11 Purple Perennials to Consider Growing in Your Garden


Purple plants add so much vibrant color to a garden. Which perennials should you consider that will come back every year?
By     

Perennial plants, sometimes known as long-lived plants, thrive for more than two years. There are types for full sun, partial sun, and shade, so you can explore and find something for every spot in your yard.

Herbaceous perennials fade back to the ground each year, but their roots survive and new growth appears the following year. Evergreen perennials are plants that live for more than one growing season and keep their foliage color all year.

Many perennials make excellent cut flowers, and the smaller varieties are suitable for container plants. The majority of flowering perennials are pollinator-friendly, particularly those with purple flowers.

Purple is thought to be calming because it is one of the “cool” tones on the color wheel. For this reason, many purple flowering plants are used for meditation gardens.

If you like the color purple, you will be pleased to learn that there are many violet and lilac-colored flowering perennials to choose from for your garden.

1. Lavender

Lavender is cultivated for a number of reasons, aside from its minimal care requirement. Hardy lavender species have been developed to survive high humidity and freezing temperatures.

Because of its soothing aroma, it is useful in potpourris and handcrafted soaps, among other things. The fragile blossoms hold up beautifully in fresh or dried arrangements.

Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, where the winters are moderate and the summers are dry and hot. If you live in the north, look for cold-tolerant cultivars or grow them in planters that can be moved indoors during the winter.

beautiful lavender grass and flowers in the field

2. Verbena canadensis

Homestead purple, also known as verbena canadensis, is an excellent plant for summer gardens because it tolerates both heat and drought. It can thrive in poor soil, provided it has plenty of sunshine and proper drainage.

This blooming machine produces large, velvety purple flowers from spring through early winter. It’s a great plant for a low-maintenance garden.

Trim the plants back by 1/4 when the flowers begin to fade to encourage new blooms. By the following week, it should regain its vibrancy.

beautiful bouquet of blue flowers

3. Iris germanica

Hundreds of new Iris cultivars are developed yearly, providing a diverse range of color combinations and sizes. When most people think of irises, they usually think of the iris germanica, also known as the tall bearded iris.

It gets its name from the shape of the soft bristles on the bottom petals of the flowers. Bearded iris come in many colors and textures and can have an extended bloom time.

Irises are an excellent complement to any flower garden. Although some varieties rebloom in the fall, this iris blooms only in the spring. 

dying purple iris flowers in the garden

4. Phlox

Garden phlox is a classic perennial, and purple variants such as ‘Flame Blue’ or ‘Blue Paradise’ add a splash of color to any landscape. The plant can reach heights of 2 to 4 feet.

Phlox is a tall, clump-forming plant that produces large, showy flower displays in the summer. Flowers in white, pink, red, blue, and purple are readily found in gardening stores.

Unfortunately, deer love these purple flowers, which bloom from midsummer until late October. So, you may have to take steps to protect your plants.

phlox purple iris flowers blooming

5. Delphinium

Delphinium ‘Purple Passion’ is a tall flowering perennial with impressive flower spikes packed with vivid purple flowers that truly stand out in the landscape.

Delphinium is a popular garden plant. Some of the newer hybrids can last for a long time. Even when not in bloom, this plant’s big, deeply carved green leaves remain attractive.

These plants are ideal for adding height to a small space. When they bloom in the summer, their long flower spikes are easily recognizable.

blue lace maiden growing in the forest

6. Aster

During the fall and winter seasons, asters are a prominent plant. Throughout the spring and summer, the dark green foliage appears modest, but as the days shorten and early fall approaches, their appearance changes.

As the buds open, hundreds of inch-wide daisy-like blossoms in deep purple tones appear. They look especially stunning when combined with yellow flowers.

Asters are low-care plants that do well in normal soil. But they will thrive in a wet, well-drained location in full sun.

full bloom of purple aster flowers

7. Monkshood

Mountain meadows are home to the monkshood flower. The plant gets its name from the shape of the flower’s rear sepal, which is reminiscent of a monk’s hooded cloak.

Because of its purple-blue flowers and beautiful leaves, monkshood, also known as wolfsbane or aconitum, is a favorite garden accent.

Since this plant is hard to cultivate and does not want to be moved once established, the best way to grow monkshood is to plan the location carefully before planting. 

If you need to move the plant, wear gloves. Toxins can be found in various parts of the plant, particularly the roots.

violet monkshood during summer

8. False indigo 

False indigo (baptisia australis) is a large, upright perennial with gray-green foliage and indigo-blue flowers that bloom from April to June.

Even when the flowers have died down, the delicate foliage pattern produces a stunning architectural effect in the landscape. The black seed pods that appear following the pea-like flowers can be left on the plant for winter interest.

These plants live for many years, making it a true perennial.

false indigo baptisia flowers

9. Clustered bellflower

The clustered bellflower is a creeping, low-growing shrub with bell-shaped, deep-purple flowers that bloom in compact clumps for two to three weeks.

The blossoms are held by sturdy leafy stems above a spreading panicle of lance-shaped, dark green leaves. They usually bloom from late spring through early summer.

Because it is a more aggressive spreader, it is better utilized in less formal settings. After developing underground rhizomes, the plant will soon form open clumps.

purple bellflowers on full bloom

10. Catmint

Catmint is one of the most resilient plants on the earth. It is a centerpiece in many ornamental landscapes and provides interest all year.

Catmint has beautiful lacy foliage and faintly aromatic gray-green leaves. Its thick leaves are adorned with spikes of flowers early in the summer, and it blooms multiple times during the season.

Flowers in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and lavender-blue, are ideal for cut floral arrangements. Birds and butterflies are also drawn to the flowers.

purple catmint flowers blooming in the field

11. Spike speedwell 

Spike speedwell (veronica spicata) is a hardy ornamental that can survive a variety of soil types and moisture levels. This low-maintenance plant functions well in rock gardens, foundation plantings, border beds, and other sunny areas of the landscape.

This plant is grown for its beautiful clusters of long-lasting flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer.

The violet-blue flowers emerge above dense clumps of leaves. They have the appearance of tapering, spike-like racemes with small, star-shaped flowers.

Spike speedwell works well in floral arrangements as a fresh-cut flower. 

spike speedwell flowers blooming with grasses
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
More ArticlesFlowers and Ornamentals