title block for burgundy plants

Shopping for plants can be fun or nerve-wracking. Having a color scheme and sticking to it can help narrow down the choices made for bedding plants. There are four colors I tend to see in any garden, whether it be evergreen or deciduous. Those colors that are it in the flower, fruit, leaf or bark tend to be either a shade of burgundy, yellow, green, or blue. Incorporate combinations of two or all into a design for any landscape. A list of plant choices in the burgundy color scheme will assist at the garden center in deciding which are excellent choices for space and light requirements in your landscape.

 

Burgundy Native Plants

Everyone wants low maintenance (which does not mean ‘no maintenance’) plants in the garden. I agree. Unless the plant is worth it for some personal reason, I recommend letting the plant take form and shape naturally. No hedge trimmers, please! The following native plants for the garden have that favorite shade of burgundy that gives a rich vividness.

 

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Summer Wine’)

Deciduous
Low Maintenance

This native is low maintenance because it can tolerate drought and variable pH levels. The white flowers grow lush up the stem forming corymbs and stand out against the burgundy leaf color on the plant. In the winter when the leaves have dropped, the bark tends to exfoliate, giving an additional season of interest in the garden. Summer Wine grows in a rounded spreading shape. It can reach 6′ by 6′ making it a beautiful burgundy bedding plant. Try pairing it with tints of red or pink Knock Out Roses to play off the color. Placing a ground cover under it like Lysimachia nummularia with its yellow chartreuse leaves will be a nice shot of color and brighten the space. The chartreuse in the Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny) also compliments the tints of gold found in the newly forming leaves. The stems themselves on this drought-tolerant shrub have a burgundy shade that colors the space too.

 

Ninebark-Summer Wine-Burgundy Plants

 

Carolina Allspice (Calycanthus floridus)

Deciduous
Low Maintenance

You can’t walk by this in bloom without smelling it. Its fruity smell is why its common name is Carolina allspice. The burgundy flowers are hard to ignore in the spring, and the leaves turn a golden yellow in fall, making it very colorful for the native garden. Place these in a sunny location or part shade. They are deer tolerant and will adapt to clay or wet soils. This one was near the pond at the Biltmore Estate. This one will naturalize and spread with suckering roots. Use it as a screen where you need privacy. It will reach upwards of 8′ by 10′ wide. Placing it near a seating area will gain extra pleasure to enjoy its fragrance.

 

Favorite Burgundy plants for the landscape

 

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Deciduous
Low Maintenance

This show stopper specimen tree in the spring is one of my favorite spring bloomers. Its early floral display is stunning with tiny purple edible flowers that burst open on bare branches. The purple-burgundy heart-shaped leaves emerge soon after. This April bloomer pairs well with forsythia and early blooming creeping phlox nearby. Adding Delta Blue pansies or muscari blooms nearby the purple flowers makes a beautiful display each spring. Double the pleasure by setting your blue pansies out in the fall.  The color drama starts when the leaves of the Redbud turn yellow pairing nicely with the pansies that will pop their beautiful heads out the following spring! The Redbud can be used as an understory tree and performs well in regular and consistent moisture in full sun to part shade. Place it in a naturalized setting near a woodland border or near a patio where you can sit and take in all the breathtaking beauty throughout the season.

burgundy plants and trees for the landscape

 

Ornamental Burgundy Plants that Show Off

Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

Ornamental Grass
Low Maintenance

This warm-season perennial grass is not noticed until fall when all of a sudden you think the circus has come to town and left all the cotton candy in your garden. Its dramatic clouds of fall flowers (September-November) give a wispy display that will stop the neighbors to ask you ‘What is it? I’ve got to have some.’ It doesn’t take up much room, only a 3 ft. tall and wide and tucks in nicely to a perennial border or cottage garden. The pink to mauve inflorescences blooms awhile in the fall which makes the wait worth it. It can tolerate black walnut trees and drought, which makes it a keeper in areas where nothing else will grow. Group them to make a broader swath of color and team it with blue-green evergreens or purple asters for contrast.

Pink Muhly grass-burgundy plants for landscape designs

 

Japanese Maple ‘Crimson Queen’ (Acer palmatum var.dissectum)

Deciduous
Low Maintenance

 

If you need a focal point in the garden to enjoy year round, look no more. It’s low hanging branches drape like a curtsy and makes for a sculptural display even when the leaves have dropped. The burgundy leaves look like lace hankies waving back and forth in a breeze. Don’t take your eyes off this 10 ft. tall and wide delicate sweetheart. Plant this where you can enjoy from all sides in partial to full sun.   Contrast it with chartreuse colored plants or pops of purple and blue evergreens such as Blue Star Juniper nearby to accentuate its burgundy leaves.

 

color scheme of burgundy plants with chartreuse

 

Burgundy Foliage Plants

Sedum ‘Firecracker’

Perennial
Low Maintenance

If you have a dry, well-drained area and you need a colorful groundcover, try this burgundy perennial. It’s rabbit and deer tolerant and bonus; it helps with soil erosion. This would be great on a border or creeping around rock croppings. The burgundy foliage plant thrives in full sun.

 

Coral Bells (Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding‘)

Perennial
Low Maintenance

This showy foliage plant has a burgundy leaf that stops every passerby.  Their foliage mounds and does best in part shade. Get double duty of this one by popping in a container garden, then removing and placing into the border garden.  A woodland garden is a great place to plant and enjoy in the shade.  Its height can reach a little over 2 ft. tall and wide.

purple-burgundy colored plants for the landscape

 

Redhead Coleus (Solenostemon scuttellarioides)

Nothing gets more attention than this burgundy foliage plant. Its annual color tucked in just the right places make for spectacular fireworks of color in a garden where it can have partial sun. I love to team mine with blue Angelonia and Diamond Frost Euphorbia. The contrast in colors make them showstoppers and rightly so! These grew from 1-gallon size containers and reached 24 inches in height and about the same in width. I grow them every year in my garden.

burgundy foliage for the garden border

 

So the next time you are at the garden center and looking for a variety of color for your garden landscape design in Hendersonville, NC, try this list of burgundy plants to add a dramatic color combination into your plant palette. If you need a landscape design in the Henderson or Buncombe County area, give me a call, and we can discuss your project.

Resources:

The Homeowner’s Complete Tree & Shrub Handbook, Penelope O’Sullivan
Three Cheers for Ninebark: Physocarpus opulifolius
https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/

 

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