Although you might be familiar with plants such as lavender or purple roses, you might wonder what other shrubs and bushes display unique purple flowers.
Purple is the rarest of colors that you’ll find in foliage, as Kansas State University reports. But what different purple shrubs and bushes are there out there?
Some of the best purple shrubs and bushes include fuschia, rhododendron, chaste tree, and purple sage. While some of these are beautifully compact and easy to maintain, others will become statement pieces in your garden.
In this article, I’ll explore 12 of the best shrubs and bushes that boast purple flowers. I’ll also feature tips to help you look after them and give them the care they need to grow healthily.
12 Shrubs and Bushes With Unique Purple Flowers
It might surprise you to discover that purple-bearing shrubs and bushes exist beyond choices like lavender. These flowering shrubs and bushes can be found in a variety of categories to suit your living space and gardening requirements.
- Small bushes—these remain compact, so you can display them in a small living space or garden.
- Desert bushes—these plants thrive in sunny regions and are drought-resistant.
- Maintenance-free bushes—these are ideal for busy people or beginner gardeners because they don’t require much care.
- Evergreen bushes—these keep your garden looking healthy and beautiful throughout the year.
Let’s explore these four categories of purple shrubs and bushes.
If you’re looking for shrubs and bushes with unique purple flowers that stay compact, for example, if you don’t have a large garden, here are the best choices to consider:
This small flowering shrub comes in red, purple, or pink. It can reach a maximum height of two feet (0.6 m). It boasts drooping flowers that have purple centers and are surrounded by pink or red petals.
Although other colors are present on the shrub, purple is very noticeable and takes center stage. If you’re interested in red flowering plants, read our guide, 8 Shrubs That Have Red Leaves All Year.
Make the most of your fuchsia by planting it along walls because its branches form arches or by placing it in containers where it can’t be missed. Just make sure your shrubs are planted in a shady location in the garden, where they will receive morning sun and shade in the afternoon.
If you’ve planted fuchsia in the ground, water it when its soil dries out. Remember that fuchsia plants that are in containers will require more regular watering.
These shrubs produce funnel-shaped flowers that are bright purple and have frilly petals. They can grow up to about four inches (10.16 cm) in width, so they’re great for use in empty areas of the garden.
Make sure you plant rhododendrons in full-sun or partial-shade conditions. Since it doesn’t mind dappled shade, it’s a great filler plant for areas of your garden that don’t get a lot of sun, and where not many plants grow.
If you don’t have much space to spare for these stunning bushes, you should opt for dwarf rhododendrons that grow to about 3–6 feet (1–2 m) in height and width, so you can still enjoy their beauty.
3. Chaste Tree (Vitex Agnus-Castus)
This small tree or bush reaches a height of about eight feet (2.4 m). It has long, spiky stems on which violet-colored flowers appear.
It’s a great bush to add to your garden if you want to attract more pollinators because it’s such a statement flowering bush. The tree’s leaves and dried fruit can be used for medicinal purposes, as the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry reports.
This tree is quite low-maintenance but make sure that you plant it in dry, loose soil. It’s highly resistant to drought conditions.
You can find chaste trees in different varieties with different-colored blooms, so make sure you choose the right type, one that displays purple flowers. These include
- Montrose Purple. This variety has bright purple flowers and can grow up to 25 feet (7.62 m) in height, so it’s great for large gardens.
- Shoal Creek. This variety has blue-purple flowers and can grow up to about 15 feet (4.6 m) in height, as MasterClass reports, so it’s ideal for smaller areas.
This tree/shrub displays red berries, but if you want more red in your garden, read our guide, 8 Stunning Red Flowering Shrubs.
Desert plants and bushes manage to survive in extreme conditions, such as drought. They provide a unique appearance while generally being easy to look after, although many plants require lots of sunshine on a daily basis.
1. Purple Sage (Salvia)
This beautiful shrub originates from the Great Basin deserts in the western region of the United States. It’s woody and small and produces purple bracts as well as blueish-purple flowers. It reaches a height of between 1 and 3 feet (0.3–0.9 m), so it’s ideal for use against a fence or wall.
When planting your desert purple sage, make sure you plant it in alkaline soil in an area of the garden where it will get full sun on a daily basis. It maintains its shape without having to be trimmed or pruned. If you want to feed it nutrients, do so in the growing season (spring) with a two-inch (5.08 cm) layer of compost.
2. Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe Involucrata)
This desert plant is sometimes called wine cups because of its purple flowers that are shaped like cups. Its flowers are around 1.5–2.5 inches (3.81–6.35 cm) in width, while the shrub itself can reach a height of between 8 and 12 inches (20.32–30.48 cm), as well as a width of 35 inches (89 cm). Although compact, purple poppy mallow is great for planting near borders or walls.
Plant it in full-sun conditions, as this desert bush loves the sunshine. Ensure you’ve got excellent soil drainage, as this is important for the bush to survive.
3. Blue Hibiscus (Alyogyne Huegelii)
Although its name might make you assume that it blooms blue flowers, this bush actually displays lilac flowers. It’s an evergreen plant that grows quickly and can reach about eight feet (2.4 m) in height and width. It has beautiful purple petals that are spread wide and have yellow at the center. This bush displays the most flowers in spring and early summer.
