If you’re looking to add that wow factor to your garden, nothing conjures up feelings of increased confidence, energy, and enthusiasm, than trees that glow with red flowers.
Shades of red vary depending on a tree’s natural environment and exposure to sunlight. Color is often brighter and more vivid on equatorial species, with hues softening as you move toward the poles.
Today, we’re no longer limited to local options. As long as trees are hardy in your climate zone, the sky’s the limit! Let’s take a look at the cream of the crop.
Trees With Red Flowers In Spring
Another difference between these landscape stunners is when and how long they bloom. Some harken the coming of warmer weather with blooms that brighten up a space that has long been darkened by winter.
Once the sun is high in the sky, photosynthesized energy is refocused to lush foliage and, in some cases, fruit. You’re about to see four different tree options that do just that in spectacular ways.
Royal Raindrops Crabapple Tree
(Malus ‘JFS-KW5’ PP14375)
This unique crabapple is appropriately named for its regal purple leaves that are shaped like falling raindrops. Reaching a mature height of 20ft, at a rapid rate of 3ft per year, this variety is adaptable to most soil types. It needs a well-draining growing medium with 5.0-6.5 pH and full sun to best fuel its full-color potential and bloom numbers.
Spring brings deep pink flowers, with white striations, that erupt through burgundy foliage. In late summer, these pretty blooms develop into bright red fruits which see the surrounding foliage fade to stunning autumn plums and coppers.
The Royal Raindrops® Crabapple is fairly drought tolerant once established but will need supplemental watering, when young, to encourage strong root growth. If needed, a mild, balanced NPK can be applied in early spring.
Pruning is only necessary to remove damaged branched or undesirable growth.
(Cornus florida var. rubra)
In zones 4-9, this sensational dogwood can grow to heights around 25ft with an equal spread, at 1-2ft per year. It performs at maximum flowering capacity in the morning sun and afternoon shade. As well as in moist yet well-draining soil with a 5.5-6.0 pH.
Depending on soil composition, Red Dogwoods will produce bracts full of pink or red (or even both!) spring flowers that continue through late May, creating a dynamic color palette that can be seen from miles away. Lush foliage emerges as a dark purple hue, evolving to deep green and then dark red as the seasons progress.
Dogwood trees have shallow root systems, which means they can quickly dry out without regular rainfall. In times of drought, weekly watering will maintain proper hydration. Dogwoods don’t typically require fertilizing and only need pruning every three or four years to maintain the desired shape.
Eversweet Pomegranate Tree
(Punica granatum ‘Eversweet’)
This tantalizing pomegranate variety can potentially reach 10x12ft, in maturity. Yet, can be pruned to a small size, if desired. Ideal for brightening up small gardens, decks, and patios in zones 7-10 provided it has full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil with a 5.5-7.2 pH.
Eversweet pomegranates are deciduous trees that produce very sweet, seedless fruit from scarlet red, tubular blossoms that can bloom several times per season, depending on the climate. Hummingbirds and other pollinators are easily attracted to this tree and its glossy-green, protective foliage.
One inch of water per week is necessary for proper flower and fruit formation. In early spring, a nitrogen-rich fertilizer will encourage healthy root and foliage growth. A switch to a fruit tree NPK will increase phosphorus and potassium for abundant fruiting. Pruning can be done in early spring to remove any winter damage.
Japanese Flowering Quince
This showy, compact quince variety is actually a shrub that can easily be shaped into a small tree, in hardiness zones 5-9, by simply pruning back the lower branches to reveal the main trunk. With a maximum height of 3ft, this quince blooms profusely in full sun and fertile, moist soil. Making it another great choice around your patio, deck, or front porch.
Bright orange blossoms emerge from the Japanese flowering quince, in spring, and darken with age before developing round, yellow, autumn fruit. Similar in appearance to apples yet tarter in taste. All accompanied by vibrant green leaves.
With drought tolerance being another key feature, this quince variety still requires deep, weekly watering to properly flower and produce fruit. A fruit-specific fertilizer can be applied in early spring to encourage healthy bloom and fruit formation. Minimal pruning is needed.
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Red Flowering Trees
By now, your mind is most likely dreaming away, imagining where you’d put some of the red flowering stunners we’ve seen so far. From showy bloomers to bloomers and fruiters, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Luckily, you’re not limited to just one.
To give your imagination a little more food for thought, let’s look at a few trees that may require a bigger space but also put on a bigger show.
