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Purple perennial flowers: 24 brilliant choices for big and small gardens

Purple is a powerful color. When the Pantone Color Institute declared a shade of purple named Ultra Violet to be the Color of the Year, they called it “complex and contemplative,” noting that purple has long been “symbolic of unconventionality and artistic brilliance.” While I don’t know much about using purple for interior design, art, or fashion, I do know how to use it in a garden. The power and bravado of purple in the landscape is undeniable, especially when it comes to perennials. Today, I’d like to share my favorite purple perennial flowers. Whether their shade of purple is dark and regal or light and luscious, these beauties add depth, richness, and a pop of color to your garden.

Whether dark and regal or soft and luscious, purple brings a touch of brilliance to the garden.

Types of perennials with purple flowers

Fans of purple in the garden are always pleased to learn that there are violet-hued blooming perennials in a broad range of sizes and shapes. From purple-flowering ground covers to the tallest purple perennials, there’s a purple plant for every garden no matter its size or style.

In creating this list of purple perennial flowers, I found it easiest to divide them into groups based on their stature. Most gardeners use the mature height of a plant to determine its placement in the garden and whether or not it works in the space.

Below, the list is divided into three sections:

  • Tall purple perennials
  • Medium height purple perennials
  • Short purple perennial flowers

In addition to each plant’s botanical name, details on their site preferences, growth habits, hardiness, and bloom times are also included. In addition, I noted which of these perennials with purple flowers are deer-resistant.

I’m sure you’ll find these purple perennial flowers to be excellent additions to your garden. And be sure to tell me about any other varieties you adore in the comment section at the end of the post. I always love to learn about reader favorites!

There are many purple-flowering perennials worth growing in your garden.

Tall purple perennials

Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Garden phlox is such a classically beautiful perennial, and purple varieties of phlox, such as ‘Flame Blue’ or ‘Blue Paradise’, offer added flair. Averaging 2 to 3 feet tall, with round globes of blooms, phlox perform best in areas with full sun. Though the deer are quite fond of them, these purple perennial flowers are in bloom from mid summer through fall. Deadhead them regularly to generate more blooms, and pinch the stems back by a third in late spring to increase branching. Hardy down to -30 degrees F, purple phlox are adored by butterflies, bumblebees, hummingbird moths, and other pollinators.

Phlox is an exceptional perennial for many climates, and purple varieties are truly stunning.

Vervain (Verbena stricta)

If you’re looking for a North American native perennial with purple flowers, vervain is an excellent choice. The tall purple perennial flowers produced on these plants are real standouts in the garden. Topping out at 4 to 5 feet in height, sun-loving vervain is among the most underused purple-flowering perennials. Plants are somewhat difficult to find in the nursery trade, but it’s easy to start from seed. The deer don’t bother it, and many of our native bees find its nectar delicious. Vervain is hardy to -30 degrees F.

The airy blooms of vervain are tall and stately in the landscape.

German bearded iris (Iris germanica)

German bearded iris come in a rainbow of colors, but my favorite hue by far is violet. Thankfully, there are many varieties to fulfill your desire to add purple flowering perennials to your garden. Iris thrive in full to partial sun, and they’re tough as nails. Don’t bury the rhizomes too deeply, though, or they rot. Of the many deer-resistant purple perennials available, German iris are among the easiest to grow. Fully hardy down to -40 degrees F and reaching 2 to 3 feet in height, iris are early spring bloomers with a carefree nature.

Though bearded iris are common, you can’t beat them for their resilience and ease of care.

Bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis)

If you’re looking for a large perennial with purple flowers, bear’s breeches has you covered. Big, bold, spine-covered leaves are topped with 3-foot-tall spires of hooded flowers every summer. Thriving in full sun, bear’s breeches’s blooms last for months. Winter hardy down to -20 degrees F, give this purple perennial tons of room in the garden. And with all those spines, the deer and rabbits leave it alone.

No plant is bolder in the garden than bear’s breeches. The big spiny leaves and hooded blooms are amazing.

