Purple bulb flowers add majestic color to gardens from spring through winter, depending on the plant species. Bulb flowers range in tone from the palest lavender to the darkest violet. Gardeners wishing to add purple color to their landscape should select bulbs according to their United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zone, plant hardiness, bloom color and intended use.
Grape hyacinth (Muscari latifolium), a member of the lily family (Liliaceae), is an Asian native plant winter hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 8. This plant reaches between 6 and 12 inches in height and 6 to 9 inches in width. The two-toned flowers bloom in March and April, featuring dark purple on the lower petals and blue-violet on the upper petals. Grape hyacinth bulbs prefer full sun positions and well-drained soils. These plants go dormant during hot summer weather. This plant is not associated with any serious disease or insect problems. Gardeners often mass plant grape hyacinths in rock gardens, borders and containers.
The reticulated iris (Iris reticulate), also called the netted iris, belongs to the Iridaceae plant family. Native to Russia and Turkey, this bulb plant grows well in USDA Zones 5 to 9. Flowers appear in March and April, featuring dark blue-purple petals with yellow stripes. This low-growing iris variety only reaches up to 6 inches tall and prefers dry, well-drained soils in part shade to full sun positions. Fusarium basal rot disease sometimes affects this plant. The reticulated iris works well when mass planted in rock gardens and borders.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are members of the Liliaceae plant family that thrive in USDA Zones 4 to 8. This clump-forming plant ranges from 12 to 18 inches in both height and spread. Chives need well-drained soils in partly shady to fully sunny locations. Purple flower clusters bloom in April and May. The dark green, edible leaves are commonly used in culinary recipes. Root rot frequently occurs in areas with poorly draining soils. Gardeners often plant chive bulbs in herb gardens, vegetable gardens and borders.
Lily of the Nile
The lily of the Nile plant (Agapanthus) belongs to the Amaryllidaceae plant family and performs well in USDA Zones 6 to 10. Lily of the Nile plants reach between 18 inches and 4 feet in height with spreads up to 30 inches. These plants prefer moist soils in fully sunny to partly shady locations. Funnel-shaped, dark purple flower clusters bloom in June and July. These hardy plants grow best in containers and flowerpots.
The common hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis), sometimes called the Dutch hyacinth, belongs to the lily family (Liliaceae) and thrives in USDA Zones 4 to 8. This plant only reaches 6 to 12 inches in height and 4 to 6 inches in width. Fragrant, purple flower spikes bloom in April. This hyacinth variety needs moist soils in fully sunny positions. Common hyacinth bulbs typically need replacing every other year. Gardeners primarily use common hyacinth flowers in containers, rock gardens, borders and flowerbeds.
The bush lily (Veltheimia bracteata) features pink-purple flower spikes from December through March. This Liliaceae family member thrives in USDA Zones 9 to 10 when planted in well-drained, peaty soils. Bush lilies mature to heights and spreads ranging from 18 to 24 inches. This plant has very few potential problems. Gardeners often plant bush lilies in containers and tubs.
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