The Ultimate Top 25 Perennials With Purple Flowers -

The Ultimate Top 25 Perennials With Purple Flowers

perennials with purple flowers

Inquiring minds want to know. Here then is our ultimate list of perennials with purple flowers. These 25 plants range from small-ish flowers to large flowering shrubs and everything in between.

If you love purple, we'd recommend you adding some of these beautiful perennials blooming in shades of purple and blue and picking ones that bloom at varying times during the season. That way, you can enjoy purple flowers the entire spring, summer and fall.

As you go through the list, you might notice a few perennials mentioned with blue flowers. Sometimes they are more purple than blue. Other times more blue than purple. Still other times, more redish blue..... oh, my.

How's a person to know.? What is an actual purple?

That my friend, is a very tricky subject... color, that is. We will avoid the controversy and say we will be including shades of blue and purple within this article because, after all, one person's blue could be another person's purple.

In addtion, this guide is meant as just that, a guide.  More details on each plant can be found be searching other articles on our website or other sites on the internet.

Perennials Or Maybe Not?

One thing to keep in mind...the class of plants that are perennial is somewhat misleading. Of course, a perennials is a plant that comes back every year but that means different things to different people - depending on your planting zone.

For instance, a plant that's considered a perennial in a southern location may not be hardy enough to survive winters in Bullalo, NY. and therefore would be considered an annual in the northern planting zones.

As you go through this list, you'll want to take note of the planting zones in which these plants can survive outdoors - their perennial zones, for lack of a better word. In any zones north of their stated zones they would be considered annuals.

For more about the differences and confusions of what is an annual or perennial, read this article here.

Bloom Times Of Perennials

Another important factor to consider as you look at this list is that different plants is not only when they bloom during the season, but for how long.

Some plants only bloom for a few weeks, while others might be a month or two and still others, most of the season. Consider these factors and choose your plants wisely, based on when they bloom. If you plan your garden, you'll be able to sprinkle in plants that bloom at different times during the year. In this way you'll see purple through most of the season.

Our List Of 25 Perennials With Purple Flowers... Plus Pictures

Here then is our top 25 perennials with purple flowers. Every one of these plants should be considered while planning your next garden.

#1 - Liriope

liriope #1 perennial with purple flowers



Botanical Name: Liriope spicata or L. muscari
Mature Size: 9-18 inches tall
Sun Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Bloom Time: late summer to early fall
Planting Zones: 6-10

Liriope is a small grassy looking perennial that is often used as a border plant within gardens. However, using it as a ground cover in a mass planting is also a good idea because it spreads each year and will eventually cover the entire planting area.

Liriope comes in solid green or variegated foliage. Both are good and a matter of choice based on the look you want.

Liriope's purple flowers bloom in late summers for only a few weeks with dainty blue/purple flowers along stalks that stick out above the foliage, as seen in the image above.

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#2 - Hydrangea Bush

hydrangea #2 perennial with purple flowers



Botanical Name: Hydrangea macrophylla
Mature Size: 3-15 feet tall
Sun Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Bloom Time: summer through early fall
Planting Zones: 4-8

The hydrangea bush is an excellent choice if you want a large shrub to take up space in your gardens. They also make good privacy shrubs.

The hydrangea is a deciduous shrub but once the leaves sprout in the spring, they will form a mass of foliage. Soon after, in later spring or early summer they will bloom with blog snowball-like flowers. They only bloom for 2-3 weeks but what a show!

These blooms are famous for their reliance on the soil ph to determine their color. Low ph will produce deep blue blooms, while a high ph produces pink. A ph somewhere in the middle will produce various shades of purple.

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#3 - Coneflower

coneflower #3 perennial with purple flowers



Botanical Name: Echinacea angustifolia
Mature Size: 2-4 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: summer
Planting Zones: 5-8

Coneflowers are a perennial that blooms profusely and spreads via seeds rapidly. They can easily and quickly fill a garden space.

Coneflowers can grow tall, up to 4 feet and produced one large daisy like bloom per stem. Their most popular color is pink-ish purple, but there have recently been more cultivars introduced in a variety of colors. They bloom early summer and last through the first frost, making them a good choice if you want a constant presence of color during the height of the season.

Once done blooming, they should be cut down to the ground to tiddy up the garden. However, if you plant them in a native area like us, you can leave them up all winter to provide birds their seeds as a food source.

