Horticulture Magazine

52 Vivid Garden Plants With Purple Flowers

catmint (nepeta lavender) flowers in focus

Historically, the colour purple was associated with wealth and royalty, largely because of how expensive and rare the dye was that was used to produce it.

Purple exudes luxury, power and vitality and including purple flowers in your garden can really pack a visual punch.

With so many varying shades to choose from, purple can set a distinct mood within your garden, whether it’s peaceful and tranquil, lavish and luxurious, or brilliant and bold.

Purple flowers are a surefire way to make a statement and accentuate the aesthetics of your garden.

close up of a purple flower
Embrace the purple passion

So if you are eager to introduce some purple passion into your garden but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together some inspiration to help you choose the perfect purple flowers for you.

The Power Of Purple

As one would expect, there are thousands of plants with purple flowers to choose from, varying in shade, size and care needs.

We’ve picked out some of our favourites to help you get started.

1) Clematis

bush clematis with pinkish-purple flowers
  • PLANT TYPE: CLIMBER
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5/H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: VITICELLA

Though clematis comes in a wide range of colours, there is an abundance of purple flowering varieties to choose from.

This popular purple beauty is easy to grow and, if selected carefully, it is possible to have flowers all year round.

Best planted in spring or early-to mid-autumn, this plant thrives in sunlight or partial shade.

Keep in mind that clematis is a very thirsty plant and will not do well in dry soil but, when well-watered, you will be rewarded with gorgeous blooms in shades from soft mauve to deep, rich purples.

2) Butterfly Bush

a large buddleja shrub with purple blooms
  • BOTANICAL NAME: BUDDLEJA
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: BLACK KNIGHT; LOCHINCH; DARTMOOR
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

Also known as butterfly bushes, buddlejas bear beautiful, conical blooms that butterflies and other pollinators find very attractive.

Coming in a variety of purple shades, this plant is easy to grow and maintain, and will thrive in almost any situation.

That said, they will attract more butterflies and bees if they are planted in a sunny spot in well-drained soil.

We recommend planting in spring or autumn and that you cut them back hard from March to May, as cutting back late promotes late flowering.

3) Bellflower

Blooming blue Creeping bellflower in focus with green field in background
  • BOTANICAL NAME: CAMPANULA
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: PERSICIFOLIA

This perennial purple plant gets its name from its flared, bell-shaped flowers and makes a wonderful addition to cottage gardens and rock gardens.

This charming plant will tolerate shade but certainly prefers to be in full sun and the more sun received the more flowers there will be.

Sow your seeds in spring in well-drained soil and when watering, make sure the soil is moist but never overly soggy.

Bellflowers bloom in summer three or four weeks and sometimes longer and add a layer of joy and whimsy to any garden.

4) Lavender

english lavender in sunshine
  • BOTANICAL NAME: LAVANDULA
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: ENGLISH

Lavender has become hugely popular among gardeners, mostly thanks to it’s gorgeous and relaxing fragrance, its heavenly purple shades and the fact that it is darn easy to grow!

Not only is lavender popular among gardeners, but bees also adore it.

Lavender flowers during the midsummer gap when there is little forage and bees are at their hungriest.

Attracting these hungry pollinators to your garden will help your garden to produce more plants and flowers.

Lavender enjoys full sun and well-drained soil and should be cut back after flowering to avoid the stems becoming woody.

You only need to water them sparingly and apart from that pretty much take care of themselves and will fill your garden with splashes of purple and their signature scent.

5) Wisteria

wisteria flowers draped on the outside of an english cottage
  • PLANT TYPE: CLIMBER
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: CHINESE

Wisteria is effortlessly beautiful and is famous for the pendulous lilac blooms that you often see climbing the walls of a country cottage or draping itself over a pergola.

Wisteria demands patience as it can take five years or more to establish itself and begin flowering, but its purple flowers are certainly worth the wait.

This vigorous climbing shrub should be planted between October and April in full sun on a south or west-facing wall or structure.

Plant in fertile, well-drained soil and water frequently, especially in dry spells as wisteria can quickly dry out.

Though it may take several years for you to enjoy your wisteria in all its glory, this powerful, purple plant is a real statement and will be the envy of all your friends and neighbours.

6) Catmint

bushy short leaved nepeta plant with purple flowers in summer
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Nepeta Cataria
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

This tough-as-nails purple perennial blooms for months and requires very little attention.