Royal Poinciana Tree
This incredible bloomer is capable of producing more flowers than leaves throughout the season, in zones 10-11. Reaching 40ft of mature height, with a canopy spread of 40-60ft, at a rate of 3ft per year. For a brilliant show, this stately specimen requires full sun and free-draining sandy or loamy soil with a surprisingly high pH of 6.5-7.0.
Late spring brings thousands of orange-red blooms, in large clusters, that seem to float over large, fern-like fronds and last well into summer. In warm climates, this prolific bloomer will remain evergreen in winter. In cooler zones, they will lose their leaves until the following spring.
Keeping the soil moist around new plantings is critical to healthy root establishment. Once established, weekly watering will maintain adequate hydration. When needed, slow-release fertilizer in early spring will encourage abundant flowering. Only broken or damaged branches will need pruning.
Dynamite Crape Myrtle
(Lagerstroemia indica ‘Whit II’)
Dynamite is right! This unique crepe myrtle variety has some of the most vivid colorings out of all in its family, in zones 7-9. It reaches a mature size of 15’x20’ at a rapid rate of 1-2’ per year. These perform best in full sun and well-draining soil that has a pH of 5.0-6.5.
If you’re looking for a show like the Royal Poinciana but live in a cooler climate, this one’s for you. With a slightly shorter stature, smooth, peeling bark, and blazing-red, summer flowers will lead you well into fall. When foliage ebbs to brilliant oranges and reds.
The Dynamite crepe myrtle prefers consistent moisture, especially when blooming. A triple 10 or triple 8 fertilizer is best, when needed, to sustain healthy foliage and flowers. Pruning should be done in late winter, just prior to bud swell.
Red Rose of Sharon Althea Tree
In even colder climates (zones 5-9), the Althea tree can still reach a mature size of 8ft x 3ft. While not as sizeable as the two previous red flowering trees we’ve seen, this delicate bloomer is tough and can endure temperatures down to -20F° (-28°C). As long as it’s planted in full sun to part shade and fertile, well-draining soil.
The Red Rose of Sharon tree (part of the hibiscus family) presents plum-pink, trumpet-shaped flowers along its deciduous branches from mid-summer to early fall. Along with vibrant green foliage that remains so until autumn.
This lovely garden feature depends on adequate moisture for healthy roots, foliage, and flower formation. Established shrubs will need one inch of weekly water. When necessary, a slow-releasing tree and shrub fertilizer can be applied in late winter. As can the pruning of winter-damaged branches.
Coral Boom Crape Myrtle Tree
(Lagerstroemia x ‘JM5’ PPAF)
For cold-hardiness on a larger scale (zones 6-10), the coral boom crepe myrtle can’t be beaten for size, dazzling color variation, and low-maintenance features. With a mature height of 15’x12’, this beautiful bloomer prefers full sun and well-draining soil with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5.
The Coral Boom™ presents a stunning contrast of dark purple foliage on arching branches that are tipped with panicles of bright coral blooms. These grow from early summer to the first frost. Drought and cold-tolerant attributes, as well as its relatively short stature, make this tree versatile enough as a feature in smaller gardens or paired with other complementary plantings.
Deep daily watering should be applied just after planting, then pulling back to weekly watering after a month. Apply a well-balanced Crepe Myrtle fertilizer once in early spring, just as new growth emerges.
Little John Dwarf Bottlebrush
(Callistemon citrinus ‘Little John’)
Aptly named, this final red bloomer is a compact and colorful dwarf bottlebrush, for zones 8-11, that can be grown as a shrub or trained as a tree. Gradually growing to a mature size of 3×5 ft, this unique plant prefers full sun positioning and loose loam or clay soil with a pH between 6.0 and 8.0.
What sets the Little John Bottlebrush apart is its red, brush-like floral spikes that envelope citrus-scented, star-shaped leaves from mid-spring right into summer. Versatility is also a prime feature being used in a variety of ways in small landscape designs.
Bottlebrush plants prefer for the soil to be kept moist throughout most of the year. Being a slow-growing plant, fertilizing them typically isn’t needed unless a nutrient deficiency is determined. They may require occasional trimming in late winter to manage shape and size.
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Red Blossom Vs Flowering Tree
We often refer to flowers as blossoms, using these terms interchangeably. But, technically they are two different things.
Flowers are a critical part of the reproductive process in all blooming plants, shrubs, and trees. Which, when pollinated, results in the development of seeds.
Blossoms, on the other hand, are still, technically, flowers. Yet are specific to plants that develop fruits and vegetables that contain seeds, rather than simply going straight from flower to seed.
For example, Japanese quince blossoms or Eversweet pomegranate blossoms are referred to as such because they end up as tasty treats.