener. It’s tolerant of urban pollution and can represent an all-year-round interest in your garden.

– Flowers and Foliage

In summer, this tree grows beautiful red, pink and rose flowers, which stay in bloom for a long time. After they fade, seed pods will appear, and you can enjoy the attractive foliage that adds beauty to your fall garden.

Crape Myrtle

The leaves turn from fresh green to orange, burgundy, maroon, golden and bronze, and then they fall off as the tree goes into dormancy.

– Care Requirements

This tree is known as a street tree because it requires minimal maintenance. It can’t tolerate soggy soil but can withstand different pH levels. Yet, it thrives in slightly acidic soil. Regular watering and full sun guarantee better blooming.

6. Coral Bells

There are several varieties in the Heuchera family, and all feature a woody rootstock with tiny bell-shaped flowers that bloom in spring and summer.

– Flowers and Foliage

Some types have purple, lime, maroon, gold and burgundy foliage, and they grow to reach a height of 18 inches. The white, pink, red and orange flowers bloom when given access to full sun. Yet, most gardeners choose to cut the flowering stalk to direct the plant’s energy into producing more foliage.

– Growth Conditions

Humus-rich, well-draining soil is essential for this plant, and it thrives in partial shade.

Coral Bells

It can tolerate some drought, but it prefers the soil to be constantly moist. Most cultivars will thrive in shade gardens, where other flowering plants might struggle to survive.

– Planting Options

However, you can grow these plants in rock and woodland gardens, where they can be grown as ground covers or borders. They also represent a cool addition to your container garden.

7.  Purple-Leaved Filbert

The Corylus maxima ‘Purpurea’ is a large shrub characterized by its broad leaves. It’s a common addition to gardens as it’s resistant to extreme temperatures.

– Foliage

The bright purple leaves fade to green or maroon purple in late summer, contrasting with other bright green plants in your garden.

– Flowers

The bee-attracting flowers appear in late spring, usually red-brown, then fade to form edible nuts surrounded by red-brown bracts.

– Characteristics

This plant is pretty easy to maintain and has a robust root system. It’s almost immune to diseases and pests, which makes it a good choice for a beginner gardener.

Purple Leaved Filbert

It achieves its best growth and colors when it receives full sun exposure but can also tolerate partial shade.

– Growth Conditions

This plant is resistant to drought once established. It’s also resistant to wind and frost and can live up to 20 years. It can survive in various well-draining soil types, including loamy and sandy soil, but it prefers slightly alkaline soil.

8. Japanese Maple

There are several colorful varieties in the Acer palmatum family, and they’re all characterized by their outstanding foliage.

– Foliage

Unlike other trees, these ones will have burgundy, bronze, orange and maroon leaves throughout the year, with some cultivars growing green leaves in summer. Some trees grow golden-green or bi-colored red leaves.

– Characteristics

Most types can grow to reach a height of 25 feet, but there are some dwarf varieties, like the ‘Crimson Queen’ cultivar. The cascading habit of the foliage adds interest to your garden and will contrast beautifully with taller shrubs.

Japanese Maple

Although these trees bloom in summer, most people grow them for their attractive leaves.

– Planting Options

These trees can withstand colder climates, so they can grow in USDA zone 4 if planted in a protected location. However, they thrive in USDA zones 5 to 8. They can fit under black beauty walnuts and will be an excellent addition to your shade garden.

– Growth Conditions

The trees should be grown in rich, well-draining soil and watered regularly. They survive in full sun to partial shade.

9. Weigela

The Weigela shrubs belong to the honeysuckle family, and people use many cultivars for ornamental landscaping.

– Characteristics

These shrubs grow between 1 and 2 feet per year, reaching a maximum height of 10 feet tall in optimal conditions.

– Cultivars

The Florida cultivar is the most common one, although others can be grown in your garden. The name refers to the showy flowers and not the region.

Weigela Plant

Several variegated cultivars of this shrub add green, bronze, and maroon hues to your garden.

– Light and Soil Requirements

This plant needs to receive about ten hours of sunlight to stay healthy and will survive in moist, well-draining soil, regardless of its type.

– Flowers

They make good foundation and hedging plants and draw attention to your garden when their tiny flowers are in bloom. The flowers are usually pink, but they can also be red or white, and they attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

10. Hoya Wax Plant

This tropical low-maintenance fragrant plant is a slow to moderate grower, but it adds a pop of color wherever it’s grown.

– Flowers and Pollinators

This plant grows porcelain-like flower clusters that come in every color, including red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, burgundy and even black. They attract butterflies, moths, and other pollinators to your garden.

– Foliage and Light Requirements

The leaves look waxy and sometimes become burgundy or bronze with more sun exposure.

Hoya Wax Plant

It thrives when it receives bright indirect sunlight.

– Planting Options

You can grow this plant as a vine or a trailing plant in a hanging basket. It thrives in humid conditions, so it will be the perfect plant to grow next to a pond, fountain, or any other water feature in your garden.

– Growing Conditions

This plant should grow in well-draining soil because too much moisture can cause root rot. It should be watered when the soil dries out. Monthly fertilization is essential to boost this plant’s growth.

11. ‘Black Truffle’ Cardinal Flower

The Lobelia cardinalis perennial is native to North America, where it usually grows near swamps and other moist areas, growing salmon, white or pink flowers.