If you want plants and bushes that have more yellow in them to complement your purple shrubs, read our guide, 10 Yellow Flowering Trees and Shrubs.
To preserve its purple color, you should ensure that you check what you’re purchasing, as they can bloom in white, rose, or violet colors. Make sure you plant your hibiscus in an area that receives full sun and a bit of afternoon shade, as Arizona Cooperative Extension reports.
If you want beautiful purple bushes in your garden but don’t have much time to look after them, you’ll want to steer clear of high-maintenance shrubs and bushes. Here are some of the best purple picks that don’t need much TLC.
1. Heather (Calluna Vulgaris)
If you want to enjoy stunning purple bushes but don’t want to have to put in a lot of effort to make them thrive, you should consider planting heather. It’s resistant to deer, salt, winter conditions, and drought.
As long as you plant your heather in well-draining soil and give it a bit of sunshine, it’ll be happy and reward you with clusters of bell-shaped flowers on its upright stems.
2. Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea Quercifolia)
This deciduous shrub originates from the southeastern region of the United States and is one of the easiest shrubs to look after as it doesn’t require a lot to thrive. Although this bush doesn’t bloom purple flowers, it deserves a mention on this list because of its purple foliage.
Oakleaf hydrangeas have cone-shaped flowers that are white in color, but they have leaves that go through various colors in the winter—turning orange, red, and purple. So, although you won’t get to enjoy this bush in purple tones throughout the year, it’s definitely worth waiting for and enjoying during the fall!
Oakleaf hydrangea isn’t fussy about its soil but needs the correct light conditions. In northern regions, oakleaf hydrangeas require full sun and gentle shade. But, in southern regions, oakleaf hydrangeas need morning sun. However, you should protect them from the harsh sun in the afternoon, as Pennington reports.
3. Dwarf Korean Lilac (Syringa Meyeri Scrophulariales)
This deciduous shrub reaches a height of about four feet (1.2 m) and can spread up to seven feet (2.1 m). It produces clusters of beautiful purple flowers loved by butterflies and hummingbirds. True to its name, dwarf Korean lilac bushes are compact.
They also have a naturally rounded shape, which doesn’t require much pruning. Use it as a hedge or keep it in small areas that could do with livening up.
It’s easy to look after dwarf Korean lilac because it’s not susceptible to powdery mildew—a fungal disease that affects many other lilac species. It’s also low maintenance because it’s not fussy about how much light it gets.
It can thrive in areas that get full sun and partial sun. Although it likes to be watered regularly, it’s resistant to drought conditions, as Horticulture reports.
Evergreen bushes keep your garden looking beautiful and fresh during the winter while also having other benefits, such as enabling bees and birds to make nests in their homes.
With this in mind, here are some of the best evergreen bushes and shrubs that boast purple flowers.
1. Daphne Marianni (Daphne Odora ‘Rogbret’)
This flowering bush is an evergreen shrub with long glossy green leaves with stripes. It blooms in flower clusters that are white and marked with purple.
Plant it in full to partial shade conditions, as it doesn’t need a lot of sunshine every day. This ensures it will grow to about 10 to 13 feet (3–4 m) in height.
You don’t have to worry too much about the type of soil pH; this flowering bush needs as it can grow in acid, alkaline, and neutral soils, as RHS reports.
However, make sure that you place this flowering bush in an area of the garden where it’s close to windows, as its flowers release a heavily scented fragrance.
2. Azaleas (Rhododendron)
These bright purple flowers are some of the most commonly chosen for gardens, and it’s really no surprise. They have gorgeous trumpet-shaped flowers and look tropical with their frilly, cheerful appearance.
Azaleas are evergreen and deciduous shrubs that grow densely, so you can use them as low-lying bushes.
Just note that when choosing azalea plants, deciduous ones are a bit hardier than evergreen varieties. Either way, give your azalea bushes acidic soil that drains well. You can plant them in shady garden areas as they can tolerate different light levels.
However, beware of keeping them in areas with no sun, as this will cause them to struggle to survive and drastically reduce their flower yield.
3. Golden Dewdrop (Duranta Erecta)
This pretty evergreen or deciduous bush is a tropical plant. It gets its name because it has yellow berries that appear on its branches. But what’s really striking about it is that it has flowers that bloom in purple or blue colors.
This flowering bush likes to be planted in full-sun conditions. Although you can prune it when it becomes unruly, you can also let it grow however it likes and enjoy the way its branches droop. It will reach a height of about 1.5–4 feet (0.5–1.2 m).
A splash of color in your garden can boost its appearance. If you love purple, you don’t have to limit yourself to certain popular flowering plants, as there are many different purple shrubs and bushes that can add flair to your living space.
These include different plant categories, such as
- Small bushes, like fuschia and rhododendron
- Desert bushes, like purple sage and purple poppy mallow
- Evergreen bushes, such as Daphne Marianni and azaleas
- Maintenance-free plants, such as oakleaf hydrangea and dwarf Korean lilac