I absolutely love purple flowers in the garden! There are so many long-blooming perennial options that purple is a go-to flower color for many home gardeners… including myself!
In spring, purple crocus, alliums, geranium, salvia and catmint will bring the garden to life. For purple blooms all summer long, use clematis, balloon flower, lavender, blazing star and reblooming hydrangeas. End the season with bursts of purple asters, blue Vervain and globe thistle in the fall.
But sometimes it’s difficult to decide what flowers will compliment a purple color scheme. If you want to make your garden stand out from the rest here are some of my top tips for what to plant with purple flowers!
- Plant a variety of purple flowers of different hues, such as light pastel, medium and dark purple together.
- Compliment purple flowers with similar colors like pink-purple (magenta) or a blue-purple (violet) flowers.
- Combine purple purple with an opposite color, like yellow or yellow-orange.
- Add similar colors like pink-purple (magenta) and blue-purple (violet) to your purple garden, then take it up a notch with pops of opposite colors like yellow or yellow orange (amber).
- Try a peaceful combination with purple flowers combined with white flowers and foliage.
Keep reading to see some beautiful photos and plant varieties you can try to get a create the purple flower garden of your dreams!
Plant more purple flowers
The first option you have is to plant even MORE purple flowers! For any of you purple-lovers out there, this is a great option. And… you don’t have to get all matchy-matchy with this either. If you are using a deep, dark purple, look for something in a pastel purple.
Or, you can choose other purple plants and flowers that have interesting foliage or texture. One of my favorite go-to flowers for this is the allium, commonly known as ornamental onion.
Allium bulbs can be grown in Zones 3-9, bloom in spring come in lots of different heights and sizes. They can really add a whimsical touch and unique texture to your purple garden!
Quick Tip: If you love these alliums, check out my post about creating amazing texture in your garden.
Here are some of my favorite purple perennial flowers. Obviously, there are hundreds of options, but these are a few that I love that show a lot of variation in their hue and texture.
Catmint ‘Walkers Low’ (Nepeta faassenii, Zones 3-8, 2-3’H x 2-3’W)
Long-lived, tidy, pretty border plant that blooms throughout the growing season. This mounding herbaceous perennial has spicy fragrant leaves and features waves of cool, lavender blue flowers that bring butterflies in droves.
Globe Thistle ‘Taplow Blue’ (Echinops bannaticus, Zones 4-9, 4-5’H x 2’W)
Spiky globes of blue blooms sit above coarse, thistle-like green lives with silvery-white understones. Globe Thistle is a very architectural plant, standing upright to over 4 feet. The foliage adds a lot of texture and even after blooming the dried seedheads will add interest to your fall and winter garden.
Rose of Sharon ‘Blue Chiffon’ (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Notwoodthree’, Zones 5-9, 8-12’H x 5-6’W)
Blue Chiffon is sure to provide some much-needed color to your mid-summer and fall garden. Blue flowers with lacy centers of light lavender-blue petals give it a semi-double appearance. The flower centers are accented with wine-red hues that streak out from the veins of the petals.
Salvia ‘May Night’ ( Salvia sylvestris, Zones 3-8, 18″H x 18-24″W)
Glowing purple stems loaded with violet-purple flowers that bloom from June to October. With its blue-gray, lance-shaped aromatic foliage, it makes an attractive accent all summer long.
Balloon Flower ‘Astra Double Blue’ (Platycodon, Zones 3-8, 8-10″H x 6-8″W)
Dwarf balloon flower forms compact, well-branched plants.This heavy bloomer gets its name from the way each flower bud swells before its starry petals unfold. Balloon-like buds burst open into bell-shaped double blue flowers
Plant similar colors to purple
Another great option when choosing plants to compliment your purple blooms is to look to the color wheel.
To find the right colors, simply find the purple color on the color wheel that’s closest to your purple bloom. Then, find flowers that bloom in the shades that are right next to that color. Learn more about using the color wheel in your garden.
- If your flower is pure purple, combine with magenta and violet
- If your flower is violet, combine with purple and blue
In this example, these are all the same flower– asters! Asters are daisy-like perennials with starry-shaped flower heads. Depending on the variety, asters will grow in Zones 3-8.
Asters bring color to the garden in late summer and autumn when many of your other summer blooms may be fading. The other great thing about asters is they come in many colors and many different heights — from 8 inches to 6 feet!
For this combination, I started with the violet asters, which are a blue-purple color. Then, I looked to the color wheel to see what’s right next to violet. This is where the blue and pure purple aster blooms come into play.
Here are some asters varieties to try if you want to get this look in your own garden:
- Violet asters (try Aster novi-belgii ‘Eventide’, Zones 4-8)
- Blue asters (try Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’, Zones 4-8)
- Purple asters (try Aster alpinus ‘Dark Beauty’, Zones 4-9)
You don’t have to choose all the same flower type, either. Just play with the three colors you’ve chosen to create a really harmonious garden color palette. This is called an analogous color scheme and it’s a really restful, peaceful combination for you to try.
Quick Tip: If you’re enjoying learning about the color wheel, you’ll love my post about creating gorgeous garden color schemes.
Add Excitement with Opposites!
This is probably my favorite option, since I really love a lot of color in the garden. By looking to the color wheel again, you’ll just choose the color that’s directly opposite of the purple color blooms you already have. If you plant flowers in this color, they will really add energy and excitement to your garden.
Tulip ‘Orange Emperor’ (Tulipa fosteriana, Zones 3-8, 14-16″H x 3-6″W )
A great option to add a pop of color with your spring-blooming purple flowers is the ‘Orange Emperor’ Tulip. This is one of the longest-blooming and hardiest tulips on the market! Huge blooms have glowing orange petals with a pale yellow base inside and measure up to 10″ wide when fully opened.
Yellow-orange hues will make the purple pop! And the purple will make your yellow-orange hues pop!
One of my favorite examples of this is something I grow in my own garden, which is violet salvia and amber butterfly weed. This is a beautiful summer combination that’s easy to grow and will attract tons of butterflies and bees to your garden.
In this example, light purple catmint and deep-violet salvia are combined with yellow yarrow, which is directly across from purple on the color wheel.
- Catmint ‘Walkers Low’ (Nepeta faassenii, Zones 3-8)
- Salvia ‘May Night’ (Salvia sylvestris, Zones 4-8)
- Yarrow ‘Sassy Summer Lemon’ (Achillea, Zones 3-8 )
You really can’t go wrong with an opposite combination, which is called a complimentary color scheme!
Go Similar, then Different
This is a more complex scheme for your garden, but once you understand the color wheel you’ll have no problems (you’ve got this). Basically, we’re just going to combine the analogous color scheme with the complimentary color scheme.
Isn’t this beautiful? To achieve this look, find purple on the color wheel, then pick the colors that are on either side of that color, such as violet and blue. Then, find the color directly opposite of your purples, like amber (yellow-orange) and plant a flower with that color, too.
Here are some plant varieties to try if you want this beautiful color scheme at home:
- Allium ‘Globemaster’ (Allium Amaryllidacea, Zones 4-8)
- Catmint ‘Walkers Low’ (Nepeta faassenii, Zones 3-8)
- Bellflower ‘Pearl Deep Blue’ (Campanula carpactica, Zones 5-8)
- Rusty Foxglove (Digitalis ferruginea, Zones 4-9)
- Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa, Zones 4-9)
Purple and White Plant Combination
Another great companion planting in the garden is purple flowers and white flowers. White and purple make a beautiful, regal combination. Plus, white goes with everything… right?
Here’s a delightful flower garden made with only purple and white flowers. Purple hardy geranium (left) and catmint (right) and are combined with white flowers to make a beautiful summer blooming combination.
For a purple/white garden, try these varieties:
- Catmint ‘Walkers Low’ (Nepeta faassenii, Zones 4-9)
- Phlox ‘Amazing Grace’ (Phlox subulata, Zones 3-9)
- Dianthus ‘Itsaul White’ (Dianthus plumarius, Zones 3-8)
- Lambs ear ‘Big Ears’ (Stachys byzantina, Zones 4-9)
As you can see, there are many, many options available to plant with purple flowers.
Plant a variety of purple flowers of different hues, such as light pastel, medium and dark purple together.
Compliment purple flowers with similar colors like pink-purple (magenta) or a blue-purple (violet) flowers.
Combine purple purple with an opposite color, like yellow or yellow-orange.
Add similar colors like pink-purple (magenta) and blue-purple (violet) to your purple garden, then take it up a notch with pops of opposite colors like yellow or yellow orange (amber).
Try a peaceful combination with purple flowers combined with white flowers and foliage.
What are your favorite purple flowers to plant? What would you combine them with in your garden?
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