– Foliage and Flowers

This plant has clump-forming foliage and crimson-red tubular flowers. The ‘Black Truffle’ variety is characterized by dark foliage that can be dark purple, burgundy, maroon, or almost black.

– Growing Conditions

This plant thrives in rich, moist, and even wet soil and appreciates plenty of water. It prefers full sun, but some afternoon shade will benefit it in hotter climates.

Black Truffle Cardinal Flower

This plant thrives in wet soil that causes root rot in most plants.

– Propagation

Adding compost to improve moisture levels will boost its growth. It grows fast and self-seeds to continue in your garden for several years.

Pests and Toxicity

It’s almost pest-free, but the basal foliage can be damaged by slugs and snails. Unfortunately, this plant can poison humans and pets.

12. Smoke Bush Plant

This shrub or tree is usually grown as a specimen plant, thanks to its pretty feathery blooms and outstanding foliage.

– Flowers

It gets its common name from the hairs attached to the flower clusters. The flowers can be light pink when they first appear in late spring, but they get dark as the season progresses.

– Growth Conditions

The Cotinus coggygria plant thrives in sandy, well-draining soil but can tolerate different soil conditions.

Smoke Bush Plant

You should grow it in full sun or partial shade, and it requires deep watering at least twice a week. Yet once established, this plant can become drought-tolerant.

– Landscaping Options

All varieties of this plant change color in fall, contrasting beautifully with your late-season plants. You can grow this plant in larger gardens as a screen or hedge.

– Cultivars

The ‘Nordine’ variety is a hardy cultivar with purple foliage that turns orange-golden in fall. The ‘Royal Purple‘ features dark purple leaves. The ‘Velvet Cloak’s’ purple foliage turns maroon in fall and winter.

13. Purple Fountain Grass

This tropical ornamental grass brings warmth and tropical vibes to any landscape and garden setup.

– Climate

It thrives in USDA zones 9 and 10, reaching a height of 5 feet tall in optimal conditions. Although it’s not cold-hardy, some gardeners will choose to grow it in their gardens for a couple of seasons to enjoy its beauty because it looks beautiful. This plant needs some stalking to protect it from strong winds.

– Growth Conditions

Loamy soil works best, but it’s not picky about soil conditions. It should be watered regularly, but it can become a little drought-tolerant once established.

Purple Fountain Grass

It thrives when it receives at least six hours of sunlight.

– Landscaping Benefits

The slender, maroon-colored leaves will be a focal point in a mixed bed in your woodland garden. This plant grows feathery red blooms in summer, turning into feathery seed heads in fall, making it an excellent choice for your fall garden when other plants lose their beauty. Moreover, the seed heads are popular in dry flower arrangements.

14. Diablo Ninebark

These are flowering shrubs that can spread to 10 feet wide and reach a similar height. They’re versatile and can be included in many landscaping projects.

– Characteristics

This plant is native to North America and can grow in USDA zones 3 to 7. These fast-growing multi-branched shrubs grow pinkish-white flowers in early summer. Yet, people mostly grow them for their attractive foliage.

– Growth Conditions

It’s quite flexible and will grow in full sun to partial shade.

Diablo Ninebark

Although it thrives in well-draining soil and can be drought-tolerant, some cultivars are considered wetland plants.

– Special Features

The plant’s foliage is its biggest attraction, coming in shades of purple and burgundy with some red splashes. It turns to bronze or maroon in fall to add beauty to your late-season garden, while the peeling bark provides texture.

– Cultivars

Most people prefer to grow the ‘Coppertina’ variety for its copper-bronze leaves or the ‘Seward,’ which is a dwarf variety with wine-red foliage.

15. Japanese Barberry

Berberis thunbergii is a shrub known for having an all-year-round appeal. It grows green foliage, and yellow flowers appear in spring.

– Characteristics

As the temperature drops in fall, the foliage turns into bright shades of maroon, purple, red, orange and yellow. Later in winter, the shrub grows oblong red berries attracting attention to your garden.

– Growing Conditions

This plant is potentially maintenance-free and not prone to pests or diseases. It thrives in full sun but can tolerate some shade and is tolerant of different soil types.

Japanese Barberry

In addition, it’s drought-tolerant, so you can only water it during dry spells.

– Issues

This plant has painful thorns, and although it’s toxic to humans and pests, your kids and furry babies are unlikely to approach it because of them. Yet, since it requires regular pruning, you should be careful because contact can cause a skin reaction. In addition, it self-seeds easily, so it can become invasive in your garden.


Maroon, purple, burgundy and other dark-leafed plants can totally transform the look of your garden throughout the year.

  • Some burgundy plants, like purple fountain grass, maintain their unusual foliage all year.
  • Oakleaf hydrangea and Cotinus coggygria will show purple and burgundy foliage in the fall.
  • Some plants, like various Fothergilla varieties, will turn maroon, bronze and gold as the temperature drops.
  • Several plants combine their attractive dark foliage with purple and burgundy blooms, like the Zygopetalum orchid.

Combining dark-foliage plants with bright green plants creates texture and contrast in your garden. With our marvelous suggestions, your job will be easy if you want to grow plants with unusually attractive foliage.

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