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Purple Flowers: best types of flowering plants with pictures

Purple Flower

Purple and green make an excellent color combination and the color combo reduces stress. Bold and royal shades of purple mixed in with other bloom colors create striking contrast in the flower garden.

There are many different purple flowers to choose from with bloom hues that range from pale lilac to deep violet. The sizes also range from a few inches tall to vines that can span 30-feet in length when mature.

Check out some of these purple flower varieties and their growing habits so you can select some that are just right for your landscape.

Alliums (Allium giganteum)

Alliums are also known as blooming onions and make a perfect bridge flower to help keep things blooming with purple color from early spring through late fall

Plant in a full sun or partial-shade location that has well-draining soil. Work compost into soil before planting allium bulbs to ensure soil will drain properly.

The purple ball-shaped flower heads are borne on top of a single, slender stem. Each purple flower head is made up of a multitude of tiny star, bell, or cup-shaped blooms. Flower heads range in size from 1-inch to 12-inches across. Mature alliums can reach 6-inches to 6-feet tall.


Photo by TC Conner

Butterfly Bush (Buddleias davidii)

Butterfly Bush are deciduous shrubs bearing masses of purple-flowering panicles that attract pollinators. The easy-care, summer-long blooms and fragrance of this shrub make it an ideal specimen plant for a landscape.

A butterfly bush is the top nectar plant to attract butterflies and will reach a mature size of 12-feet tall and 6-feet wide. The shrub can be pruned to be kept at the desired height. Feed once in the spring and water during times of drought.

Clematis (Ranunculaceae)

This purple-flowering vine prefers moist, well-draining soil in full sun, but it will tolerate partial shade. Clematis is a vigorous growing vine that will need a structure to climb on for support.

A purple clematis bloom can be 6-inches across and produce a single or double bloom, depending on the variety planted. A circular ray of petals surrounds the flower center which is rich in nectar and attracts hummingbirds in for a feast.

The width of a mature clematis is 3-feet but the height can vary greatly. The vine can reach heights of between 4-30 feet.

Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris)

Plant lilacs in the fall so they can establish a strong root system before the bush has to produce fragrant purple flowers in the spring.  Plant in a sunny location in well-draining soil.  Add compost to the soil to improve drainage before planting a lilac bush because this purple flower will not tolerate soggy soil.

Lilacs won’t bloom if they are over-fed. Apply 2-inch of compost on top of the soil in the spring and water thoroughly. When the bush has finished blooming spread lime and well-rotted manure around the base. Trim the bush to shape it, and remove suckers at the same time.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

The name of this purple-flowering plant alludes to its’ medicinal usage. Lungwort has long been used to treat lung ailments. The white splotches on the leaves are said to resemble diseased lungs and the plant was used in Purple lungwort blooms are some of the first spring blooms and the plant is prized for its ability to grow in shade.

Funnel-shaped purple flowers will be borne on tall stems that rise above the interesting leaf mound. Leaves range in color from all green to almost all white and all splotchy, two-toned patterns in-between. Mature height and width will range between 8-24 inches.

Salvia (Salvia officinalis)

Better known as common sage, salvia grows 4-feet in tall and equally as wide. The long sliver stems bear lacey grayish-green leaves to add color, texture, and height to a flower garden before the purple blooms arrive in late summer.

This fragrant plant is a member of the mint family, and its scent will prove it. The distinct sage-like fragrance is easy to discern among other fragrant flowers and when the plant leaves are crushed, the aroma intensifies.

Salvia grows best in full sun and well-draining soil. Plant seedlings in early spring and space 3- feet apart. This sage is hardy in zones 4-9 and will produce a multitude of tiny purple flowers on each stem from summer through fall.

Wisteria (Fabaceae)

Wisteria is a woody climber that is versatile enough to use as a climbing shade, camouflage, or as a tree or shrub. Wisteria is a hardy vine that produces purple flowers and can tolerate full sun or partial shade.

Choose a location in which the wisteria will have plenty of room to grow, both vertically and horizontally. Wisteria left alone and never pruned can reach over 30-feet in either direction.

Over-feeding wisteria will prevent it from blooming. A light feeding in the early spring is all this purple-bloomer needs.

Prune wisteria to desired height and shape when the blooms have faded in the spring. Be patient with your vine, it can take up to seven years for wisteria to produce its magnificent fragrant purple flowers that are shaped like a cluster of tiny purple grapes.

Violets (Violas)

Violets are cool weather purple flowers bloom best in spring and fall. Violets will bloom all winter with their ‘faces’ putting a smile on the winter landscape in warm climates.

Violets reach a mature height of 2-4 inches and make a showy statement when planted as a border plant or in a container.  Place the container in a location that will receive 4-6 hours of sun each day, then water the plants thoroughly. Violas can be planted in-ground in the fall also. Select a sunny planting location that has well-draining soil for planting the petite flowers.

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