This is an ideal purple plant for novice gardeners as it is heat and drought tolerant, is robust and rarely needs watering.

Although it can be grown from seed, we recommend planting nursery-grown catmint in full sun anytime from spring to early autumn.

Catmint has a lovely, minty, aromatic fragrance and repels deer and rabbits.

Despite its name, it is not attractive to cats, but it is incredibly seductive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

7) Ornamental Onion

ornamental onion Allium hollandicum against a green grass background
  • BOTANICAL NAME: ALLIUM
  • PLANT TYPE: BULB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6/H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: HOLLANDICUM

These adorable purple puffs look like they could be out of a Dr Zeuss book.

They are full of character and are an excellent addition to any garden.

Alliums are super easy to grow, thrive in the sun and are drought tolerant.

Best planted in mid to late autumn in well-drained soil, these adorable plants will flower throughout spring and early summer.

We recommend planting them in sunny borders or weaving them throughout feathery grass.

8) Sage

purple flowering Salvia nemorosa
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Salvia officinalis
  • PLANT TYPE: HERB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Purpurascens
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

9) Giant Hyssop

tall upright purple blooms of giant hyssop
  • BOTANICAL NAME: AGASTACHE
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: BLUE FORTUNE
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

10) Monk’s Hood

Aconitum napellus herb in a garden with bird feeders in the background
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Aconitum napellus
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

11) Rhododendron

purple rhododendron flowers
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: PURPLE SPLENDOUR; BLUE DANUBE; MONSIEUR MARCEL

12) Sweet Pea

white and purple sweet pea flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Lathyrus odoratus
  • PLANT TYPE: ANNUAL CLIMBER
  • HARDINESS RATING: H3
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: BLUE VELVET; MOONLIT NIGHT

13) Scabious

bumblebee sat on violet coloured scabious flower
  • BOTANICAL NAME: SCABIOSA
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: BUTTERFLY BLUE; FLUTTER DEEP BLUE

14) Petunia

purple petunia flowers in a rectangular planter
  • PLANT TYPE: ANNUAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H2
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: SURFINIA; PEPPY PLUM

15) Pansy

close up of a viola flower
  • BOTANICAL NAME: VIOLA
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: CORNUTA
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

16) Morning Glory

morning glory flowers in a bright summer garden
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Ipomoea purpurea
  • PLANT TYPE: ANNUAL CLIMBER
  • HARDINESS RATING: H1C
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: COMMON

17) Michaelmas Daisy

purple and yellow asters standing upright
  • BOTANICAL NAME: ASTER
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Prairie Purple; Frikartii ‘Mönch’; Mel’s Blue

18) Lupin

curving lupinus flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: LUPINUS
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Masterpiece; Purple Emperor

19) Foxglove

foxgloves standing upright with woodland in the background
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Digitalis purpurea
  • PLANT TYPE: ANNUAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: COMMON; DALMATION PURPLE
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

20) Fuchsia

pink and purple fuchsia magellanica flowers
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: VARIES
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Deep Purple; Blue Angel

21) Lilac

flowering lilac shrub up close
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Syringa vulgaris
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: COMMON; SENSATION
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

22) Columbine

purple and white aquilegia flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: AQUILEGIA
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5-H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Hensol Harebell; Blue Barlow

23) Crocus

purple and white crocus flowers with yellow stamen and green spiky foliage
  • PLANT TYPE: BULB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: VARIES
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Vanguard; Saffron
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

24) Calla Lily

purple Zantedeschia
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Zantedeschia
  • PLANT TYPE: PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H1C
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: PICASSO

25) Hyacinth

blue and purple hyacinth flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Muscari armeniacum
  • PLANT TYPE: BULB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Paul Hermann; Blue Jacket

26) Winter Windflower

winter windflowers in focus
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Anemone blanda
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: BLANDA
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

27) Lily Of The Nile

light purple flowering agapanthus
  • BOTANICAL NAME: AGAPANTHUS
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4-H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Northern Star; Purple Cloud
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

28) Dendrobium Orchid

lilac and white dendrobium orchids
  • PLANT TYPE: HOUSEPLANT
  • HARDINESS RATING: H1A
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: ENOBI PURPLE

29) Bearded Iris

white and dark purple coloured bearded iris
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Iris germanica
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Matinata; Nightfall

