11 Red Azalea Varieties For Bold Garden Color

Looking for some red azaleas to add to your garden? There are many azaleas that bloom with bold red color, so it's important to find the perfect variety for your hardiness zone. In this article, gardening expert Jill Drago examines some of the top red azalea varieties you can grow!

red azaleas

Azaleas are well known and loved for their brightly colored flowers and their ease of care. Many gardeners use azaleas as hedges or borders. But they can also be clustered in small groups throughout the shady areas of your gardens to add a pop of spring color.

While azaleas are well known for their pinks, there are many options for red flowering azaleas. Red is a color that is not often found in spring blooming plants and can add both dimension and contrast to your garden.

If you are looking to add some red to your garden this season, you’ve come to the right place! If you live in the correct hardiness zone, you are sure to find a red azalea that will work for your garden this season! Ready to learn more? Let’s dig in!

‘Amagasa’

Close-up of 7 Amagasa flowers blooming in a sunny garden. The flowers consist of simple five reddish-orange petals, the cores of which contain from 5 long red stamens. Leaves are ovate, leathery, and dull green. The background is blurry.
‘Amagasa’ produces gorgeous red-orange flowers with dark green foliage and prefers partial sun.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron ‘Amagasa’
  • Plant Size: 3 feet high and 4 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Mid- Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 7-10
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

Amagasa is a slow-growing azalea with reddish-orange or coral flowers. The flower petals have dark red spots on them. The foliage is a deep green and will last through the winter.

The compact nature of Amagasa makes it pretty versatile in your yard. Use it as a low hedge, or on its own in a mixed foundation planting. This azalea can get a little leggy so make sure it is getting partial sun so the branches will strengthen up.

‘Autumn Bonfire’

Close-up of a flowering bush incredibly beautiful, bright scarlet numerous flowers semi-double petals, the cores contain from 5 to 10 stamens. The blooms are surrounded by small, ovate, leathery, matte green leaves. The background is very blurry.
This reblooming azalea variety produces true red semi-double or double flowers that bloom from spring until the first frost.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron ‘Robleza’ PPAF
  • Plant Size: 3 feet high and 3.5 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • Plant Zone: 6-10
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

‘Autumn Bonfire’ is a true red flowering shrub. These flowers could be double or semi-double throughout the shrub. This is a quick-growing dwarf azalea variety with a compact growth profile. ‘Autumn Bonfire’s’ foliage is bright green and will last throughout the year.

This azalea is a reblooming variety providing your garden with flowers on and off from spring until the first frost. These varieties that rebloom are called Encore Azaleas.

‘Autumn Bravo’

Close-up of five bright reddish-orange flowers grouped into a ball. Each flower has 5 simple petals and 5 long red stamens sticking out of the centers. The blooms are surrounded by small, ovate, leathery, matte green leaves. In the background, a red flowering shrub blooms with bright green leaves.
Autumn Bravo blooms with red single flowers that can tolerate the sun better than some other azaleas.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron ‘Conlen’
  • Plant Size: 4 feet high and 5 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Spring through Fall
  • Plant Zone: 6-10
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

‘Autumn Bravo’ is another evergreen shrub that belongs to the Encore collection of azaleas. With true red flowers that are long-lasting, this is a true winner for anyone’s garden. The flowers are single and reach up to three inches wide.

The Encore azaleas are known to be able to tolerate the sun better than some other azaleas, so ‘Autumn Bravo’ is a great choice if you do not have much shade but would love to try growing azaleas. Plant ‘Autumn Bravo’ in a mass planting for a dramatic effect.

‘Autumn Embers’

Close-up of a flowering Autumn embers shrub. The flowers are bright crimson, double, with wavy and corrugated edges to the petals. 5 long red stamens protrude from the centers of the flowers. The blooms are surrounded by ovate, leathery, matte green leaves. Some of the flowers are a little wilted.
‘Autumn Embers’ is a compact type of azalea with red, double flowers that bloom from autumn until the first frost.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron ‘Conleb’ PP10581
  • Plant Size: 3 feet high and 4 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring and Fall
  • Plant Zone: 6-10
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

‘Autumn Embers’ is another Encore member, but with a more compact size. The flowers on ‘Autumn Embers’ are red and doubled with wavy and ruffled edges to the petals. They almost look like roses.

Unlike many azaleas, ‘Autumn Embers’ will bloom in the spring and again in the fall. The flowers that bloom in the fall will last until the first frost. Mix ‘Autumn Embers’ with bright pink azaleas for a fun mix of colors. Use as a low border or in the front of a foundation planting.

