No matter how much we love any colour across the spectrum, Red has remained the king of colours somehow. Its association with beauty and passion dates long back. World over, it has been associated with heightened emotions such as romance, anger and love. A faint red glow on the cheeks signifies good health and beauty, as well as attraction towards the opposite gender. In India, red is associated with marital bliss, good fortune and also Goddess worship. Red is the favourite colour of the Mother Goddess, and she is especially offered blood red Hibiscus flowers in her worship. Most brides on their wedding day, wear red clothes and bangles to signify hopes of strong love and marital bliss in their newly forged relationship.
Similarly in a garden, the addition of deep red flowers lifts up the appearance and somehow completes the display. Here, I bring you 10 low maintenance plants with red flowers, which can be grown across seasons.
To read about Yellow Flowers, click here.
To read about White flowers, click here.
Please click on the images to enlarge them.
1. Desi rose:
What is there to be said about Rose, the king of flowers, that poets and lovers have not said for millennia? All I can add is, the Desi Rose is a very hardy variety of Rose which is well suited for Indian climates. It’s a winter staple for most Indian balconies and gardens, not only for its beautiful red flowers but also for its divine fragrance.
It’s not very high maintenance either, unlike the more dainty hybrid varieties. It can be grown by rooting cuttings as well. The best time is to plant it before the onset of winters, but it flowers till March so you can plant it later as well if you missed out! It loves sun and used tea leaves. Keep it at the sunniest spot you can find and water it regularly. Throw in some used and rinsed tea leaves whenever you can, and watch this little wonder of nature fill up your garden with colour and fragrance 🙂
For uses of Desi Rose in Ayurveda refer this post.
Hibiscus is another staple of most Indian gardens. It’s low maintenance, grows and flowers profusely and is also used in Goddess worship; which are some of the reasons for its popularity in India. It’s known as Gurhal in Hindi. Hibiscus gives stunning deep red flowers which have the perfect floral structure of five petals and a stalk with the male and female reproductive parts on it.
Hibiscus is a summer blooming plant. It’s known as Jabakusum in ancient Ayurvedic texts. It’s not only a pretty flower, but has many medicinal uses for skin and hair care.
For uses of Hibiscus in Ayurveda refer this post.
3. Red marigold:
Red is not the colour that comes to mind when you think of Marigolds. However, the Red variety of Marigolds is very popular! These flowers are smaller than your usual orange Marigolds, but with deep red petals bordered with fiery orange, they look stunning!
These are also mild winter flowers. Full sun and a well drained soil are the only conditions to keep them happy and flowering. Marigolds are also great at controlling mosquitoes and flies. So get them home and watch them fill up your balcony with fiery redness!
Dahlias are not native to India unlike the aforementioned flowers. However, they still do very well in our gardens and balconies! The flowers of well-fed Dahlia plant can be as large as a dinner plate!
Dahlias are winter bloomers and are available in all imaginable colours, and of course in red. There are multiple shades and combinations of red as well in these flowers. A Dahlia bud is usually the size of a tea cup, and a fully opened flower that of a dinner plate. Just think of that huge bright red gorgeous giant of a flower in your garden!
Another familiar member of the typical Indian garden. Whether in a pot or in the ground, Bougainvilleas are extremely popular in India. The hot arid summer of the country is ideal for these heat lovers to bloom.
Bougainvilleas are found in almost every corner of the country, and in a wide range of colours such as red, magenta, white, orange, yellow, purple and even duochromes! You don’t have to water them much, you don’t have to worry that they’ll die in the harsh Indian sun, you don’t have to do anything much. What’s not to love?
To read about my first taste of Bougainvilleas, refer to this post.
The word Sadabahar means “Evergreen”. However, in the harshest of winters, the Sadabahars go into a dormant state. Come spring, however, their sleeping selves wake up and start shooting bright coloured buds again! The most popular colours of Sadabahar are lilac pink and white. However, Sadabahar with deep red coloured blooms is also easily available, and extremely beautiful.
Sadabahar plants are very low maintenance. They’re only sensitive to overwatering. They can handle a drought, but not flooding. So ensure that you water them only when they’re properly dry. Keep them in a spot which receives good morning sun, and watch them bloom!
7. Red Chrysanthemum:
Chrysanthemums, like Dahlias, are available in myriad colours; white, yellow, pink, purple, magenta, orange, rust and of course red, and many more. Chrysanthemums are winter bloomers for the Indian climate, and become dormant once summer sets in.
Chrysanthemums need about 2-3 weeks to take root in their new home. They are slow at budding and blooming as well. Hence, the best time to plant them is before the severest of winters hit. Once rooted, they need full sun and occasional helpings of compost manure. They keep on giving beautiful blooms till the onset of summers, so you can get a period of 3-4 months 🙂
For more details on how to get chrysanthemums to bloom, refer this post.
Dianthuses are flowers that are unique in the way that they are found only in the shades and combinations of pink. All shades from lightest to darkest pink to magenta and even pinkish purple are the colours that Dianthus flowers can be found in.
Red is probably the only colour outside the “Pink” family which these flowers sometimes take. Maybe because Red isn’t too far removed from Pink.
Dianthuses are native to China, and do very well in Indian winter/spring weather. Low maintenance and fierce blooms are characteristics of this lovable plant!
White, Yellow and pink lilies are the most common but red lilies have a charm of their own. Their rich colour and stunning beauty makes them a great contender for a spot on your balcony.
Also known as Violas, Pansies are favourites of many people across the globe for being low maintenance and the sheer colour variety they offer.
They are found with great profusion on most balconies come winter, but red pansies aren’t too common. Why don’t you be the source of everyone’s envy with rich deep red pansies on your balcony?
I hope that this post has helped you decide on which plants are best suited to you to bring some fiery red colour to your balcony. Let me know if you’d like more such posts on flowers of other colours as well 🙂 Until we meet again, keep gardening!