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#4 - Clematis

clematis purple flowering perennial



Botanical Name: Clematis
Mature Size: 8-12 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: varies based on variety
Planting Zones: 4-9

Clematis is a climbing vine that needs a surface to cling to. Whether it's a trellis, fence, arbor, or something else, you'll get the most from this plant by planting it in an area where it can grow up.

Clematis sport big beautiful blooms that are most often seen in purple and pink. Planted in an area with enough sun, the blooms will cover the vine and create quite a presence.

The plant is not hardy to cold and will not survive a frost. This makes it a perennial for most of us, and a very good one at that.

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#5 - Butterfly Bush

butterfly bush #5 perennial



Botanical Name: Buddleja davidii
Mature Size: 10-15 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: summer
Planting Zones: 5-9

The butterfly bush is, as the name implies, a shrub that attracts butterflies with it's many pinkish purple blooms throughout the season.

In fact, the butterfly bush can be planted anywhere there is full sun, and will do quite will. You can't kill it (but low light can). In fact, you can cut it back to the ground and it will still come back with a vengeance.

It's considered one of the shrub perennials with purple flowers. It's decidous and in colder climates most people cut it back drastically in the fall in order to keep its shape and control its size.

The one downside is it can get quite unrulely and wild looking - which may be OK with you or maybe not. It depends where you've planted it and your goals for your space. Pruning anytime during the growing season will not hurt it.

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#6 - Lilac Shrub

lilac #6 perennial shrub



Botanical Name: Buddleja davidii
Mature Size: 10-15 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: summer
Planting Zones: 5-9

You might find lilac shrubs similar to the butterfly bush above, but they are not related. There are the full sized lilacs, which can grow to 15 feet tall and dwarf varieties that will only get 3-4 feet tall.

The bigger varieties are a great choice for privacy shrubs and the dwarfs can be planted as you would any other small shrub.

The important fact here is that lilacs prefer colder climates and won't do well in planting zones above 8. Their blooms come in dark pink/purple-ish and whites.

Most lilacs bloom for only a few weeks during the spring, however some dwarf varieties bloom twice, once in the spring and once later in the summer.
If you're interested in a lilac for your garden, be sure to choose the correct variety for your space.

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#7 - Purple Salvia



Botanical Name: salvia officinalis
Mature Size: 12-24 inches
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: summer
Planting Zones: 3-8

The salvia plant is a very large genus and contains both many annuals and perennials. Many varieties are not cold hardy and therefore, planted as annuals. Of course here, we are talking about the perennial variety. If shopping for salvia, be sure to note the difference.

Salvia is a beautiful perennial with purple flowers, although other colors are also available.

There are 2 other plants that look similar and tend to get confused with salvia. They are veronica and Russian sage. Click here to get more information on how to tell them apart. 

Salvia blooms sprout vertically along the stems and fill out the stem completely in a mass of spiked color. It's one of the small perennials with purple flowers that can be used in a grouping within an overall garden.

It's this show of blooms that is what most people love and you will too.

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#8 - Russian Sage



Botanical Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia
Mature Size: 3-5 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: late summer through early fall
Planting Zones: 5-9

Similar to salvia above but with many different characteristics, russian sage is another purple perennial that could be considered a part of your gardens.

One key difference is that russian sage only blooms in purple. No other colors.

In addition, the blooms are more airy and don't fill in the stems complete as savlia does and the foliage happens to be more fern-like and airy as well.

Finally, russian sage can get much bigger than salvia, from 3-5 feet tall.

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#9 - Allium

allium #9 perennial with purple flowers


Mature Size: 1-4 feet - depending on variety
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: spring through mid-summer
Planting Zones: 4-8

Alliums are, believe it or not, close relatives of the onion and are sometimes referred to as ornamental onions.

Allium are late spring blooming bulbs and, if growing from bulbs, must be planted in the fall. However, you can also purchase them at your local garden centers in the spring, already in bloom.

Allium grow 2-3 feet tall and have one stunningly beautiful round bloom per stem. Although their purple flowers are a great show stopper, they do come in other colors as well. In fact, their blubs are usually sold in packs of mulit-colors and planting these varieties in a bed creates quite a spring show.

Alliums usually bloom longer than other spring bulbs, which means they act as a bridge plant between early spring bloomers and summer annuals.

