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11 Stunning Purple Flowers and Plants

Combine different shades of purple to make your garden pop.

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Photo: Longfield Gardens


Introduced in the 1940s, dahlia 'Thomas Edison' still adds splashes of bright purple to modern landscapes. Dahlias can take full sun, although Southern gardeners may need to give them afternoon shade. They're available in a range of sizes, from 10-20" up to 5' tall. Depending on the species, some dahlia tubers will die when the ground gets cold. You can treat them as annuals and replace them each year, or dig up the tubers and store them for the winter.

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Photo: PanAmerican Seed


Verbenas are great plants for summer gardens, 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 to encourage more flowers. Most annual verbenas grow 6-18” tall. Perennial types, which tend to be short-lived, grow best in Zones 5 and above. ‘Santos Purple,’ pictured here, spreads up to 12 inches.

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Gladiolus are popular flowers for cutting gardens. You’ll find them in a variety of colors and in sizes that range from 2-6’ tall. Plant the corms in loose, well-drained soil that gets plenty of sun, and stake any tall stems that might be toppled by the wind. Once the flowers fade, cut off the stalks but leave the foliage, so the corms can store energy for the next growing season. Glads should be dug and stored in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 or colder.

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Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

Lo & Behold ‘Purple Haze’ Buddleia (butterfly bush) produces fragrant, purple-blue flowers that start in mid-summer and continue until frost. It needs full sun and is hardy to Zone 5. While butterfly bushes provide nectar for adult butterflies, you may want to grow host plants for their caterpillars, too. Your county extension service agent can tell you what kind of plants to grow.

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