Purple flowering plants bloom throughout the growing season, yet they sometimes blend so beautifully with the rest of the garden that they are not stand-out specimens. Because purple is a darker color with cool overtones, purple flowers are often used in landscaping to enhance complementary yellow or gold flower colors, or as a shady background for brighter flowers.
You can easily grow purple flowers of all types in your garden. Within most types of landscaping plants, there are several shades of purple flowers in tones ranging from blue-violet to red-violet, which broadens your gardening possibilities.
Spring-flowering bulbs bloom in many shades of purple and in many sizes. Harbingers of spring, the anemones, appear with crocus in the early spring, followed by grape hyacinth, Syberian scilla, common hyacinth, tulips and iris.
Allium bulbs, or giant flowering onion bulbs, bloom in late spring or early summer with showy, long-stemmed, globe-shaped clusters of purple flowers.
Several perennials have purple flowers. Since these will return each year, and spread in the garden bed, purple perennials with their soft, color harmonizing effect can become the backbone of a perennial garden. Some examples of purple perennials are delphiniums, salvia, veronica and liatris, which all carry flowers on tall spikes. Smaller purple perennial flowers include violets and chrysanthemums. Herbs like echinacea, catmint, rosemary and lavender also have purple flowers.
Butterfly bush sounds like a shrub, but it grows as a perennial, dying back to the roots each winter and growing all new branches and stems each year. Purple butterfly bush flowers are quite showy, and they attract several species of butterflies.
Perhaps purple flowering annuals are the type with the longest list from which gardeners can choose. Pansies, impatiens, zinnias, cosmos, ageratum, sweet William, stocks, sweet peas, annual salvias, morning glories, dahlias, petunias and alyssum are only a few annual types of purple flowering plants.
For a permanent type of purple flowering plant, shrubs make an excellent choice. Lilacs and wisterias provide cascades of fragrant purple flower clusters, and they can be pruned to fit a small space, or you can allow them to reach tree-like heights. Garden centers offer many shades of purple and lavender azaleas, and several rose varieties are purple-hued as well.
Carolina rhododendron shrubs are available with purple flowers, and their leaves turn purple in the fall for additional color. Rhododendrons hold their colorful leaves all winter.