Plants with purple flowers

20 plants with purple flowers

We've picked our favourite purple-flowered perennials, shrubs and climbers to grow.

Purple-flowered plants work well in most colour schemes, pairing just as effectively with whites and pastels as they do with hot reds and oranges.

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For a striking pot or border display, try combining purple flowers with the acid greens of Alchemilla mollis, or euphorbias like Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae. Red poppies and orange kniphofias would also work well here.

For a more classic look, combine different shades of purple flowers with pink- and white-flowered plants.

Another benefit of growing purple-flowered plants is that they’re highly attractive to pollinators, with some showing an innate preference for purple flowers.

Discover some of our favourite plants with purple flowers to grow, below.


1

Teasel

Purple flowers to grow - teasel
Purple flowers to grow – teasel

The teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) is a UK native biennial, bearing tall spikes of brush-like flowerheads with purple blooms, popular with bees and butterflies. Goldfinches eat the seed in winter. Grow at the back of a border or in a wild part of the garden.

Height x Spread: 1.8m x 80cm


2

Sweet rocket

Purple flowers to grow - sweet rocket
Purple flowers to grow – sweet rocket

Sweet rocket, Hesperis matrionalis is a pretty, white- or purple-flowered biennial, with a fantastic evening fragrance. It looks good when allowed to drift, naturally, through an informal sunny or partially shaded border, especially in a cottage garden or wildlife garden scheme.

H x S: 1m x 45cm


3

Alliums

Purple flowers to grow - alliums
Purple flowers to grow – alliums

Most ornamental alliums range in colour from white, through to pink and purple. They’re especially popular with pollinating insects and provide interest in borders with their drumstick-shaped blooms.

H x S: 90cm x 20cm


4

Salvias

Purple flowers to grow - salvias
Purple flowers to grow – salvias

Purple-flowered salvias like ‘Amistad’ and ‘Ostfriesland’ look fantastic growing in a mixed herbaceous border with other bright coloured flowers like kniphofias and rudbeckias.

H x S: 75cm x 45cm


5

Catmint

Purple flowers to grow - catmint
Purple flowers to grow – catmint

Catmints are attractive perennials with fragrant foliage, bearing masses of nectar-rich flowers in summer. There are lots of types of catmint available, from smaller bushy types suitable for growing in pots, to taller varieties, perfect for growing in the middle of a border. They thrive in a position of full sun, with light, well-drained soil.

H x S: 90cm x 90cm


6

Verbena bonariensis

Purple flowers to grow - Verbena bonariensis
Purple flowers to grow – Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis is a popular garden perennial, grown for its plate-like purple flowers, which are attractive to a wide range of pollinators. It’s perfect for providing both height and long-lasting colour in borders.

H x S: 1.5m x 45cm


7

Clematis

Purple flowers to grow - clematis
Purple flowers to grow – clematis

There’s an abundance of purple-flowered clematis to grow, with blooms from pale mauves to deep, royal purples. For spring flowers try Clematis alpina, or for summer grow a variety of Clematis viticella.

H x S: 2.5m x 1.5m


8

Wisteria

Purple flowers to grow - wisteria
Purple flowers to grow – wisteria

Wisteria bears masses of purple flowers, and is traditionally trained against the front of houses or on garden walls. Japanese wisteria is less vigorous than Chinese wisteria, and has longer flowers.

H x S: 9m x 4m


9

Lavender

Purple flowers to grow - lavender
Purple flowers to grow – lavender

Lavender has become a garden stalwart due to its rich fragrance, gorgeous purple colour and ease of growing. It’s popular with pollinators, too. Grow it in full sun, in well-drained soil.

H x S: 45cm x 45cm


10

Buddleia

Purple flowers to grow - buddleia
Purple flowers to grow – buddleia

Buddleias are deciduous shrubs bearing masses of flowering panicles, which are popular with pollinators. They grow particularly well on chalky, lime-rich soils and are one of the best plants for attracting butterflies.