30) Verbena

umbels of verbena flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Verbena bonariensis
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: SANTOS PURPLE
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

31) Rosemary

rosemary in summer sunlight
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Salvia rosmarinus
  • PLANT TYPE: HERB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER

32) Oregano

flowering oregano plants
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Origanum vulgare
  • PLANT TYPE: HERB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Herrenhausen; Rosenkuppel

33) Chives

chives with purple flowers
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Allium schoenoprasum
  • PLANT TYPE: PERENNIAL BULB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: LAVENDER BUBBLES

34) Golden Dewdrop

golden dewdrop plant
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Duranta erecta
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H2
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER

35) Caryopteris

flowering Caryopteris plant
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: HEAVENLY BLUE

36) Heather

pinkish heather plant in flower
  • BOTANICAL NAME: ERICA
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

37) Bougainvillea

purple flowers of bougainvillea plant
  • PLANT TYPE: CLIMBING SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H2
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Pink Pillar; Enchantment Purple

38) Abelia

abelia with violet blooms
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Edward Goucher
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

39) Hydrangea

hydrangea plant in bloom
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Purple Prince; Bavaria

40) Weigela

minute weigela flowers in focus
  • PLANT TYPE: SHRUB
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: ALEXANDRA
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

41) Bear’s Breeches

bear's breeches
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Acanthus mollis
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: COMMON; SPINY

42) Hardy Geranium

bumblebee harvesting pollen from purple hardy geraniums
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Jolly Bee; Mrs Kendall Clark; Orion
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

43) Speedwell

ground creeping common speedwell
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Veronica longifolia
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

44) Phlox

Phlox paniculata
  • PLANT TYPE: ALPINE PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Miss Pepper; Prospero
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

45) Chrysanthemum

purple chrysanthemum flowers
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H2/H3
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: AUTUMN
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Rynoon; Purple Margaret Dixon

46) Daylily

daylilies in orange and burgundy colours
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Hemerocallis
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: VOODOO DANCER

47) Bergenia

bergenia flowers
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Purpurascens
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

48) Meadow Rue

distinctive flowers of meadow rue
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Thalictrum
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H7
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER

49) Hyacinth Bean

tall hyacinth bean stalks
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Lablab purpureus
  • PLANT TYPE: CLIMBER
  • HARDINESS RATING: H1C
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN

50) Chilean Potato Tree

Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin' flowers in yellow and purple
  • BOTANICAL NAME: Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’
  • PLANT TYPE: CLIMBER
  • HARDINESS RATING: H4
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER / AUTUMN
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

51) Delphinium

upright delphinium blooms
  • PLANT TYPE: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H5
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Faust; Black Knight; Purple Velvet
  • AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT

52) Aubrieta

dense Aubrieta ground covering flowers
  • PLANT TYPE: ALPINE PERENNIAL
  • HARDINESS RATING: H6
  • FLOWERING MONTHS: SPRING / SUMMER
  • NOTABLE PURPLE VARIETIES: Blue Cascade; Kitte

Why choose plants with purple flowers?

Including the colour purple adds a layer of opulence and richness to your garden. 

What’s more, purple pairs well with many colour schemes and will help make other plants pop.

Whether you go for a low-key lilac or a vivacious violet, there is always room in any garden for a splash of purple.

Purple naturally blends well with whites and pinks, but you can also really think outside the box and combine it with bolder colours like acid greens, burnt oranges and hot reds.

petunia flowers in a garden cart

Purple plants are equally at home in traditionally-styled gardens as well as gardens with a more modern and contemporary approach.

Plants with purple flowers have also become very popular within Japanese themed gardens, proving that the colour purple is exceptionally versatile. 

So, now that you have decided that your garden is crying out for some purple power, we have handpicked some of our favourite plants to help take your garden from plain and placid to passionate and powerful.

A garden of purple is always in bloom

ornamental onions blooming in a large outdoor garden

It is said that a garden of purple is always in bloom, so what better reason to fill your garden with pretty purple flowers?

Plants with purple foliage are another option to consider!

Hopefully, you are now filled with inspiration for incorporating purple plants into your garden, adding that gorgeous layer of luxury and richness.

Whether you stick with paler tones and pair them with whites and pinks or if you go all out with rich purples combined with bright and funky colours, you will have no problem creating something fabulous.

So let the purple passion course through your veins and get out there and start planting!

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