13 Popular Purple Flowering Perennials

Add a pop of purple to your garden with these varieties of perennial flowers that range from pale mauve to deep plum.

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The Color of Royalty

If you’re looking for plants with purple flowers, you're in luck, there are a range of colors and types to choose from. For plants that come back year after year with little help from you, go with perennials. You can find varieties that grow in full sun, partial sun or shade, so there’s a plant for any spot in your yard.

Allium

These large, globe-shaped flowers bring a touch of whimsy to a spring garden. They are in the onion family but are not ho-hum like their vegetable cousins. This purple flower perennial grows from bulbs and needs little care. Allium is deer-resistant, drought-tolerant and makes fantastic cut flowers. Plant bulbs in well-drained soil, in partial to full sun.

Catmint

Plants don’t get any tougher than catmint. It thrives in hot, dry climates and blooms all season long. It forms a low, rounded mound of silvery-blue foliage with spikes of perennial purple flowers. It needs little help from you to thrive. It attracts birds and butterflies and makes a nice cut flower. Cut it to the ground in winter.

Hydrangea

One of the most popular shrubs with purple flowers, bigleaf or mophead hydrangeas produce big, showy round flowers on a medium to large shrub. They like light shade and need a medium amount of water. Hydrangea blooms in a range of colors from white to purple.

Learn More: Hydrangea Cheat Sheet

May Night Sage (Salvia)

This one is a staple on all purple flower lists. May Night is a compact plant that produces spikes of deep purple flowers. It blooms in the spring and again in late summer if properly deadheaded. It thrives in clay soil and is extremely drought-tolerant. Best of all, it attracts pollinators.

Learn More: 'May Night' Salvia

Clematis

This vine produces showy flowers in all shades, but there are several varieties that produce vibrant purple blooms. Dress up your yard by wrapping clematis around a mailbox base, light post or arbor. Most varieties like full sun and need a medium amount of water. Try the ‘Jackmanii,' it has gorgeous blue-purple blooms.

See More Photos: 17 Different Types of Clematis

Lavender

There are so many reasons to grow lavender: It's low-maintenance (just give it plenty of sun), the dainty flowers stand up well in a fresh or dried arrangement, and its calming scent makes it popular for potpourris, soap-making, bath bombs, etc. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean where the winters are cool and the summers are hot and dry. However, several varieties of lavender have been developed for hardiness, so they'll stand up to high humidity and cold winters. If you garden in the North, look for cold-tolerant varieties or grow in containers that you can bring indoors in the winter.

Learn More: 10 Tips for Growing Lavender

Coneflowers

These daisy-like purple flowers are as tough as they are pretty. Coneflowers bloom all summer, tolerate dry soil and grow in almost any climate. They’re a staple for any garden and are butterfly magnets. They come in a range of purples, but try the 'Magnus cultivar' for a flower that is bright pink-purple.

Learn More: Varieties of Coneflowers

Verbena

Verbena is a great plant for summer gardens, it's able to tolerate both heat and drought. They thrive even in poor soils as long as they have full sun and soil that drains easily. When the blooms slow down, trim the plants back by about 1/4 to encourage more flowers. Most annual verbenas grow 6- to 18-inches tall; perennial types grow best in Zones 5 and above.

Learn More: Vivacious Verbena

Iris

Irises come in a variety of color, and every color comes in a variety of shades: The purples range from classic violet to pale lilac. This large group of bloomers includes plants that grow from bulbs (Dutch iris), as well as traditional perennial types of iris, such as bearded iris and Siberian iris (pictured here). There is even reblooming iris, which produces multiple floral displays during the growing year.

Learn More: Iris Flowers

Phlox

Phlox's classic good looks blended with its disease resistance and sweet fragrance make this purple bloomer a winner. Plants grow 24- to 36-inches tall and form clumps up to 24-inches wide. Most varieties of phlox are winter hardy to Zone 4.

Delphinium

These old-fashioned, tall garden flowers produce spikes of blooms in color-saturated tones of purple, blue, pink and white. The biggest varieties can reach six-feet tall.

Aster

Aster is an all-time fall favorite. You can find them in various shades of purple from amythest to burgundy, as well as pink, white and yellow. Flowers beckon late-season pollinators, including bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Plants grow 18- to 24-inches tall and 24- to 36-inches wide. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Monkshood

Monkshood flowers appear on spikes with each blossom resembling a helmet or hood. Place plants in rich soil in part shade. If soil is consistently moist, this perennial can also thrive in full sun. Monkshood is an important food source for late-season pollinators. Plants grow 18- to 24-inches tall by 12- to 18-inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.

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