Landscaping plants with red berries add a decorative feature to the lawn. Many ornamental berries linger on the plants throughout the winter when many are naked of shade. The berries attract birds and smaller mammals into the plants looking for a food resource. Several red berry plants serve various purposes in the landscape.
Ground Cover Plants
Ground covers stay low to the ground and spread over a wide area. “Chirimen” marlberry (Ardisia japonica “Chirimen”) reaches 6 to 8 inches tall and spreads 2 to 3 feet wide in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, with green leathery leaves and whiter blooms appearing from late summer through fall. The red berries follow the blossoms and become the winter. “Very Berry” creeping wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens “Very Berry”) is an evergreen growing 6 to 12 inches tall and spreading 2 to 3 feet wide, with dense mats of glossy dark green leaves that turn purple in fall. The clusters of small bell-shaped white blossoms appear in summer followed by aromatic bright red berries.
Planting certain shrubs close together types hedges, creating privacy displays. “Rozannie” Japanese aucuba (Aucuba japonica “Rozannie”) types a low hedge, growing 3 feet tall and wide, with shiny evergreen leaves, tiny purple blooms and bright red fall berries in USDA zones 6 through 10. “Phantom” cotoneaster (Corokia x virgata “Phantom”) rises 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide in a dense form with dark chocolate-black leaves that have silver hairs on the undersides. In USDA zones 8 through 11, small star-shaped yellow flowers appear in spring followed by red berries in fall.
Shrubs fill in gaps from the landscape and cover foundations and utilities across buildings. “Gilt Edge” silverberry (Elaeagnus x ebbingei “Gilt Edge”) grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 11, reaching 4 to 5 feet tall and wide with a round form covered in evergreen leaves with yellow borders and silvery white fall blooms. Fragrant red grapes look after the flowers die. Summer Snow beauty berry (Callicarpa dichotoma Summer Snow) produces variegated green leaves with cream-colored markings and clusters of pinkish-lavender spring blooms in USDA zones 6 through 10. Dark red grapes appear in the fall on this 5-foot-tall and 4-foot-wide shrub.
Trees with red berries attract hungry migrating birds into their branches. “Coral Fire” mountain ash (Sorbus hupehensis “Coral Fire”) reaches 30 feet tall and wide as a shade tree in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 8. This deciduous plant produces red bark, whiter summer flower clusters and bright red fall berries. Sargent crabapple (Malus sargentii), growing in USDA zones 4 through 8, is a dwarf-sized tree reaching 8 to 12 feet tall and wide with white spring flowers, green lobed leaves and bright red grapes lasting from fall throughout the winter.