14 Best Landscape Plants With Purple Flowers

Image of pink and purple cineraria flowers / daisy plants, flowering cinerarias daisies in garden plastic terracotta flower pots
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Purple flowers and purple foliage plants have a soothing emotional effect when used in the landscape. Bearing a color that has long been a symbol of royalty, purple flowers also suggest richness and elegance. 

Available in many shade variations, from graceful lavender to dark and richer violet and magenta, purple plants are available in hundreds of varieties, from spring bulbs to fall-blooming wildflowers, from crawling ground covers to bold climbers.

Mixing Shades of Purple

Plant the same flower that comes in various types of purple shades, such as the pentas (Pentas lanceolata), for a soothing look that also attracts butterflies.

Incorporate plants with purple foliage in with purple flowers to add texture to your garden.

Here are 14 beautiful flowering plant options that will add vibrant purple hues to your landscape. 

  • 01 of 14

    'May Night' Salvia (Salvia x sylvestris 'May Night')

    May night salvia
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    'May Night' salvia, a deep bluish-purple perennial, produces small blooms on flower spikes about 2 feet tall. The sword-shaped leaves are more robust than those on 'Blue Hill' salvia.

    'May Night' salvia is known for a long blooming period of May through June, making it a valuable landscape plant. Like other salvias, this one is a great choice for perennial borders, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens, or wild gardens. Early spring is the best time to cut plants back to encourage fresh new growth.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Purple with blue tints
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
  • 02 of 14

    'Caradonna' Salvia (Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna')

    Caradonna salvia (image) has violet-blue flower spikes. Blue Hill is lighter.
    David Beaulieu

    Salvia 'Caradonna' is similar to 'May Night' but it is a deeper shade of purple and with a more slender flower stalk that highlights the flowers. It grows 1 to 2 feet high and like other salvias, it has a very long bloom period—June to September. It does well in dry conditions, but it flowers best if it gets regular moisture. 

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Deep shades of purple
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, moist
  • 03 of 14

    Purple Lamium (Lamium maculagtum 'Purple Dragon', Lamium purpureum)

    Purple Lamium
    Neil Holmes/Getty Images

    Lamium maculatum is perhaps best known as a ground cover plant with silvery foliage, but the cultivar 'Purple Dragon' adds light purple flowers. 

    Lamium purpureum (also known as purple deadnettle) grows no more than about 9 inches in height. It is generally grown for its foliage, but there are a number of cultivars that offer attractive flowers, as well. In addition to 'Purple Dragon' and purple deadnettle, there are white cultivars and red/purple cultivars, such as 'Red Nancy'. 

    Lamium is a good plant for dry shade, but it can be somewhat invasive. Although a good ground cover, it does not tolerate foot traffic. Leaves will easily scorch, so it's best to keep the plants away from any sun.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Red, purple, some white
    • Sun Exposure: Shade
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, with average moisture and fertility needs
  • 04 of 14

    Purple Allium (Allium ssp. and Hybrids)

    Purple Allium Flower
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    Alliums are a welcome addition to the landscape, not only for their color but also for the globular shape. The flower head is made up of clusters of individual florets that create the full and lush round shape. Among the best cultivars with purple color are Allium aflatunense 'Purple Sensation', A. 'Globe Master', A. 'Millenium', A. 'Ambassador', and the species plant Allium aflatunense.

    Purple alliums are bulb plants. Like other spring-flowering bulbs, they need to be planted in the fall. The specific planting date in fall is determined by where you live. Plant in September if you live in zone 2 or 3. Plant in December if you live at the other end of the scale (warmer climate), in zone 8. For those in between, plant in October or November.

    Heights range from 2 to 5 feet, depending on variety, and alliums typically flower in late spring to early summer. This plant requires simple care. It gets its fill of water from rainfall, so it needs little watering.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Purple to blue-green
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun, tolerates some shade
    • Soil Needs: Slightly acidic, well-draining
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  • 05 of 14

    Purple Petunias (Petunia x hybrida)

    Purple petunias
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    Petunias are one of the most well-known purple flowering plants, recognized by their wide, trumpet-shaped flowers. The petals of the various flowers in the petunia family come in a variety of looks, from double blooms, ruffled, smooth, striped, or solid colored petals. Purple petunias say "royalty" not only with their color but also with the fine, velvety texture of their petals.

    Petunias are commonly used in hanging baskets, window boxes, and as bedding plants. They bloom from early May right up until frost. There are dozens of petunia cultivars with purple flowers, and more are introduced each season. Petunias need lots of sun and water to keep them full and blooming.