Monkshood (Aconitum napellus or A. carmichaelli)

This plant is a real treat for gardeners looking to add purple perennials that bloom in the fall. My monkshood is the latest blooming flower in my landscape. Tall spires of flowers don’t open until very late summer and last well into autumn. Give this plant full sun and the flowers stand tall. In the shade, they’re a bit floppier. Hardy to -40 degrees F, monkshood tops out at 3 to 4 feet in height. Be warned, however, that all parts of this plant are poisonous, so wash your hands thoroughly after working with it. This trait also makes monkshood deer-resistant, which is certainly an added bonus.

Monkshood is among the latest flowering perennials in the garden, often in bloom well beyond fall’s first frost.

Tatarian aster (Aster tataricus)

Of all the tall purple perennials out there, Tatarian aster is my hands-down favorite. A magnet for migrating monarchs, this late-blooming perennial with purple flowers stands a whopping 6 feet tall! It’s smothered with clusters of small, pale purple flowers that are relished by many different pollinators at a time when little else is blooming in the landscape. Thriving in full sun and requiring no staking for support, Tatarian aster is hardy to -40 degrees F. Though the deer don’t eat it in my garden, I have heard from other gardeners who find their plants nibbled by deer from time to time.

Pollinators love, love, love the late blooms of Tatarian asters. You’ll love them, too!

False indigo (Baptisia australis)

False indigo is an exceptional early-blooming perennial. I enjoy watching the chubby bumblebees pop open the lidded blooms each spring. They’re among the only bees heavy enough to open the flowers and pollinate them. False indigo is another plant on the list of purple flowering perennials the deer don’t eat, which is certainly a nice bonus. The straight species of false indigo produces spikes of purple-blue flowers, but there are other varieties that bloom in shades of yellow, burgundy, and white. Growing to 3 feet in height in sunny spots and with a winter hardiness down to -40 degrees F, false indigo doesn’t have a particularly long bloom time, but the foliage itself is quite lovely.

The spires of blooms on false indigo stand tall above the foliage in mid spring.

Russell blue lupine (Lupinus ‘Russell Blue’)

Lupines are classics in the sunny perennial garden, though I struggle to grow them in mine due to heavy clay and acidic soil. Lupines bloom in late spring and produce tall spires of dense blooms. ‘Russell Blue’ is actually more purple than blue, despite its cultivar name. For those seeking plants with purple flowers, it’s a variety well worth growing. Deer-resistant and winter hardy to -30 degrees F.

Long-blooming purple perennials such as lupines add so much to the garden.

Medium perennials with purple flowers

Clustered bellflower (Campanula glomerata)

The dark purple flowers of clustered bellflower stop garden visitors in their tracks. Thriving in both full and partial sun, bellflower is hardy down to -40 degrees F. A favorite of pollinators, clustered bellflower is a purple flowering perennial that blooms all summer, as long as you keep the plant deadheaded. Reported to be deer resistant, the blooms of bellflower are grouped into balls atop the flower stems.

Clustered bellflower adds a spark of color to the garden in mid summer.

Blazing star (Liatris spicata)

A North American native purple perennial, blazing stars are relished by butterflies and bees. Their 12-inch-tall bloom spikes emerge from thin, strap-like leaves each summer. The blooms open in succession down the stem, giving this plant a long bloom time. Preferring full sun conditions, blazing star plants grow from a bulb-like structure called a corm. They’re easy to plant, deer-resistant perennials with purple blooms that also make great cut flowers, and they are hardy to -40 degrees F.

Blazing star blooms are absolutely adored by pollinators.

Salvia (Salvia nemorosa)

Another purple flowering perennial that blooms all summer, salvia thrives in hot, sunny, and dry garden beds. The skinny spikes of flowers have square stems, indicating that this plant is a member of the mint family. Keep the plant deadheaded, and you’re rewarded with blooms for months on end. Topping out at 18 inches, this deer-resistant purple flower deserves a place in every garden. There are many purple-flowered varieties worth growing, including ‘Cardonna’ and ‘Amethyst’. Another personal favorite salvia is S. sylvestris ‘May Night’. Most varieties are hardy to -30 degrees F.

The slender bloom spikes of perennial salvia blend well with other garden plants.

Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum ‘Blue Fortune’)

If pollinator-friendly purple perennial flowers are on your must-have list, than write down the name anise hyssop. ‘Blue Fortune’ produces chubby spikes of light purple blooms atop licorice-scented foliage. Adored by bees and butterflies, but loathed by deer, anise hyssop is in non-stop bloom for months. Pinch the plant back by a third in late May, and you’ll have twice as many blooms! Hardy to -20 degrees F. Full sun conditions are best for this plant, but it can also tolerate light shade.

There are many deer-resistant perennials with purple blooms, but the only one with licorice-scented foliage is the anise hyssop in the lower left corner of this garden.

Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum)

Another North American native plant with purple flowers, mistflower reminds many gardeners of common annual ageratum. The powder puff-like blooms appear in clusters, just like ageratum, but this late-blooming purple flower doesn’t produce its blooms until very late in the season. Also unlike ageratum, mistflower is a perennial that’s fully hardy down to -20 degrees F. Plant it in full sun to partial shade, and your late-season garden will be filled with pale purple, fuzzy blooms on 1-foot-tall stems. It’s moderately resistant to deer, and spreads quite prolifically (occasionally to the point of being obnoxious).

The fuzzy blooms of mistflower look a lot like annual ageratum, but this is a long-lived native perennial.

Spike speedwell (Veronica spicata)

Veronica is an old-fashioned, deer-resistant, purple flowering perennial that gardeners have loved for generations. Unfortunately, some varieties are prone to powdery mildew, so choose resistant varieties, such as ‘Royal Candles’. Reaching about 12 inches in height, spike speedwell has pointy spires of densely packed purple flowers that open from the bottom up. It remains in bloom for weeks. When planted in full sun the plant does not need to be staked and survives winters down to -40 degrees F.

Spike speedwell is an long-time favorite of gardeners everywhere.

Pikes Peak beardstongue (Penstemon x mexicali ‘Pikes Peak Purple’)

Yet another purple perennial for the bees, ‘Pikes Peak Purple’ beardstongue has it all. Gorgeous looks, prolific dark purple flowers, and ease of care separate this plant from the rest. Winter hardy to -20 degrees F, Pikes Peak Purple’s tubular blooms are shaped like little trumpets. Choose a full sun site with well-drained soil, and this plant thrives.

Give Pikes Peak Penstemon well-drained soil and full sun, and it’s as happy as can be.

Short purple perennial flowers

Wood phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Wood phlox is a shade-loving, purple perennial that produces early-season blooms. Often finished blooming right along with the tulips, this native of the woodlands of eastern North America, is nothing short of lovely. The pale purple blooms bear five petals each, and they are borne in clusters atop 6-inch-tall, wiry stems. In bloom for just a few short weeks each spring, wood phlox is hardy to -40 degrees F. It’s resistant to deer and dry soil, too.

Wood phlox is a shade lover with lots to offer, including it’s early-season blooms.

Purple-leaved spiderwort (Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Queen’)

While this perennial does have tiny lavender flowers, it’s more prized for its purple leaves. Though it is hardy only in warmer climates that don’t fall below 0 degrees F, it’s well worth growing, even if you have to replace it each spring. Of all the plants with purple leaves available to gardeners, ‘Purple Queen’ is a real standout. It makes a dramatic display, and with a height of just 12 inches, it tumbles nicely over the edges of containers and retaining walls.

Purple tradescantia looks terrific in containers, too!

Lalla aster (Symphyotrichum x ‘Lalla’)

A hybrid of a North American native aster, ‘Lalla’ has so much bloom power it’s not even funny. Low-growing and spreading, this purple perennial is hardy to -40 degrees F. It produces a bazillion small purple flowers very late in the season, and it’s a magnet for tiny native pollinators. Though the deer may nibble it from time to time, ‘Lalla’ provides much-needed late-season color in the perennial border. It enjoys full sun, though it’s at home in dappled shade, too. If you can’t find this variety of aster, try the more common ‘Purple Dome’ as an alternative.

‘Lalla’ asters are low-growing and spreading, making them a perfect fit for the front of the border.