‘Autumn Ruby’

Close-up of red flowers in a spring garden. The blooms consist of simple five bright scarlet petals, the cores of which contain from 5 long scarlet stamens. Leaves are almost invisible under the flowers. The leaves are small, ovate, leathery, dull green. The
This azalea blooms with bright scarlet flowers and is great for growing in containers.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron ‘Conler’ PP12110
  • Plant Size: 2 ½ feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Fall
  • Plant Zone: 6-10
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

This Encore azalea is a perfect addition to smaller gardens. ‘Autumn Ruby’ has multiple bloom periods starting in the spring and continuing into the fall like ‘Autumn Embers’. The flowers on ‘Autumn Ruby’ are a glowing bright scarlet red.

This would be a great azalea variety to use in containers on your front porch, or as a small border plant in a smaller city garden. When the frost finally hits and the flowers fade away the emerald green leaves will remain all winter long.

‘Buccaneer’

Close-up of a profusion of bright scarlet flowers in a summer sunny garden. The blooms consist of 5 slightly corrugated petals, the cores of which contain from 5 long red stamens. The leaves are ovate, leathery, dull green, barely noticeable among the abundance of flowers. Floral blurred background.
‘Buccaneer’ is a red azalea that blooms throughout the summer and fall.
Scientific Name: Azalea ‘Buccaneer’
  • Plant Size: 3-5 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • Plant Zone: 6-9
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

‘Buccaneer’ has crimson-colored leaves with dark red freckles on a mid-sized shrub. This red azalea will produce a prolific bloom in the spring, and flowers will bloom again sporadically throughout the summer and fall.

‘Buccaneer’ is a great azalea to use in mass planting anywhere in your garden, but especially along the border of a patio or a walkway. However, it is equally as stunning mixed in with other shrubs or in containers.

‘Darkness’ (Glenn Dale)

Close-up of bright crimson flowers, consisting of 5 petals each with slightly wavy edges, the cores of which contain 5 long crimson stamens. The shrub blooms in part shade.
The large, beautiful, wavy petals of this Azalea are a show-stopping crimson.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron x hybridum Glenn Dale ‘Darkness’
  • Plant Size: 1- 6 feet tall
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Plant Zone: 6-9
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

The perfect red azalea for the back of your garden is the Glenn Dale ‘Darkness’ variety. ‘Darkness’ will grow to about six feet tall in a nice upright form. The flowers are bright red with dark freckles on the upper petals of the flower.

These are single blooms that will appear on your shrubs anytime from early spring to the middle of spring. If you choose to plant this azalea as a backdrop to your shrub or perennial gardens, try adding perennials that bloom in the early spring so that they will fill in the gap once ‘Darkness’ has stopped blooming.

Image Credit: Katja Schulz from Washington, D. C., USACC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Image Use Allowed With Attribution

‘Girard’s Crimson’

A close-up of many vibrant pink-red flowers. Each one has 5 simple petals and protruding long stamens. Small, ovoid, glossy, bright green leaves make their way through the blooms.
‘Girard’s Crimson’ produces pink-red, showy, large flowers and bright green, glossy foliage.
Scientific Name: Azalea x Girard hybrid ‘Girard’s Crimson’
  • Plant Size: 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Plant Zone: 5-8
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

This variety leans a bit on the pink side, but it is rosy-red when compared to a truer pink. The flowers are single but very large and showy. ‘Girard’s Crimson’ is a variety of azalea that can tolerate a bit more sun, although it will perform best in dappled sunlight.

The foliage is glossy and bright green, giving you wonderful year-long interest in your gardens. It can also serve as a handsome backdrop to perennial gardens or woodland gardens.

‘Hino-crimson’

Top view of a flowering shrub blooming in abundance with bright crimson flowers in a summer garden. The blooms are bright crimson, consisting of 5 petals, the cores of which contain 5 long red stamens. There are also unblown pink buds on the branches.
‘Hino-crimson’ Azalea produces true crimson flowers and prefers dappled partial shade.
Scientific Name: Azalea x ‘Hino-Crimson’ (Kurume hybrid)
  • Plant Size: 2-4 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring
  • Plant Zone: 6-9
  • Plant Type: Semi-Evergreen Shrub

This is an extremely well-loved variety of azalea and for good reason. ‘Hino-crimson’ has truly crimson flowers that bloom very early on in the spring and last throughout the spring. While the flowers may only be single, this azalea blooms so heavily you will not miss the double flowers at all.