    • USDA Growing Zones: Grown as annuals in all zones
    • Color Varieties: Varies, including pink, purple, and yellow
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-draining
  • 06 of 14

    Purple Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris)

    Purple columbine
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    The flowers that go by the common name of columbine include several Aquilegia species, including many cultivars of Aquiliegia vulgaris that have violet or purple flowers. New cultivars are introduced regularly, but some with notable purple or lavender flowers include Aquilegia vulgaris ''Double Clementine Purple' with large double blossoms, A. vulgaris ‘Winky Purple-White’, with white and purple blossoms, and A. vulgaris ‘Clementine Dark Purple’, with fluffy double-petal flowers. 

    As a group, the columbines have delicate flowers that appear in April and May. Aquilegia vulgaris and its cultivars mature to about 12 to 36 inches tall. They work well in cottage gardens and rock gardens. Although this plant loves the sun, it does not like to be too hot, especially in the heat of summer months. Cool it down with lots of mulch to keep the soil moist.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Blue, orange, pink, purple, red, white, and yellow
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Any type, but prefers sandy loam
  • 07 of 14

    Annual Purple Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)

    Consolida ajacis purple flowers
    jessicahyde / Getty Images

    The terms larkspur and delphinium are sometimes used interchangeably, but each is actually a different genus within the Ranunculaceae family of plants. True larkspurs are annual flowers (Consolida ajacis is the most common species grown in gardens) that are different from perennial delphinium (Delphinium spp.). The two types share a similarity in appearance, thanks to their shared family heritage.

    Unlike delphiniums, which are temperamental, hard-to-grow perennial plants, annual larkspurs are quite easy-to-grow, tough, hardy flowers. The purple larkspur is a tall and graceful plant. Spiky blooms show up on the main stalk in loose patterns. They grow to about 3 to 4 feet in height and do best in ordinary moist garden soil.

    Although they are annual plants, larkspur may self-seed freely, producing plants year after year. Be aware that larkspurs are poisonous, so be careful planting them where pets and children will be present. Larkspur grows quickly from seed, blooming in spring and summer. One important care tip for larkspur: The plant does not like to be transplanted.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 10
    • Color Varieties: Purple, white, and blue
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Slightly moist to dry, well-drained
  • 08 of 14

    Purple Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)

    Purple lobelia
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    Lobelia is an annual flower that blooms from summer through the first frost. There are numerous varieties of lobelia plants, but the cultivars providing blue/purple flowers are usually Lobelia eranus. They begin blooming in mid-summer and continue to the first frost. 

    Lobelia flowers have five petals and some have white eyes. They tend toward the blue side rather than true purple; some common varieties include Lobelia erinus ‘Bella Aqua’, L. erinus ‘Bella Aqua', and L. erinus ‘Hot Water Blue', all growing 10 to 12 inches tall. Lobelia is fairly easy to maintain. They don't need to be deadheaded because they self-clean. But if they suffer from heat, revive them by cutting them back then providing regular water.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Blue, white, pinkish-red
    • Sun Exposure: Prefers full sun, but tolerates shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich and moist
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  • 09 of 14

    'Jackmanii' Clematis (Clematis 'Jackmanii')

    Jackman clematis vine
    Betsie Van der Meer/Getty Images

    The classic deep purple perennial clematis is 'Jackmanii', a flowering vine that grows well, producing large 7-inch wide, deep purple flowers in mid-summer. The profuse flowers have four velvety petals. The vines are best trained to climb on trellis, arbors, walls, and fences.

    There are dozens of other clematises that also produce purple/lavender blooms, including:

    • Clematis ‘Warszawska Nike' is a 10-foot-high vine that flowers with deep purple in late spring to early summer, then again in fall. 
    • Clematis ‘Etoile Violette' grows to 12 feet and produces dark purple, velvety flowers throughout the summer. 
    • Clematis ‘Kingfisher’ produces lavender flowers in May and June, then again in September.
    • Clematis ‘Picardy’ has smaller, but more profuse flowers than most other varieties.

    A trick to success with hardy clematis vines is growing the plants in sunlight but keeping the roots cool. This may be achieved by mulching the root areas or adding low plants over the root zone to provide ground shade.

    Be careful when pruning clematis vines. Some types flower on the previous season's wood, others on new growth. Make sure you know what type of clematis vines you have before pruning them. The nursery where you bought your clematis vines should be able to identify them and indicate pruning dates.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Lavender to deep, darker purple
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade (prefers shaded roots)
    • Soil Needs: Fertile, well-drained, evenly moist
  • 10 of 14

    Heliotrope (Heliotrope spp.)