Lavender (Lavandula species)

Lavender is among the most familiar of all plants with purple flowers. Prized for its heavenly scent and essential oil content, lavender is both deer-resistant and sun-loving. Plant it in well-drained soil for the best results. There are many different species and varieties of lavender available. Choose one that’s hardy in your climate as there are many to choose from. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’ and ‘Grosso’ are personal favorites.

A list of purple-flowered perennials wouldn’t be complete without lavender!

Creeping speedwell (Veronica x ‘Waterperry Blue’)

A low-growing perennial with purple flowers, creeping speedwell makes a great ground cover. Though it’s only in bloom for a short time each spring, creeping speedwell looks lovely year-round. It’s semi-evergreen and needs nothing more than a light haircut in the very early spring. Hardy to -30 degrees F, this purple-flowering groundcover is deer resistant and produces pretty little blooms in full sun.

‘Waterperry Blue’ is a great plant to use as a ground cover.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria species)

Those seeking purple perennial flowers that bloom early, thrive in the shade, and are deer resistant, should put lungwort on their list. There are many varieties of lungwort with purple blooms, including ‘Diana Clare’, ‘Mrs. Moon’, and ‘Blue Ensign’. Other selections produce pink or white flowers. Some have mottled or spotted foliage, too. Plant lungwort in a shady spot and give it ample water. Hardy to -40 degrees F.

There are many different varieties of Pulmonaria. Some even have spotted leaves.

Coralbells (Heuchera species)

Okay, I’m cheating a little here, because coralbells aren’t purple perennial flowers. Instead, they’re purple-leaved perennials. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different coralbell cultivars, with all manner of interestingly colored foliage. From bronze and chartreuse to silver, green, and peach, coralbells are standout foliage plants for the shade, but purple coralbell varieties, such as ‘Plum Pudding’, ‘Dark Secret’, ‘Forever Purple’, and ‘Wildberry’, are really something special. And because it’s their foliage that’s colored, the splash of purple lasts all season long.

Heucheras are known for their purple foliage, not their flowers.

Millenium flowering onion (Allium ‘Millenium’)

This is a rabbit-, vole-, and deer-resistant plant with purple blooms that has so much to offer! The orb-shaped bloom clusters last for weeks, and they play host to oodles of pollinators, including butterflies and bees. Full sun is best for this perennial, and it’s hardy to -20 degrees F. ‘Millenium’ cannot be beat for its compact growth habit, ease of care, and long bloom time. It’s a winner all around.

Allium ‘Millenium’ knocks your socks off with its long-lasting blooms. Here, it looks spectacular combined with dark-leaved dahlias, hostas, and coleus.

Pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

Pasque flowers are so sweet! Their cheery blooms pop out of the soil to welcome spring, soon followed by fine, fern-like foliage. This early-blooming purple perennial also produces little poufy seed heads that wave in the wind. Hardy all the way down to -40 degrees F and thriving in well-drained soils, they reseed quite nicely if they’re happy. Pasque flower is among the earliest blooming purple perennial flowers, and it’s at home in full to partial sun. Deer resistant.

The blooms of pasque flower are absolutely delightful additions to the spring garden.

I hope you’ve discovered some new favorite purple perennials to add to your own garden. If you’re fond of one that’s not on our list, be sure to tell us about it in the comment section below.

Learn more about some of these great purple perennials in this video from my garden.

For more on growing beautiful perennials, check out the following articles:

30 Best Plants With Purple Flowers to Grow Outdoors

Purple flowers and purple foliage plants have a soothing effect when used in the landscape. Bearing a color that has long been a symbol of royalty, purple flowers also suggest richness and elegance. Purple plants are available in many shade variations, from graceful lavender to dark and rich violet. They come in spring bulbs, fall-blooming wildflowers, ground covers, climbing plants, and more.

Plant the same flower in various purple shades for added interest in your garden. Also, incorporate plants with purple foliage to add texture.

Here are 30 plants with purple flowers to add beautiful hues to your garden.

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

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

May Night salvia, a deep bluish-purple perennial, produces small blooms on flower spikes about 2 feet tall. It is known for its long blooming period from 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 wildflower 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

Caradonna Salvia (Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna')

The Spruce / K. Dave

Caradonna salvia is similar to May Night, but it is a deeper shade of purple and features 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 from 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

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

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Lamium maculatum is perhaps best known as a ground cover plant with silvery foliage, but the cultivar ‘Purple Dragon’ adds light purple flowers. (It also comes in pink, mauve, red, and white, depending on the cultivar.) Lamium purpureum (also known as purple dead nettle) grows no more than about 9 inches tall with purplish foliage and red-purple flowers. Lamium plants don’t tolerate foot traffic, so they should be situated out of the way. Leaves also will easily scorch, so it’s best to keep the plants away from direct sun.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Purple
  • Sun Exposure: Part sun, Shade
  • Soil Needs: Average, medium moisture, well-drained

Allium (Allium spp.)

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Alliums are a welcome addition to the landscape, not only for their color but also for the globular shape. The flower head is made of clusters of individual florets that create the full and lush round shape. Like other spring-flowering bulbs, they need to be planted in the fall. Heights range from 2 to 5 feet, depending on variety. And flowering occurs in the late spring to early summer.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 10
  • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, yellow, white, green
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Slightly acidic, well-drained

Petunia (Petunia x hybrida)

The Spruce / Autumn Wood

Petunias are one of the most well-known purple flowers, recognized by their wide, trumpet-shaped blooms. The petals come in a variety of looks, including double blooms, ruffled, smooth, striped, solid colors, and even varieties with heart-shaped patterns. Petunias are commonly used in hanging baskets, in window boxes, and as bedding plants. They bloom from early May right up until frost. And they need lots of sun and water to keep them full and blooming.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 10 to 11, typically grown as an annual
  • Color Varieties: Pink, purple, yellow, orange, red, green, white
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-drained

Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Columbine plants have delicate flowers that appear in April and May. Aquilegia vulgaris and its cultivars mature at about 1 to 3 feet tall. They work well in cottage gardens and rock gardens. Although this plant loves the sun, it does not like excess heat. Add a layer of mulch around the plant to keep the roots cool and moist.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Blue, orange, pink, purple, red, white, yellow
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Sandy or loamy, medium moisture, well-drained

Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)

True larkspurs are annual flowers (Consolida ajacis is the most common species grown in gardens) that are tough and hardy. These plants grow to around 3 to 4 feet tall, with spiky blooms that show up on the main stalk. They grow quickly from seed, blooming in spring and summer. These annuals may self-seed freely, producing plants year after year. But be aware that larkspurs are poisonous , so avoid planting them where pets and children will be present.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 10
  • Color Varieties: Purple, white, blue
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Medium moisture, well-drained

Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Lobelia blooms from summer through the first frost. There are numerous varieties of lobelia plants, but the cultivars providing trailing blue/purple flowers are usually Lobelia eranus. Lobelia flowers have five petals, and some have white eyes. They don't need deadheading (removing spent blooms) because they self-clean. If they suffer from heat, revive the plants by cutting them back and then providing regular water.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 10 to 11, typically grown as an annual
  • Color Varieties: Blue, purple, pink, white, red
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-drained

Jackman's Clematis (Clematis 'Jackmanii')

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Jackman's clematis is a flowering vine that produces large, deep purple flowers in mid-summer. The profuse flowers have four velvety petals. The vines are best trained to climb on trellises, arbors, walls, and fences. A trick to success with clematis vines is growing the plants in sunlight but keeping the roots cool. This can be achieved by mulching the root area or adding short plants over the root zone to provide ground shade.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Lavender to deep purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-drained

Heliotrope (Heliotrope spp.)

The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

Heliotrope is a shrub-like plant with clusters of fragrant blooms, growing 1 to 4 feet high. These plants begin blooming in summer and continue through the first frost. Maintaining even soil moisture is key in their growth. They will wither away in both soil that is too dry or too soggy. Moreover, these plants are poisonous , so keep them away from children and pets.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 9 to 11, typically grown as an annual
  • Color Varieties: Lavender to deep purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Rich, loamy, moist, well-drained

Crocus (Crocus spp.)

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Harbingers of spring, crocuses and other bulb plants are welcome flowering visitors to gardens in March and April. 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. Make sure your crocuses aren’t sitting in soggy soil, which can cause them to rot.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
  • Color Varieties: Purple, blue, pink, yellow, gold, orange, white
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Well-drained

Verbena (Verbena spp.)

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

The Verbena genus includes 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. Although 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: Purple, pink, red, white, orange
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Dry to medium moisture, acidic, well-drained

Delphinium (Delphinium 'Black Knight')

Delphiniums grow as high as 8 feet and are often featured in cottage gardens. The 'Black Knight' cultivar adds a robust burst of dark purple into a garden thanks to its spiked flowers. 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 the fall. Staking is suggested to help them grow well. Delphinium is toxic , so avoid planting it in areas with children and pets.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 7
  • Color Varieties: Blue, purple, white, pink
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-drained

Purple Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The purple ice plant features flowers with finely textured petals surrounding solid centers. It blooms through most of the summer and fall. The "ice" in this plant's common name comes from the sparkle on its leaves, which is the result of sunlight reflecting off tiny hairs on the leaf surface. This perennial demands soil that drains sharply, so ensure that it's not sitting in soggy soil.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, red, orange, yellow
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Sandy, dry, well-drained

Pacific Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)

Moelyn Photos / Getty Images

Pacific rhododendron shrubs can grow quite high. And they produce showy bell-shaped flowers in the spring and summer. Their foliage is evergreen. These shrubs don’t actually need fertile soil to grow well; rather they prefer fairly low-nutrient soil. They are hardy shrubs, but they do like even soil moisture. So you must have a consistent watering schedule. However, good drainage is important because soggy soil can kill them.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
  • Color Varieties: Pink, purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Acidic, well-drained

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

The Spruce / David Beaulieu

The butterfly bush is a deciduous shrub with arching branches. It produces brightly colored flower spikes throughout the summer that are highly attractive to butterflies and other pollinators, hence the shrub’s common name. This shrub is quite easy to grow, and because of that it is considered invasive in some areas. So be sure to check for any local restrictions on planting it. Consider newer varieties with sterile flowers that don't spread invasively.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, white, yellow
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Average, medium moisture, well-drained

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.)

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Bougainvillea is a genus of tropical vines. These showy plants can act as ground covers if they’re left free to grow. Or they can easily be trained to grow on a support, such as a trellis or fence. The foliage is evergreen in tropical areas. And the large, brightly colored blooms appear seasonally. These vines do have thorns, so care should be taken when working with them.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 10 to 11, typically grown as an annual
  • Color Varieties: Purple, red, pink, yellow
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Acidic, well-drained

Midnight Blue Rose (Rosa 'Midnight Blue')

阿橋 HQ / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Midnight Blue rose is a beautiful cultivar with deep purple flowers that stretch around 2 to 3 inches across. The blooms are known to have a strong fragrance. These shrubs can flower from spring to fall, and deadheading can help to encourage further blooming. But be careful of the thorns on these shrubs.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Deep purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Loamy, well-drained

Rhapsody in Blue Rose (Rosa 'Rhapsody in Blue')

Nadya So / Getty Images

The Rhapsody in Blue rose cultivar is another stunning plant with purple flowers. Its blooms, which stretch around 2.5 inches across, appear from late spring all the way until fall. They start out as a vivid purple color and then fade to a mauve-gray. In their centers, they have bright gold stamens. They also feature a strong orange-like fragrance. Deadheading is ideal to promote repeat-blooming.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Loamy, well-drained

Blue Beard (Caryopteris × clandonensis)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Blue beard, also known as blue spirea and blue mist, is a small shrub with a mounding growth habit. It only reaches around 2 to 4 feet tall and wide. It features aromatic foliage, and in the late summer the flowers appear. The small, blue-violet flowers are said to look like clouds of blue mist on the plant. This shrub needs sharp soil drainage, as it is particularly intolerant to soggy soil.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Blue-violet
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Average, medium moisture, well-drained

Heather (Calluna spp.)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Many species of heather shrubs feature dainty purple flowers along long stems that appear from summer to fall. Heather shrubs look especially striking when planted en masse. And they do particularly well on slopes and in rock gardens. Make sure to give your heather plants consistent moisture, but ensure that the soil has good drainage. Prune them as needed in the early spring before new growth starts.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 6
  • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, white
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Acidic, moist, well-drained

Winter Heath (Erica spp.)

