Best Shrubs With Blue or Lavender Flowers

Rhododendron shrub in bloom with lavender flowers.
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  • 01 of 10

    Blue Butterfly Bushes

    Monarch butterfly on blue Buddleia shrub.
    The Adonis Blue cultivar of butterfly bush is a true blue. Ed Reschke/Getty Images

    Shrubs with blue flowers or lavender flowers are among the most treasured bushes in the landscape. Blue and lavender (and similar shades associated with purple, such as lilac) are considered "cool" colors in color theory. As cool colors, they are thought to have a relaxing effect on the viewer.

    Bushes that bloom in such colors are highly sought after by people creating meditation gardens. But you do not have to get that fancy about it to appreciate these plants. For many gardeners, blue and lavender are favorite colors, and they simply wish to enjoy flowers in those shades. They are naturally curious to discover new shrubs to grow that sport blue or lavender flowers.

    Let's begin with some bushes that bloom in that rarest of floral colors: blue. A few cultivars of butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) have true-blue flowers, such as Adonis Blue. Others have misleading names, so do not buy sight-unseen. For example, both Blue Heaven and Blue Chip are more of a lavender color than a true blue. But for some gardeners, Blue Chip has something going for it that is more important than color: It is non-invasive (unlike the species plant).

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  • 02 of 10

    Blue Rose of Sharon

    Blue buds of Blue Bird rose of Sharon shrub.
    Hibiscus syriacus Blue Bird has deep-blue flower buds. Paul Seheult/Getty Images

    Some types of rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) sport blue flowers under the right growing conditions, such as Blue Bird. But, as with blue butterfly bushes, names can be deceiving, so do your homework before buying. For example, despite its name, Blue Chiffon rose of Sharon is not reliably true-blue. You have more choices that are reliably lavender with this late-summer flowering shrub, such as Lavender Chiffon.

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  • 03 of 10

    Ceanothus Concha

    Ceanothus shrubs in bloom growing behind grasses.
    Matt Anker/Getty Images

    California lilac (Ceanothus Concha) is not very cold-hardy, being suited only to zones 7 to 10. It is a broadleaf evergreen that will reach a mature height of 4 to 8 feet, with a spread of 6 to 12 feet. It can bear either purple or blue flowers; the flowers are fragrant. This June-bloomer likes full sun and a well-drained soil. Deer-resistant and drought-tolerant, California lilac will draw hummingbirds and butterflies to the yard.

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  • 04 of 10

    Bluebeard

    Super closeup of bloom of bluebeard shrub.
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    It is apt that the common name for Caryopteris is "bluebeard" or "blue mist shrub." This bush's blue flowers come at a convenient time for gardeners: late summer, after the flowering season of many shrubs is long gone. Such plants are invaluable to gardeners interested in maintaining a steady sequence of bloom in the landscape.

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  • 05 of 10

    Azaleas

    Lavender-colored azaleas against a mountain backdrop.
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    Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, orange, and white. But lavender is one of the most popular colors. Choices in lavender include Bloom-A-Thon Lavender. Suitable for USDA plant hardiness zones 6 to 9, this shrub grows to be 36 to 48 inches tall and wide. It first blooms in April, but it is a reblooming bush, so expect additional flowers throughout summer and into fall. Grow this evergreen in full sun to partial sun.

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  • 06 of 10

    Russian Sage

    Russian sage in bloom against an adobe wall.
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    Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) gives you an airy look in a flower border because its numerous, lavender-colored flowers are tiny and its small leaves have a silvery color. This airy quality makes it a good filler plant. Grow it between plants that bear larger, showier flowers. It blooms throughout summer.

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  • 07 of 10

    Lavender

    Lavender shrubs in bloom in a field.
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    No list of choice for shrubs with lavender flowers would be complete without mentioning the namesake sub-shrub, lavender (Lavandula spp.). Besides its beauty and usefulness (in medicine, in the kitchen, and in potpourri), this early-summer bloomer is deer-resistant and drought-tolerant. It is best-known for its fragrant leaves and blossoms.

    English lavender (L. angustifolia) is the most popular because of its cold-hardiness (zones 5 to 8). But other kinds do exist, including:

    • French lavender (L. stoechas)
    • Portuguese (or "broadleaved") lavender (L. latifolia)
    • Fringed lavender (L. dentata)
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  • 08 of 10

    Lilacs

    Lilac bush blooming with lilac-colored flowers.
    Antema/Getty Images

    Common lilac bush (Syringa vulgaris)​ comes in a number of colors, including:

    • Lavender-blue
    • White
    • Burgundy
    • Deep purple

    A top landscape shrub for generations, it is most valued for the sweet smell of its flowers. One of its few drawbacks is that its leaves tend to get powdery mildew on them by late summer. The mildew does not harm the plant, so if you can simply ignore it, you will be very happy growing this late-spring bloomer.

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  • 09 of 10

    Heath and Heather

    Heather in mixed colors surrounding a golden fern.
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    "Heath" and "heather" may have similar spellings, but these common names refer to two different genera. Heath belongs to the Erica genus, heather to the Calluna genus. Both tend to be short shrubs (about a foot tall, with a spread of often two feet).

    Winter heath (Erica x darleyensis) is popular in North America, as gardeners have come to realize just how long a blooming period it has. It can also bloom in winter, making it a rarity.

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  • 10 of 10

    Rhododendrons

    Rhododendron shrub in bloom with lavender flowers.
    Clive Nichols/Getty Images

    Rhododendron cultivars with lavender flowers are widely grown and include Catawba and P.J.M. But if you want to grow something different from what your neighbors are likely to have, try a type with blue flowers, such as Bob's Blue, an early-spring or mid-spring bloomer (depending on where you live). Unfortunately, it is cold-hardy only to zone 7. This is a small-leaved type that is tolerant of full sun. The shrub grows to be about 3 feet tall.