    Heliotrope Flowers
    Mark Turner/Getty Images

    Heliotrope is a long-standing favorite in cottage gardens, a shrub-like plant with clusters of blooms that grow 1 to 4 feet high. The plant looks much like hydrangea, but with irregular shaped clusters containing various shades of purple flowers.

    This plant is a purple perennial in warm climates (zones 9 to 11) but is normally grown as an annual in cooler climates. These long-flowering plants begin blooming in summer and continue through the first frost, with very fragrant blossoms.

    Many purple/lavender varieties are available, including: 

    • Heliotrope arborescens 'Fragrant Delight' grows to 3 feet high.
    • Heliotrope arborescens 'Marine' has large dark purple flowers up to 6 inches in diameter.

    Of most importance is keeping the soil evenly moist. The plant withers in overly dry or soggy soil. These plants are poisonous, so keep them away from children and pets. 

    • USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 11 (varies according to variety)
    • Color Varieties: Lavender to a deeper purple
    • Sun Exposure: Morning sun, afternoon shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, loamy, consistently moist
  • 11 of 14

    Purple Crocus (Crocus spp.)

    Purple crocuses
    Witold Skrypczak/Getty Images

    Harbingers of spring, purple crocuses, and other bulb plants are welcome visitors to our March and April yards. Mix crocuses of lighter colors with your deeper purple crocuses for knockout spring plantings.

    Crocuses are small plants with star-shaped blooms that grow close to the ground, reaching just 3 to 6 inches tall, depending on the type. Looking like blades of grass, the foliage is marked down the middle with a light stripe. An endearing trait of crocus flowers is the way they pucker up at night, or when the day is cloudy and/or cold.

    Crocus plants often end up growing in lawns. Many gardeners prefer to let them grow freely—it's an ideal way to handle sparse patches of grass.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Light to a deeper purple, plus yellow, gold, and white
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-draining
  • 12 of 14

    Purple Verbena (Family Verbenaceae)

    Purple verbena
    Josie Elias/Getty Images

    The Verbena genus of plants includes a large number of both annual and perennial species, many of which produce purple flowers. The flowers are tiny and fragrant, creating saucer-shaped clusters that can span 3 inches. The plant itself is airy, ethereal, and tends to sprawl, adding a lighter touch to gardens and pathways. Some types are perennial in warmer climates but are planted as annuals elsewhere.

    • Verbena hastata, a perennial also known as blue vervain, is a tall, airy plant with bluish-purple flowers.
    • Glandularia canadensis 'Greystone Daphne' has fragrant-lilac colors flowers on trailing stems.
    • Verbena canadensis 'Homestead Purple' has a purple-colored ground cover and is a perennial in zones 6 and warmer.
    • Verbena x Hybrida 'Lanai Royal Purple with Eye' is an annual form with bright purple flowers with a contrasting white eye.

    There are verbenas that are only 3 inches high, and others that grow to 6 feet. Though they easily spread, they can be trained to grow in a more compact space with new blooms through regular pruning.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Color Varieties: Varied purple hues
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-draining; tolerates most soil types
    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Delphiniums (Delphinium Hybrids)

    Delphinium
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    Delphiniums are among the tallest of perennials, growing as high as 8 feet, and are often featured in cottage gardens. The 'Black Knight' cultivar of delphinium especially adds a robust burst of dark purple into a garden thanks to its spiked shape.

    Delphiniums are relatively short-lived perennials, rarely surviving more than three to four years. The blooms appear in clusters along the stalk in June to July, sometimes reblooming in fall. Many varieties produce flowers in shades of blue or purple, although there are also white and pink blossoms available. 

    The types of delphiniums most commonly grown in gardens are from hybrid series, such as the Pacific and English/Elatum series. Delphiniums can be challenging and demanding to grow. They do not like hot, dry weather. The plants also do not do well with sudden winds or heavy rains. Staking is suggested to help them grow well.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 7
    • Color Varieties: Blue, deep purple, white, and pink
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Evenly moist, well-drained, fertile
  • 14 of 14

    Purple Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

    Delosperma Cooperis
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    The purple ice plant is a native of South Africa with finely textured petals surrounding solid centers. The plant's airy nature offers visual variety and breathing room in an otherwise lush garden. The "ice" in this perennial's name comes from the sparkle on its leaves, which is the result of sunlight reflecting off tiny hairs covering the surface of each leaf.

    This perennial demands a soil that drains sharply. Many Northern gardeners who end up losing the plant think that the loss was due to the cold of winter when, in fact, the cause was poor drainage.

    This is a ground cover plant that grows only about 6 inches tall and is best suited for dry locations. It blooms through most of the summer and fall. 

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Color Varieties: Glossy red and purple
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained