When people think of purple flowers for the garden, lavender usually comes to mind. Of corse, lavender is not the only plant that blooms in the royal color of purple. Many plants with purple blooms are offered in a variety of shades, ranging from almost-white to a rich, dark purple. Plants may be described as lilac, mauve, periwinkle, violet, or plum. Also look for words such as blue or black. Most plants will not be a true blue, but will be purple with a blue tint to them. Plants labeled black may look purple in strong light.
Irises, creeping phlox, and muscari bloom in spring and can add a hint of purple to your garden. Other plants which bloom in various shades of purple include: stokesia, petunias, salvias, penstemons, scabiosa, veronicas, and asters. ‘Katie blue’ dwarf ruellia blooms light purple and is easier to manage than the regular Mexican petunia, another purple-blooming perennial.
If you’re looking for light-colored purples, consider Russian sage or mistflower. If you want purples that have more of a pink tinge to them, look for purple coneflowers, daylilies, and monarda. You can also find roses that bloom in various shades of purple, most of the time with a hint of pink.
If the short season of purple blooms are not enough for you, look for plants with purple in their leaves or stems. These include oxalis triangularis, Persian shield, smoke bush, loropetalum, and purple heart. You will need to be aware that they may flower in colors other than purple. Beautyberry sports purple berries in fall, and ‘Forest pansy’ redbud has purple leaves in spring. Or you may wish to plant a purple-leaf plum.
Are you a fan of ornamental grasses? You might want to try purple muhly grass, which blooms a shade darker than pink muhly grass. Purple fountain grass is another to consider.
Studies have shown that bees and butterflies love purple plants, too. Should you wish to attract them to your garden, try liatris, lantana, or verbena bonsariensis.
Trees and shrubs that bloom purple include butterfly bushes, golden dewdrop, rose of Sharon, vitex, and crape myrtle. Looking for a vine? Wisteria is lovely, but can be aggressive. Clematis is beautiful and easier to manage. Even if your garden is in shade, liriope can give you loads of purple blooms.
Whether you choose to have a riot of purple or just a small patch, there are a number of purply plants to consider. This list should get you started.