Here's a great page we found, showing you the varieties available:

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#10 - Iris

purple irus #10 perennial


Mature Size: 2-3 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun only
Bloom Time: early summer
Planting Zones: 3-8

Irus plants are extremely popular and for good reason. Their flowers are quite unique. In fact, the "bearded irus" flowers are distinctive - with lower flowers called "falls" drooping below the upper flower peddles.

Irus are grown from bulbs that sprout rhizomes that spread out just under the surface of the ground.

Many irus varieties bloom eary summer for 2-4 weeks, after which they are usually cut back and will not show themselves again until next year. However, we love them for their unusual flowers, which come in a wide variety of colors from reds, whites, and purple flower and everything in between. In fact, many iruses have multi-colored flowers within one bloom.

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#11 - Daylilies

purple daylily #11 perennial


Mature Size: 3 feet approximate
Sun Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Bloom Time: mid summer
Planting Zones: 4-9

There are many varieties of, not just day lilies, but lilies in general. They vary in color, flower type and growth and bloom times.

Daylillies though are hard to miss. You'll see them everywhere during the summer, at least in our area. Those bright yellow flowers blooming within grassy looking foliage show up in mass quantities in early summer. Most of what we see, and what you might see too are yellow and orange daylillies. However, they do come in purple as well.

Yes, this can be a beautiful perennial with purple flowers you shouls consider for your gardens.

Daylillies start emerging from the ground in last spring and bloom early through late summer. They'll usually fade before fall colored flowers and perennials, but that's a good thing for the variety in your gardens.

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#12 - Aster

aster #12 perenial with purple flowers


Mature Size: 1-5 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: late summer through fall
Planting Zones: 3-8

Asters are a wonderful perennial with purple flowers that bloom later in the year - late summer through fall.

In most areas, they are sold in the fall and treated as annuals by many people. In fact, in our area, asters fill the garden centers during the fall along with other fall flowers such as chrysathemums and pansies, which people also treat as annuals. However, in the right areas, asters can be left in the ground and come up every year.

Asters come in a variety of colors but the most vibranat, in our opinion are the deep blue and purple varieties.

This plant is a small perennial, growing about than 6-8 inches tall, which makes it perfect in the front of your gardens as a border plant or in a mass grouping.

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#13 - Tulips

purple tulips #13 perennial


Mature Size: 1-3 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: mid-spring
Planting Zones: 3-8

One of the most popular spring blooming bulbs today, tulips are one of the most beautiful too. Nothing says "welcome spring" better than a bed full of blooming tulips.

Even though they come in multiple colors, they deserve a mention here because purple happens to be one of those colors.

Spring bulbs must be planted the preceding fall in order to bloom the following spring. You'll find that, as time goes on, your tulips may produce less blooms and even the ones that do flower are smaller. This is a natural characteristic of the plant.

A word of warning: Deer love tulips, so if you want them, you'll have to use some type of deer repelant, such as an organic spray.

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#14 - Adjuga

ajuga #14 in list of perennials with purple flowers


Mature Size: 4 inches
Sun Exposure: partial sun to full shade
Bloom Time: early to mid spring
Planting Zones: 3-9

Adjuga is a wonderful low growing plant that can be used as a ground cover. In fact, that's how we've seen it used the most.

As with most plants here, it comes in several varieties, each with their own foliage characteristics. The "chocolate brown" variety has nifty pruple and brown leaves, which lends variety to any garden.

Their blooms extend upward from the plant is small spike like stems filled with small flowers. Although these purple flowers are not the main attraction, they will certainly add spring color to your gardens.

Adjuga will spread within an area and cover the ground with little intervention. Indeed, if it invades areas where you don't want it, simply pull it out. We've found it spreads slowly, so keeping it in check would require very little work on your part.

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#15 - English Bluebells

bluebell #15 perennial with purple flowers


Mature Size: up to 1 foot
Sun Exposure: parital to full shade
Bloom Time: early spring
Planting Zones: 5-7

If you're walking or hiking in a woodlands in early spring, and you see a profuse carpet of perennials with purple flowers within the woods, you're most likely seeing English bluebells.

Their name definitely applies as their flowers look like, well, small, blue bells.

This is a plant that grows from bulbs and like other spring bulbs, you would need to plant them the preceeding fall. However, most people, including us, purchase them while in bloom at the garden center and plant them at that time.

