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Best Plants for Color

February 8, 2022 Jill Raver
Filed in: Landscaping Guides

From the first spring blooms to bright spots on the coldest winter days, adding colorful plants to any landscape provides plenty of interest and helps break up seas of green. And while flowers tend to be what people think of initially when seeking to add color, there are actually many different plants that offer a wide range of hues and textures.

Depending on what space you want to jazz up, incorporating color through shrubs, trees, or ground cover are all options for areas both large and small. In this article, we are sharing some of the best choices to bring a diversity of colors and plenty of visual appeal to your yard.

Low Maintenance Colorful Outdoor Plants

Tri-Color Dappled Willow

Salix integra 'Hakuro-nishiki'
Growing Zones: 5-9
Mature Size: 8 to 10 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide
Colors: white and pink
Growth Rate: Fast

This willow works double duty, serving as both a colorful landscape plant as well as a privacy shrub. An excellent choice for most growing zones, the Tri-Color Dappled Willow provides whimsical hues all year long. Instead of traditional flower blooms, the leaves at the top of each branch turn soft pink in the spring, before changing to white for the summer. You’ll enjoy an abundance of color in the winter too, when plentiful red twigs peek out from the willow’s dense green foliage.

Purchase the Tri-Color Dappled Willow


Coral Bark Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku'
Growing Zones: 5-8
Mature Size: 15 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide
Colors: coral and yellow
Growth Rate: Moderate

The low-maintenance, colorful Coral Bark Japanese Maple provides an ornamental backdrop for a wide variety of landscape designs, from mixed beds to meditation gardens. Plant in full to partial sun, and watch in wonder as the seasons change. After enjoying lime green spring leaves and golden yellow autumn foliage, this maple will add enchantment to winter yards when its bark deepens to a vivid coral red. Pair this maple with accents like Blue Star or Grey Owl Junipers to create a professional-looking oasis quickly and easily.

Find the Coral Bark Japanese Maple online


Pink Lemonade Blueberry Bush

Vaccinium 'Pink Lemonade'
Growing Zones: 4-8
Mature Size: 4 to 5 feet tall and wide
Colors: pink
Growth Rate: Moderate

A treat for your eyes as well as your taste buds, this beautiful, easy to grow shrub offers unique and interesting tones, in addition to plenty of delicious pink blueberries. Enjoy white and pink flowers in the spring before everyone stops to notice the hot pink berries all summer long. And before the unique reddish-tan branches of winter appear, you’ll enjoy several months of crisp red fall foliage. Plant in full to partial sun for a bright landscape addition, or choose container planting to add an opulence of color to porches and patios.

You can purchase the Pink Lemonade Blueberry Bush online


Blue Chinese Wisteria Vine

Wisteria sinensis
Growing Zones: 5-9
Mature Size: 20 to 30 feet tall and wide
Colors: purple-blue
Growth Rate: Fast

Imagine refreshing your neutral house color, creating a statement on a plain fence, or bringing a drab deck to life. With the low-maintenance Blue Chinese Wisteria Vine, you can do all this and more. The climbing vines boast gorgeous, long lasting purple-blue blooms from early spring through summer, attracting plenty of butterflies and hummingbirds. Simply plant along any structure that allows it to climb, then sit back, relax and enjoy the transformation.

Shop the Blue Chinese Wisteria Vine


Flame Thrower Redbud Tree

Cercis canadensis 'NC2016-2' PPA
Growing Zones: 5-9
Mature Size: 15 to 20 feet tall and wide
Colors: burgundy red and bright yellow
Growth Rate: Moderate

If fall is your favorite season, we’ve found a way to enjoy those rich, vibrant hues even earlier. The Flame Thrower Redbud breaks up the all-green landscapes of summer with bold shades of burgundy red and bright yellow, throughout even the hottest months of the year. Featuring unique, heart-shaped leaves, this drought-tolerant tree offers an ever changing blend of colors and brightness on every branch.

Buy a Flame Thrower Redbud Tree


Sunny Knock Out Rose Tree

Rosa 'RADsunny' PP18562 CPBR#4875
Growing Zones: 5-10
Mature Size: 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide
Colors: pink and yellow
Growth Rate: Fast

Ready to add unparalleled beauty to even the smallest spaces? This hardy, fast-growing rose tree will fit anywhere, bringing a plethora of incredible color and fragrance to your landscape. Bright yellow blooms stand out against dark green foliage before turning into a rich, creamy hue, and will blossom from early spring through fall. Whether you want to brighten up a yard, patio, or porch, the Sunny Knock Out Rose Tree thrives in both soil and containers, making it the perfect fit for any area.

Find the Sunny Knock Out® Rose Tree


Variegated Liriope

Liriope muscari 'Variegata'
Growing Zones: 6-10
Mature Size: 1 foot tall and wide
Colors: purple
Growth Rate: Fast

Say goodbye to bare and sparse areas with the Variegated Liriope, a perennial plant that creates texture and interest in even the shadiest of spots. This ornamental ground cover can be planted nearly anywhere, as a decorative border, around large rocks, or along perimeters for a natural fence. The unique yellow stripes on the outside edges offer appealing color year-round, while the brilliant purple flowers provide extra enchantment in the late summer and fall.

Purchase Variegated Liriope online


Firepower Nandina

Nandina domestica 'Firepower'
Growing Zones: 6-10
Mature Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
Colors: red
Growth Rate: Moderate

Add color and curb appeal when you break up the green of a landscape with Firepower Nandina. Adaptable and easy to care for, these shrubs are actually a form of bamboo, and don’t require any pruning. When planted in full to partial sun, the nandina provides punches of bright yellow throughout spring and summer, before changing to a brilliant red hue in the fall. A versatile landscaping option, the Firepower can be planted in groupings for larger areas, as well as individually in or in pots for smaller spaces.

Find the Firepower Nandina online

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