This popular shrub loves the dappled shade of a woodland garden. ‘Hino-crimson’ is a wonderful choice for a foundation garden or used in small clusters throughout your wooded borders.

‘Red Ruffles’

Close-up of bright crimson flowers of the 'Red Ruffles' azalea, each consisting of 5 petals with wavy edges, the cores of which contain 5 long crimson stamens. The shrub blooms in bright sunshine.
This is an excellent azalea variety that blooms with pink-red flowers with ruffled edges.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron simsii ‘Red Ruffles’
  • Plant Size: 2-4 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Plant Zone: 8-9
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub

‘Red Ruffles’ is an excellent azalea for southern climates. The bright pinkish-red glows against its deep green foliage. The flowers on ‘Red Ruffles’ in fact have a ruffled edge to them and are single or semi-double. Either way, the ruffled petals give the flowers a very full, almost doubled appearance to them.

Plant this azalea amongst your tropical foliage plants either in a mass planting, around a patio as a specimen, or as a foundation. ‘Red Ruffles’ is a midsize azalea. Growing to 4 feet, this pretty flowered azalea is a real showstopper no matter how you use it.

‘Red Sunset’

Close-up of the delightfully beautiful bright red flowers with an orange tinge. The blooms are grouped in brushes, consist of 5 oblong textured petals. From the centers of the flowers grow 5 long red stamens.
Red Sunset produces incredibly beautiful bright red flowers with an orange tinge that are perfect for hedges in your garden.
Scientific Name: Azalea x ‘Red Sunset’ 
  • Plant Size: 6-8 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring
  • Plant Zone: 5-8
  • Plant Type: Deciduous Shrub

Just like a sunset, this azalea has bright red flowers with orange undertones. A larger azalea in size, ‘Red Sunset’ would make a great privacy screen or hedge. Just be aware that this azalea will drop its leaves in the winter.

These red flowers are clustered into trusses, which is essentially a grouping of many flowers. It gives a similar appearance to the flowers of a rhododendron plant. ‘Red Sunset’ would be beautiful as a backdrop to your perennial gardens, but it would also make a very eye-catching foundation plant.

Final Thoughts

Remember, azaleas love well-draining soil that remains moist as well as partial shade. As long as you have these conditions in your garden you will be able to successfully grow azaleas. Adding red azalea to your garden will add glowing bright colors to your shaded spaces and containers. There is an azalea for almost every zone, I hope you give one of these a try!

SHARE THIS POST
camellias

Shrubs

11 Tips For Beautiful Fall Blooming Camellias This season

Camellias are a fall gardener favorite. With their colorful blooms and vividly colored flowers, these plants can make a statement in any garden. In this article, gardening expert and camellia enthusiast Melissa Strauss walks through her top tips for beautiful camellia blooms in your garden up through first frost!

butterfly bush varieties

Shrubs

21 Different Butterfly Bush Varieties For Your Garden

Thinking of adding some butterfly bush to your garden this season but aren't quite sure which type to plant? There are many different varieties you can choose from, depending on your hardiness zone. In this article, gardening expert Jill Drago looks at some of the most popular varieties of butterfly bush you can grow!

red camellias

Shrubs

11 Red Camellia Varieties For Bold Garden Color

Are you thinking of adding some red camellias to your garden this season, but aren't sure which variety to choose? There are many varieties to choose from that bloom with beautiful bold red blossoms. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss walks through her favorite red flowering camellia varieties, with names and pictures of each!

Perennial Shrub in Garden

Shrubs

61 Perennial Shrubs For Your Home and Garden

Thinking of planting some perennial shrubs but aren't sure which ones will best fit your home or garden space? There are many different options for perennial shrubs, so picking the right one can be a bit confusing. In the following article, we examine over 60 of our favorites, to help you find the perfect match for your garden this season.

red hydrangeas

Shrubs

17 Red Hydrangea Varieties With Beautiful Red Blooms

Are you looking for a red hydrangea to plant this season but can't decide which one to pick? Red can be a difficult color to plant with, since so many plants are varying shades of red. In this article, gardening expert and hydrangea enthusiast Jill Drago lists out her favorite red hydrangea varieties for your garden, with names, pictures and hardiness zones of each!

full sun lilac

Shrubs

17 Different Lilac Varieties That Thrive in Full Sun

Lilacs are fantastic plants, but they are fairly notorius for their preference of the shade. But did you know there are some varieties that are a bit more sun tolerant than others? In this article, certified master gardener Liz Jaros walks through her favorite lilac varieties that can handle full sun conditions.