H x S: 4m x 4m


11

Mountain cornflower

Purple flowers to grow - mountain cornflower
Purple flowers to grow – mountain cornflower

Mountain cornflower, Centaurea montana is native to the mountain meadows and woodlands of continental Europe. It typically has grey-green, lance-shaped leaves and large, deep blue or violet flowers, borne in early summer. Bees love the flowers.

H x S: 45cm x 60cm


12

Lungwort

Plants with purple flowers - lungwort
Plants with purple flowers – lungwort

The lungwort, Pulmonaria spp., is named after its mottled leaves, which are supposed to resemble lungs. Funnel-shaped flowers are borne in shades of blue, violet, pink, purple, red and white. They’re extremely attractive to bees, particularly the hairy footed flower bee, Anthophora plumipes.

H x S: 30cm x 30cm


13

Globe thistle

Purple flowers to grow - globe thistle
Purple flowers to grow – globe thistle

Globe thistles, Echinops spp., bear spiky leaves and bristly metallic blue flowers, making them a great architectural choice for the back of a sunny border.

H x S: 90cm x 45cm


14

Perennial wallflower

Purple flowers to grow - perennial wallflower
Purple flowers to grow – perennial wallflower

Perennial wallflowers, such as Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’, are beautiful and floriferous, woody-stemmed perennials, bearing masses of mauve flowers on tall spires, for months on end. In southern regions, it flowers all year round.

H x S: 45cm x 50cm


15

Hardy geraniums

Purple flowers to grow - hardy geraniums
Purple flowers to grow – hardy geraniums

Cranesbill, or hardy geraniums, are perennial border plants with saucer-shaped flowers in shades of pink, purple and blue. They’re easy to grow, thrive in shade and flower for months. Geraniums are popular in cottage garden schemes and offer a long season of pollen and nectar for a number of pollinators, particularly bees.

H x S: 85cm x 85cm


16

Globe artichoke

Purple flowers to grow - globe artichoke
Purple flowers to grow – globe artichoke

Globe artichoke, Cynara cardunculus ‘Scolymus Group’ is a dramatic perennial plant grown for its edible immature flowerheads, which are produced from July onwards. It’s also highly ornamental, bearing striking silvery, thistle-like foliage and tall flower stems topped by fat thistle buds. If not harvested, these open into large purple thistle flowers which attract masses of bees.

H x S: 1.2m x 90cm


17

Honeywort

Purple flowers to grow - honeywort
Purple flowers to grow – honeywort

Honeywort, Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’, is the perfect hardy annual for filling gaps in the ornamental border. It has gorgeous silvery blue-green leaves and pretty bell-shaped purple flowers, which are a magnet for bees. It makes a wonderful cut flower and self-seeds readily.

H x S: 60cm x 60cm


18

Trailing bellflower

Purple flowers to grow - trailing bellflower
Purple flowers to grow – trailing bellflower

Hardy, vigorous and persistent, trailing bellflower, Campanula portenschlagiana, is an alpine campanula, easily grown in rock gardens, on walls, in front of borders or even in containers. It forms a generous, dense mat of small ivy-like leaves which become hidden beneath the mass of small purple bells in summer.

H x S: 15cm x 50cm


19

Sea holly

Purple flowers to grow - sea holly
Purple flowers to grow – sea holly

Eryngiums make a striking addition to dry, sunny borders and gravel gardens. They have thistle-like flowers, made up of tiny flowers packed together in a tight cluster, surrounded by a ruff of spiny bracts.

H x S: 1m x 60cm


20

Russian sage

Purple flowers to grow - Russian sage
Purple flowers to grow – Russian sage

Russian sage, Perovskia atriplicifolia, is a handsome sub-shrub that reaches its peak performance towards the end of summer and into early autumn, when it produces masses of lavender-coloured flowers held on branching, aromatic stems.

H x S: 1.2m x 1m


More plants with purple flowers

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