Including a favourite colour in the garden can be a great way of not only personalising a garden, but creating a theme to unify your plantings. One of the top themes to include in gardens (both indoors and out) is purple plants! Purple adds boldness and flair, while contrasting well with other colours such as lush green. Purple includes a wide range of tones from the palest lilac and lavender to deep royal purple.

A quick way to add your favourite colour is with seasonal annuals including petunias and calibrachoas (spring, summer and autumn), cinerarias, pansies, violas and primulas (autumn, winter and spring) and alyssum (year-round). Bulbs including purple varieties of crocus, bluebells, tulips and hyacinths bring splashes of spring colour to gardens. Select the colour you like and plant it in key spots in the garden or in a container as a colour accent. Pots of colour are also a good way to introduce a colour theme to gardens for a special event. You might like to add pots of purple annual plants ahead of hosting a birthday party or an anniversary. Because annuals last for a single season only, it's easy to change up your colour scheme.

For longer lasting colour, look to flowering perennials, climbers, shrubs and trees with purple flowers. Unlike annuals, these plants will remain in your garden year after year. For colour all throughout the year, choose plants with colourful foliage including tones of purple.

See our selection below of plants with purple flowers and foliage. Once a few key plants are selected, look for new varieties to extend your collection and the timing of flowers. Also include plants that tone well or contrast with purple. Some of our favourites include pink plants (plenty of suggestions here!), orange, silver, white and shades of green.

 

Purple plants for indoor pots

  • Cyclamen Flowers from pale to bright purple with main flowering in autumn and winter. Select a brightly lit spot away from heating or air-conditioning. Water when dry and avoid watering foliage. Shop purple cyclamen varieties.
  • African violet. Look for varieties with pale to dark purple flowers. This old favourite flowers throughout the year. Best flowering is seen when plants are in brightly lit spots and regularly fertilised. Shop African violets. 
  • Orchids. Many orchids have purple flowers including phalaenopsis and cymbidium. Expect flowers in winter and early spring. Shop orchids.
  • Zygocactus. Bright to pale purple tones in flowers in autumn and winter. Display indoors in a brightly lit spot in flower. Best outdoors in a sheltered spot when not in bloom. Shop zygocactus.
  • Purple foliage options. Caladium varieties and some tradescantias have purple variegated and patterned leaves. Best in bright light, but not near hot sun coming through a window. This is because the heat can burn and damage leaves.

 

A range of purple plants, clockwise from top left: The burgundy foliage of Alternanthera 'Little Maroon', purple-flowered African violets, lavender-hued Rose 'Blue Moon', magenta and white speckled phalaenopsis orchids, the purple flower spires of Hebe 'Sunset Boulevard' and the magnificent cup-shaped bloom of Magnolia 'Black Tulip'.

Purple plants, clockwise from top left: Alternanthera 'Little Maroon', African violet, Rose 'Blue Moon', Phalaenopsis orchid, Hebe 'Sunset Boulevard', Magnolia 'Black Tulip'.

 

Purple plants for outdoor gardens

Purple-flowering perennials, shrubs and trees for sun

Purple-flowering shrubs and perennials for shade

  • Violets (winter).

Purple-flowering climbers

Purple foliage perennials and shrubs