The Spruce / David Beaulieu

Winter heaths are small evergreen shrubs with dense foliage and a mounding growth habit. Like heather, they also look best when planted en masse for maximum impact. Their flowering time depends on location and variety. But often the small clusters of blooms will appear during winter (in mild climates) and in early spring. Prune as needed just after the shrubs are done flowering.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, red, yellow, white
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Acidic, moist, well-drained

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Lilac bushes are popular plants with purple flowers. These deciduous shrubs bloom in the mid- to late spring with branching clusters of tiny flowers. The flowers have an exceptionally sweet fragrance. The foliage ranges from blue-green to gray-green. These shrubs are fairly low-maintenance once established. Prune to clean up growth just after flowering is finished. Newer varieties are available that perform well in warmer climates.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 7
  • Color Varieties: Lavender-blue, white, burgundy, deep purple, lilac
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Loamy, well-drained

Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.)

The Spruce / Claire Cohen Bates

Hydrangeas long have been popular garden plants for their flowers that come in many different colors, including purple. Some varieties have large, round flower clusters while others have smaller, flatter flowers. They generally bloom from mid-summer to fall. Water hydrangeas at least weekly unless you’ve had rainfall, but make sure they’re not sitting in soggy soil. Note that soil pH affects bloom color.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Color Varieties: White, blue, green, red, pink, purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, well-drained

Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Morning glories are fast-growing annual flowering vines that are a favorite of many gardeners. They’re low-maintenance, and they don’t require pruning or deadheading to look their best. They can grow along the ground or up on a support structure. Their colorful trumpet-shaped flowers appear in the summer and fall. Be sure to water weekly unless you’ve had rainfall. Note that morning glory can be invasive in some areas.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11
  • Color Varieties: Purple, pink, blue, white
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained

Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens)

The Spruce / Loren Probish

Wisteria is a woody vine with deep green foliage that can stretch to 30 feet or longer under prime growing conditions. It bears fragrant purple flowers on drooping stems in the spring. Narrow, smooth seed pods follow the flowers. Provide this vine with a sturdy trellis, post, or other support structure to fully enjoy its beautiful growth. Chinese wisteria is invasive in many states; if this is the case in your state, choose American wisteria instead.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Humusy, moist, well-drained

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Lavender is an herb that’s popular not only for its fragrance but also its purple flowers. The tiny clusters of flowers appear in the summertime on upright spikes. The aromatic foliage is a gray-green color. Make sure to situate your lavender plant in a spot that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. In an optimal growing site, the plant needs relatively little care.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Purple
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Well-drained

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

The purple coneflower is a particularly showy plant. It has an upright growth habit, reaching around 2 to 5 feet high. And in the summer, daisy-like flowers with a spiny center cone bloom. The flowers can stretch up to 5 inches across. The stiff stems also bear dark green foliage. This plant will often self-seed if the spent flower heads are left in place. So if you wish to control its spread, remove the spent blooms.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
  • Color Varieties: Purple-pink
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: Average, well-drained

Iris (Iris spp.)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Iris flowers feature blooms made of two types of petals. The outer petals droop downward while the smaller inner petals stand upright. This gives the whole flower an interesting shape. Irises blooms in the late spring or early summer, often attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Deadhead spent blooms, and trim back the foliage once frost arrives in the fall.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Color Varieties: Purple, blue, white, yellow
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Rich, well-drained

Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Pansies are a popular but short-lived garden plant. Outside of their hardiness zones, they’re often grown as annuals. They prefer cool weather and tolerate frosts. In southern climates, they're typically planted in fall and overwinter, blooming through spring until summer temperatures arrive. They rarely reach more than a foot in height and spread, but they have large, colorful flowers that bloom in the spring. The flowers are typically fairly flat and stretch roughly 2 inches across. Make sure to keep the soil around your pansies consistently moist but not soggy for healthy growth.