7 Types of Ruby Plants - Urban Agriculture

7 Types of Ruby Plants

Ruby is not only a beautiful color, it is also said to give those who wear or surround themselves with it tremendous good luck. Rubies themselves were used in ancient crowns due to their representation of courage and good fortune.

Many years ago, rubies were thought to contain the drops of Mother Earth’s blood, hence the color. In fact, because of this very reason, the stones were extremely sought after due to people thinking rubies held the key to life. 

Originally meaning red, or rubeus in Latin, the color is associated with health, passion, wisdom and most importantly, love. These wonderful reasons make ruby a valued July birthstone. 

Deep in color, ruby is not quite pink and is not quite red. As a color for a plant, it brings a dash of brightness during the colder days of fall and makes a garden look pretty during the height of summer. 

Here we shall take a look at a number of ruby-colored plants that will look great in the garden. 

Magical Ruby Red (Hydrangea Macrophylla)

If you want a plant that brings you a deep ruby color for at least seven months, then the show-stopping ‘Magical Ruby’ hydrangea is a good choice. Once it’s lime green buds have bloomed into a deep, pinky ruby flower, it will impress all that see it from May, all the way till November.

It is not the biggest of plants, only growing around a metre tall, so will suit being put into a large pot to welcome visitors to your home. It is also extremely hardy despite it being a good plant to grow during the summer season. It can tolerate heavy rain and harsher climates, though it comes into its own during warmer weather.

You will notice that its foliage will turn a burgundy color during the fall, which will only add to its beautifulness as it becomes a part of the fall season. It is also a plant that is suitable for cutting too, which is perfect if you want to add some to a table as a centerpiece. 

It will need lots of water in a well-drained pot as it matures, but it is generally a fairly easy plant to look after, and one that will generate a lot of praise. 

Hybrid Foxglove ‘Ruby Glow’ (Digitalis x Foxlight)

As a perennial (a plant that blooms flowers every year despite looking dead each winter), this flower can be relied upon to be a welcomed addition to your garden every spring to summer. 

The plant grows upwards with the ruby flowers facing outwards to show off its inner orange petals. It reaches a short height of around 24 inches and 12 inches wide. Because of this, it is a lovely plant to grow within a few pots as a focal point, or within a row as a border display.  

It needs the full sun to thrive, which will, in turn, attract wildlife such as hummingbirds, bees and butterflies into your garden. 

During the winter its stems may die back, but always remember that come spring, it will start to show life once again ready to bloom over the warmer months to fill your garden with lots of color. 

Little Ruby Alternanthera (Alternanthera Dentata)

A perennial plant that often gets called Joseph’s Coat, produces foliage rather than any flowers. It has beautiful deep ruby colored leaves (with an almost burgundy colored top to them) that create a widespread mound suitable for covering patches of ground. So, it is much wider than it is tall, reaching up to 18 inches in height and around 30 inches wide.

It does well in warmer climates but does not fare well in the frost, so always plant it once the colder season is over. It can withstand humid environments during hot weather and can even survive during a drought.

Small white flowers do bloom in the springtime, though these are short-lived and are not the reason why people love this low maintenance plant. 

It can be used to cover a large area of ground, as a border plant or within a hanging basket. Its deep colored leaves are most certainly the focal point with this plant, though come winter just like most plants, it will lose its appeal. 

If you want a neater finish, it can also be trimmed without hurting the plant in any way, so is perfect for those who like a more ‘sculpted’ garden.

Ruby Port Columbine (Aquilegia Vulgaris Var. Stellate)

This heirloom columbine plant dates all the way back to the 1600s. It produces a deep wine-like ruby color flower that blooms every late spring ready for the summer months. The foliage begins growing as a maroon-coloured stem that reaches its peak as a bluey-green color with age.

This full sun and part shade plant need to be kept moist and within a well-drained area of ground as it can be harmed if the soil dries out. Like with most perennials, it does not live long but it is sure to come back next spring. It also self-seeds, so under the right conditions, you may end up with more of the same plant come next year.

Referred to as growing in a ‘clump’, it grows up to around 26 inches high and 18 inches wide and can attract the likes of butterflies. 

Ruby Spider Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Even though we stated the ‘magical ruby’ hydrangea as being a showstopper, the ‘ruby spider’ hemerocallis is just as breathtaking. With its huge and open star-like 9 inch petals, it gives those who see it a view of its ruby-colored petals that contrast with a golden yellow middle. 

Unfortunately, the flowers themselves only last around 24 hours. They bloom in the morning and then wither away during the night, potentially being replaced by yet another flower. Whilst it may seem counterproductive to have such a flowering plant in your garden, the flower heads come and go, and it is generally a hardy plant that is low maintenance.

The perennial plant grows in height around 34 inches and spreads to a wide 24 inches. It is a good option for mixing with other flowers of the same type (there are over 60,000 of them) or used as a flower border, ground cover or within pots. 

To encourage flower regrowth on a flower stalk, remove any spent blooms, and once all flowering has happened, cut the stalk off near to ground level. 

Coreopsis Ruby Frost (Tickseed)

A delicate looking flower, the coreopsis ruby frost has bright colored petals that are on the pinker side of the ruby color spectrum. The petals include a white frosting effect to the edges, giving it its name. 

It blooms within a large group from early summer to the first signs of fall. Despite its delicate appearance, it is actually rather hardy and can withstand a drought. Despite that, it must be kept within well-drained soil and have a lot of sunshine to keep it happy.

Even though it is fairly easy to maintain, it will be advantageous to give it a shear during the middle of summer when the first flushes of flowers have bloomed. This will help to keep the plant looking great all season. 

It usually reaches around 26 inches in height and 32 inches in width, giving an air-like appearance as the stems blow in the breeze.

Nerve Plant Ruby Red (Fittonia Albivenis)

Another plant that has beautiful foliage rather than flowers, the evergreen nerve plant has deep green leaves with bright ruby-colored lines on the top that look like nerves and veins on the human body. It sounds rather squeamish but it creates a wonderful pattern. The pattern itself is why people find this plant so attractive. 

It is a perennial plant that belongs to the acanthaceae family. Usually placed within the home as a houseplant, it does much better within a warmer environment. It can be grown outdoors but the conditions need to be a particular way for it to survive. It does not do well in cold and frosty weather. 

It is native to South American tropical rainforests where the climate is hot and humid, so it is quite understandable why it cannot tolerate most weather. It grows well within this humid environment where it is also likely to be sheltered by trees. 

Whilst it does need the light to thrive, it does not want to be covered in sunlight and prefers shady areas that have indirect light. This is another reason why they are better to be placed indoors. 

Final Words

Ruby colored plants can bring a lot of joy to a garden. Whether it is pink ruby-like petals with a contrasting yellow or deep ruby colored foliage, there is something to suit every taste and garden.

Many of these plants will give your garden a pop of wondrous color during the summer that is different to the usual blues and pinks.

Caroline Roberts
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