This plant blooms in early spring, often before trees get their canopy of leaves. However, full shade gardens would also be appropriate. They need virtually no care and come up and diappear on their own.

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#16 - Delphinium


Mature Size: 2-3 feet depending on variety
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: spring
Planting Zones: 3-7

Delphiniums are, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful perennials with purple flowers you can plant.

They will emerge in the early spring along with other plants that are just comming alive. Their bottom foliage gives way to tall stalks of bright blue and purple flowers that are very, very striking. True deep blueish purple.

You should take note however, that delphiniu seeds like cold winters and therefore, will usually not do well in areas of the country with moderate climates. In fact, if you live in a normally cold climate and have an unusually mild winter, it may be a bad year for your delphiniums.

If you want to include them in your gardens, we'd advise purchasing them in pots while blooming. Starting from seed is an involved process since the seeds need a period of cold.

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#17 - Chrysanthemums

chrysathemum #17 perennial


Mature Size: 12 inches
Sun Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Bloom Time: fall
Planting Zones: 5-9

Chrysanthemums (or mums, for short) are well known fall plants and for good reason. They add a lot in the way of fall color; that is, yellows, oranges and rust colors. However, there are many different varieties of mums, some of which are purple (pictured above).

Chrysanthemums are usually purchased in pots and planted in the ground. In doing so, if you live in planting zones that are somewhat warm they can be perennials and emerge each year to bloom again. Even in our planting zone of 6 many varieties are perennials.

Mums emerge from the ground in early summer but don't bloom into the fall. For the best blooms it's best to cut them back 1/3 in mid-summer. They will continue to grow and finally bloom in late August or September.

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#18 - Purple Sedum

#18image sedum, one of our favorite perennials with purple flowers


Mature Size: from a few inches to 1-2 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: mid to late summer
Planting Zones: 3-9

There are many varieties of sedum, from low lying ground covers to plants that can grow to 1-2 feet tall. For our purposes here, we are talking about the taller varieties.

The blooms or sedum are in round clusters of small flowers. You're probably used to seeing the white or light pink variety. However, there are many varieties with purple flowers. In fact, the "purple emperor" variety sports dark purple foliage as well as purple flowers.

Sedum usually blooms in mid to late summer and fade in the fall - although the foliage remains and can be kept for winter interest. The blooms attract butterflies in massive numbers, as well as polinating bees.

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#19 -Astilbe

#20 perennial astilbe with pink-purple blooms


Mature Size: 2-3 feet
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: summer
Planting Zones: English 5-8, French 8-11

There are many different lavenders, each with it's own style of blooms and hardiness. For our purposes here, we'll talk about the English lavender, since it has the best looking blooms and it suited to a wider range.

Most lavender like it hot and can tolerate dryness. In fact, overwatering is more a a problem than lack of water - especially in wet climates or in areas where it's unusually wet for one season.

Yes, lavender plants are herbs but they are also used as a show perennial in flower gardens. Their long stalks of purple flowers grow within the foliage of silvery spikes.

The plant absolutely likes hot and dry and will not do well in partial or full shade.

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#20 - Lavender

lavender #19 perennial


Mature Size: 2-3 feet.
Sun Exposure: partial to full shade
Bloom Time: late spring to early summer
Planting Zones: 4-9

Astilbe is a perfect perennial with purple flowers for shade gardens. It's blooms have feather like plumes and can range from pink to purple and usually open early to mid summer and are long bloomers.

The plant can grow 2-3 feet tall, with pink or purple blooms that resemble small pyramids at the top of the stems. Their fern like foliage fills out the bottomw.

Astilbe look magificent in shade gardens since these spots are often lacking color and because the blooms last so long.

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#21 - Lungwort

lungwort image #21 perennial with small purple flowers


Mature Size: 12 inches
Sun Exposure: partial to full shade
Bloom Time: early spring
Planting Zones:

We call this the attractive plant with the not-so-attractive name.

Lungwort is not so well known today. However, it used to be known for it's medicinal purposes and uses for lung conditions, hence the name, and, even though that's been disproven, it's reputation precedes it. Sometimes though,opinions are hard to die.

Nevertheless, today lungwort is grown for the attractive nature of it's foliage, which are green leaves splashed with spots of white, and it's purple blooms. It's the foliage though that appeals to so many today.

These purple blooms appear in early spring, making an appearance before many other spring plants have flowered.

