8 Purple Flowering Plants That Can Be Grown in Full Sun

Purple flowering plants can add interest and color to a garden. Which ones can be grown in full sun?

Purple flowers have a special quality to them. Perhaps it’s the intensity of the color that makes them stand out.

Purple is a popular color for flowering plants, and there are several purple native species and cultivars that can do well in full sun. Aside from their ornamental qualities, they are also very appealing to pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

A full sun garden receives approximately 8 hours of direct sunlight per day, which not all flowers can withstand. When creating your garden, consider sun-loving plants that can tolerate this amount of sunlight.

1. Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bushes (Buddleia davidii) are grown for their beautiful flower panicles and ability to attract butterflies and bees. This fast-growing plant can reach full maturity in as little as one growing season.

When in bloom, the plant produces long, magnificent wands of flowers. Butterflies cannot resist them, which explains the plant’s common name. 

A butterfly bush blooms throughout the spring and summer. The shrub’s naturally appealing shape and evergreen leaves provide visual interest outside their blooming season.

beautiful bush of purple butterfly flower

2. Lavender

Lavender gives color to borders and flower beds from summer to fall.

Its silvery-green foliage, long flower spikes, and compact shrub-like appearance make it ideal for creating informal hedges. Lavender plants usually produce purple flowers, although they can also have pink or white flowers.

This plant’s leaves and flowers are both edible, making it a must-have for any herb garden.

blooming lavender plant under the sun

3. Iris

Irises are one of the world’s best-known and most easily recognized flowers. This flowering plant is a brilliant star in the early spring to the midsummer landscape. Throughout the season, the foliage provides vertical structure to the garden. 

Irises are adored for their bright, beautiful blossoms, which come in a stunning color palette. The spectacular flowers bloom on tall, thin stems that are delicately framed by fans of emerald green, spear-like leaves. 

They thrive in beds, borders, containers, naturalized places, and near water. They prefer full sun but can also flourish in partial shade.

4. Allium

Alliums are bulbous perennials that bloom for weeks at a time during the spring and summer. Their purple, pink, and white pompom-shaped flowers attract pollinators. Each bloom is made up of hundreds of densely packed individual flowers. 

Full sun or moderate shade are both good conditions for growing alliums. They complement a wide range of other perennials and add a playful element to mixed plantings.

beautifully blooming purple allium flower

5. Petunia

Petunias are a popular garden flower that can be grown in borders as well as in containers. They are vibrant, fast-growing plants that will brighten your outdoor spaces.

Petunias have large, trumpet-shaped flowers and fuzzy, slightly sticky leaves. They bloom profusely in almost every color except pure blue.

Petunias require at least 5 or 6 hours of direct sunlight; full sun is preferable. If they get too much shade, they will produce fewer flowers.

beautiful purple petunia hybrid

6. Heliotrope

Heliotrope is a delicate shrubby perennial with clusters of pleasantly scented flowers. This plant requires at least six hours of sunlight per day and prefers morning sunshine.

Heliotrope flowers range in color from dark to light purple to white. The plant grows roughly 1 to 3 feet in height. Both the shape and the flower resemble hydrangea or viburnum.

Growing heliotrope plants in pots allow you to enjoy their fragrance in places where they usually don’t grow.

7. Lilac

The lilac (syringa vulgaris) is a low-maintenance bush with fragrant purple flowers that blossom in the spring. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators are attracted to lilac bushes. Its sprigs make great cut flowers with a wonderful scent.

Lilacs require full sun to bloom properly. They must be planted in an area that receives six hours of direct sunlight per day. If properly maintained, they can last for decades in your garden.

Because of their preference of direct sunlight, lilacs don’t appreciate being planted close to shade trees, which can restrict their growth.

Lilac flowers in full bloom

8. Delphinium’ Black Knight’

Delphinium ‘Black Knight’ is a tall perennial with lobed green leaves and semi-double, deep blue-purple flowers with black eyes. Although other cultivars produce different colors, blue and purple tones are the most popular varieties. They bloom in the summer.

These plants add height and vibrancy to summer gardens. They produce single, semi-double, or double flowers in the form of florets; the stunning spikes of colorful flowers provide great visual accents.

Delphiniums can be demanding plants that require specific growing conditions.

Leila Haynes
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