Coloured Foliage in the landscape

Incorporating coloured foliage in your landscape can add contrast and heighten visual impact. Green and blue are very restful and soothing, red is more arresting and less soothing and in between is purple. Experiment with a colour in your annual pots.

Research the plant you want to add to your landscape and confirm it suits your site by knowing its size, hardiness zone, soil preference, adaptation to wind, shade/sun, type of root system and maintenance requirements. Lastly, does your plant choice have a few other outstanding characteristics such as disease resistance, flowers that attract pollinators, food for wildlife, more than one season of interest and low maintenance.

Here is a short list of red and purple coloured foliage plants. A few NEW ADDITIONS and a few TRIED AND TRUE PLANTS suited to zone 2 or 3. All plant sizes are in feet and by height x width.


Rugged Charm Maple – red seed wings set against green leaves all summer, compact 20 x 13, beautiful fall colour.

Thunderchild Flowering Crabapple –green leaves turn to dark purple for summer, compact 17 x 13 feet, disease resistant; flowers attract pollinators, beautiful fall colour, food for wildlife.

Royal Raindrops Flowering Crabapple – unique shaped leaves mature to burgundy in summer, compact 20 x 13, disease resistant; flowers attract pollinators, food for wildlife.


Barberry – from pink to red to dark purple foliage; many colourful choices ranging in size from 1.5 to 5 x 1.5 to 5.

Ninebark – dark red-purple to purple foliage; several choices ranging in size from 3 to 5 x 3 to 5, flowers attract pollinators.

Magic Carpet Spirea – gold leaves edged in red, 1 x 2, summer flowers attract pollinators.


Purple-Leaf Bugbane – with graceful purple-green foliage, 6 x 3; attracts pollinators to its late summer blooms in the part shade garden.

Blood Brothers Red Switch Grass – blue-green foliage in spring then turns red by midsummer, 5 x 3 and clump forming; attracts pollinators and adds winter interest.

Husker’s Red Beard Tongue – burgundy foliage, 3 x 2, attracts pollinators with its white flowers and maybe a hummingbird.


Begonia– dark-leaved or Mocha Non-Stop Begonia in several flower colours for the shade pot.

Coleusmany beautiful colour combinations, for the morning sun or shade pot.

Colourful Vegetables 

Kale – Redbor – begins green with pink veins and turns maroon.

Lettuce – many types: Mesclun mix, leaf and head.

Post for April, 2020