Lungwort is a small, bushy plant that can be planted as a shrub and will do well in shade.

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#22 - Phlox

#22 perennial creeping phlox with purple blooms
#22 perennial tall phlox

Mature Size: 4 inches to 3 feet, depending on variety
Sun Exposure: full sun to partial shade
Bloom Time: early spring to summer, depending on variety
Planting Zones: 4-8

There are 2 types of phlox we want to talk about here: the creeping phlox, which is treated like a ground cover, and the much taller garden phlox, growing 3-4 feet tall. Both varieties would be great choices of perennials with purple flowers but each has it's specific uses and best locations for planting.

You can see the difference in the photos above. The left photo is obviously creeping phlox while the right photo is the garden (taller) variety.

Creeping Phlox: This variety is used as a ground cover because it spreads out in a low lying carpet of green. This plant blooms in mid spring, creating a full carpet of flowers. Creeping phlox is often used on hillsides where maintenance could be a problem and the spring blooms can be easily seen from ground level. It's also commonly used in rock gardens and planted between the rocks as it's roots are very shallow and it will flow over the rocks.

Garden Phlox: A very different variety, garden phlox grows up to 4, sometimes 5 feet tall. It's flowers bloom on the individual stalks in early to mid summer and last until cooler weather. This variety is most often used as a tall backdrop to other shorter plants in a garden.

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#23 - Dianthus

#23 perennial image dianthus


Mature Size: 4-36 inches depending on variety
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: early summer and continuous after that
Planting Zones: 4-9 depending on variety

There are many varieties of dianthus (see here) - including the one very familiar to most people, the carnation. This is not what we're talking about here.

The dianthus we and so many others are familiar with is the low lying variety that spreads out like a 6 inch high carpet of flowers. The one we like most is the "pink kisses" variety. If you're in the market for perennials with purple flowers and you come across dianthus online, you'll see the wide variety with purple blooms - anyone of which would be an excellent choice for a sun garden.

Dianthus spreads out easily to cover an area and, even when the flowers aren't blooming, their foliage remains green.

Often times, flowers will die off during the growing season but will rebloom several times.

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#24 - Hellebore (Lenten Rose)


Mature Size: 1-2 feet
Sun Exposure: partial to full shade
Bloom Time: early spring
Planting Zones: 4-9

Hellebores are a very good choice for shade gardens as they are ever green all year with attractive foliage and are one of the earliest bloomers in spring or late winter. In fact, they have been known to bloom even through snow.

Their blooms range from white to pink and purple. The flowers are large star shapped blooms that hand down on drooping stems. The blooms come and go quickly but once you see them, you know spring can't be far behind.

A bonus of hellebores is their foliage stays green all winter, giving your garden winter interest.

Hellebores are best used in partial or full shade gardens as low lying shrubs.

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#25 - Hyacinth



Mature Size: 6-12 inches
Sun Exposure: full sun
Bloom Time: early spring
Planting Zones: 4-8

Hyacinths are another spring blooming bulb, usually blooming early in the spring with very unique looking blooms.

Individual flowers bloom on small, upright stalks with foliage of elongated leaves below.

Both the regular variety and the "grape hyacinth" variety make a great addition to any spring garden. There are a wide variety of colors available. While grape hyacinths come in a sky blue, regular hyacinths are available in many other colors, including purple.

Hyacinths look wonderful planting along side yellow daffodils. They usually bloom simultaneously with the purple and yellow going very well together. Depending on your climate, regular hyacinths might bloom a little too late to coincide with daffodils. In that case, using the "grape hyacinth" variety will probably work, as grape hyacinths blooms slightly earlier than their counterparts.

Like all spring bulbs, they must be planted the preceding fall to bloom the next spring. Otherwise, purchasing already blooming plants in pots and planting them in the ground is another option.

The Best Perennials With Purple Flowers For You

It would be impossible for us to choose the best plants for your gardens.

As you can see, there are lots of choices - even more than we listed here. Some are spring bulbs, some are summer blooming, some bloom throughout the season, others for only a few weeks.

Your best course of action is to pick a few, each blooming at different times of the year. Go through the list and pick out the plants you like based on that factor and then purchase them at your local nursery. Try a few. Don't be overwhelmed by planting too many. We always say the best gardens only contain 2-3 choices of flowers. We say go for it.

Happy gardening.

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