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.
For a striking pot or border display, try combining purple blooms 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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, if not the best, plants for attracting butterflies.
H x S: 4m x 4m
More plants with purple flowers