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The Best Red Flowers for Australian Gardens

Australian gardens are home to a wide variety of beautiful flowers, and among them, flowers with red blooms are a particular favorite for many gardeners.

When you’re after some bright red colour in your garden, you have an enormous selection of red flowering plants that grow well in Australian gardens. Here are just a few for you to consider.

Azaleas

Red Azaleas | Plant varieties

There are plenty of red flowering azaleas that you can choose from to grow in your garden.

Most varieties will bloom in spring or autumn but you can get new cultivars that may bloom for a second or third time.

Some of the best varieties include:

  • Azalea ‘Red Wing’ – blooms in spring
  • Azalea ‘Scarlet Dragon’ – blooms in spring but may also spot-flower in autumn and winter
  • Azalea ‘Super Red’ – blooms in spring but can also spot-flower in autumn
  • Azalea kurume ‘Red Robin’ – produces masses of red blooms in spring
  • Mollis Azalea ‘Redshank’ – will produce a mass of red flowers in spring

Bougainvilleas

Red Bougainvilleas | Plant varieties

Although the ‘flowers’ on bougainvilleas are actually bracts or modified leaves, they will produce a stunning display of colour almost all year round.

Ideally, you want to grow them as a climber over a sturdy support but you’ll also find varieties that have been grown as standards.

Some of the best red varieties include:

  • Bougainvillea ‘Spectiabillis’ – with bright red or purple bracts
  • Bougainvillea ‘Raspberry Ice’ – with variegated leaves and fuschia red bracts
  • Bougainvillea ‘Scarlet Glory’ – with the most outstanding red bracts

Callistemon viminalis ‘Captain Cook’

Callistemon ‘Captain Cook Callistemon viminalis ‘Captain Cook | Plant varieties

This popular weeping bottlebrush has the most stunning red flowers that will almost cover the entire plant throughout spring and summer. It will grow to a height of around 2 metres. 

To add to its appeal, the new foliage is pink in colour and turns green as it matures.

Chrysanthemums

Red Chrysanthemums | Plant varieties

For a spot of bright colour in autumn, consider red-flowering chrysanthemums. There are numerous varieties to choose from including:

  • Chrysanthemum morifolium ‘Avalon Red’ – has lovely two-toned rust-red blooms
  • Chrysanthemum morifolium ‘Monza Red’ – has double deep red blooms
  • Chrysanthemum ‘Buninyong Bronze’ – spectacular red blooms with bright yellow centres

Correa ‘Fat Fred’

This lovely Correa has red bell-shaped flowers with yellow tips. It will flower from autumn through to spring. The red flowers blend beautifully with the small dark green leaves. 

The plant will grow to a height of around 1 metre and is also ideal for hedging.

Grevillea ‘Splendour’

Grevillea Splendour | Plant varieties

This hybrid grevillea has the most stunning red spider flowers that will appear for most of the year. The flowers drip with nectar and will attract birds and butterflies to your garden. 

This grevillea will grow to a height of around 2 metres.

Hibiscus ‘Cairo Red’

Red Hibiscus | Plant varieties

For tropical and sub-tropical regions, you can’t go past this stunning red hibiscus with its massive red blooms.

This hibiscus variety can grow to a height of 3 metres and a width of 2 metres. It’s also a perfect plant for hedging.

Hydrangea

Red Hydrangea | Plant varieties

There are a variety of different red-flowering hydrangeas that you might like to add to your garden.

You can even manipulate the flower colours slightly by adjusting the pH of the soil.

The most notable varieties are:

  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Rotschwanz’ – displays dark red flowers when grown in alkaline soil and purple-red flowers when the soil is more acidic.
  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Leuchtfeuer’ – will display red flowers in alkaline soil and purple-blue flowers in acidic soil.

Tip: To increase the alkalinity of your soil, either add some powdered lime or wood ash.

Roses

climbing roses | Plant varieties

Of course, I really can’t keep roses off this list because they are one of my absolute favourite flowering plants and I’ve grown them extensively in both Victoria and Queensland. 

A well-cared-for rosebush will give you months of gorgeous blooms throughout spring and summer and often into autumn.

Some of the more stunning varieties include:

  • ‘Munstead Wood’ – with gorgeous deep red double blooms
  • ‘Black Boy’ – a traditional red rose in all its glory
  • ‘Ingrid Bergman’ – a long-stemmed rose in the reddest of reds

Waratah (Telopea spp.)

Red Waratah | Plant varieties

You won’t find a more spectacular large red native flower than the NSW waratah or Telopea speciosissima. This species produces its glorious blooms in spring and is often grown commercially for the florist industry.

However, there are other species of Telopea found naturally around Australia and also a number of different cultivars that have been bred commercially as hybrids.

You might want to look out for these at your local nursery or garden centre.

  • Telopea ‘Braidwood Brilliant’
  • Telopea ‘Coroboree’
  • Telopea ‘Sunburst’

Red Flower FAQ

What plant has huge red flowers?

Australia’s native waratah has the most gorgeous large red flowers. Waratahs are the state floral emblem of New South Wales and prefer to grow in sandy soils.

What red flower blooms all summer?

There are numerous red flowers that can bloom all summer long. These include geraniums, dahlias, Callistemon, and Bougainvillea ‘Scarlet O’Hara’.

What plants stay red all year?

For red flowering plants that can display blooms all year round, you can’t go past grevilleas.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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