10 Mauve and Purple Flowers for Your Garden

Updated on January 10, 2018
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I love gardening, learning gardening techniques and designs, and photographing and painting plants. Member of Royal Horticultural Society.

Gardening with Colour - Mauve and Purple - and some Gardening Gifts

I love to grow plants in my garden in matching tones. They won't all be the same color, but there will be a definite theme in certain areas of the garden.

Purple Irises with Marigolds


Some people like to grow a profusion of multi-coloured bedding plants with a row of low-growing white or blue plants in front, in orderly fashion. I prefer bloc

I don't believe that just because it's a natural mixture of colours it must be good - I think one can improve on nature, and this is what I would like to show you here.

A tasteful blending of tones - yes; a few contrasting flowers - yes; but a mish-mash of "anything goes" - certainly not!

You will also find here some great Presents with a gardening theme.

Choose your colors carefully and you will have a garden which is a pleasure to behold

And, remember:

"a thing of beauty is a joy forever"

Lychnis or Rose Campion


1. Lychnis coronaria - Silver leaves and bright cerise-to-mauve flowers

Also known as Rose Campion

One of my favourite plants, with silvery-grey silky leaves and small bright mauve flowers.

Lychnis flowers in summer, and the colour of the flowers is so intense that they are almost luminous. They grow about 1.5 - 2 ft high, the branching stems bearing numerous flowers.

If you snip off the flower heads after they have died, the plants continue to flower prolifically throughout the summer.



2. Lavatera

Flowers and small shrubs

I cut them right back, almost to the ground, every year, and the following year they grow up about 10 feet tall, with a wide spread. They are a lovely pinky-mauve colour, and look good with other plants in the same colour spectrum - I grow mauve wild geraniums, pink phlox and purple lavender next to them, and they look heavenly all summer.

They start flowering in late spring or early summer, and will normally continue into late autumn, or early winter. However if the winter is mild, they will continue to flower until January - mine did that.

Black Lily

Black lily - Dark mauve
Black lily - Dark mauve | Source

3. Black Lily

Although called "Black", you can see from the picture that it is actually purple

A spectacular shade-loving plant, with beautiful shaped leaves which appear in spring and die back in summer. The flower has a definitive lily shape, with Gothic connotations because of their gloomy colour.

There are two drawbacks if you are considering growing this plant: firstly, it smells rank and secondly, the flowers only last for two or three days, a week at most. Nonetheless I thik it is worth growing for its interesting characteristics.

Purple Clematis

purple clematis
purple clematis | Source

4. Purple Clematis

Clematis has many different varieties, in the colour spectrum of various shades from white and pink to blues and mauves.

The roots need to be in the shade, but the rest of it likes sunshine. As it is a climber, this is not a problem as you can just plant it at the back of the garden border along a sunny wall or fence where bottom of the plant is protected by other plants growing in front of it.

Only, this didn't work too well for me last year, as it was behind a huge and healthy lavatera (the one you see in the photograph above), and the beautiful purple clematis flowers in bloom could hardly be seen.

This year I am growing some more clematis up a trellis on a wall next to my lounge window, so that I can look out and see it.....heavenly!

Ajuga Reptans

Ajuga in the foreground
Ajuga in the foreground | Source

5. Ajuga

Ajuga with its purple flowers is good for ground cover

Ajuga is an attractive low-growing plant with deep purple flowers and mauve leaves, and spreads quite well.

Ajuga tends to dry out in hot weather, so needs to be watered in summer. It has a very long flowering period and the small flowers just keep coming. I grow it in my rockery and at the front of the flower border, as ground-cover.

The White Garden at Sissinghurst


Take this Poll About Monochrome Gardens - See how you measure up against other pollsters

Sometimes, gardeners get a bee in their bonnet about rather advanced garden design, such as growing only plants of one particular colour, for example, the famous white garden at Sissinghurst, in England.

One of my friends is trying to do just this, but it is quite difficult to completely clear your garden of colour, and just plant white flowers, whilst still ensuring there are flowers throughout the flowering season. Does this idea appeal to you?

Would you ever choose to have a garden where all the flowers are in a narrow tone range?

See results



6 Verbena - Purple Flowers on Long Stems

This Verbena has flowered all summer and even in Mid-November there are still flowers in bloom

This particular plant with its small flowers grows very tall, and I planted it in the wrong place - at the front of my rockery, whereas it would look better flowering towards the back of a border.

Well may you wonder why I planted such a tall plant where it towered over all the other flowers and plants. There was some logic - I thought it was the shorter variety of verbena which grows to a height of about 9-inches. I never realized there was a tall variety of Verbena. Thinking forward, I think it would look particularly gorgeous in with yellow Verbascum, which is also tall, and a few tall grasses and eryngium and echinops, to emphasise the tones of purple. You can just see my verbascum quite a bit further back, in the centre of the picture. That was also in the wrong place, being far too tall to stand in the rockery.



7 Hellebore - purple

There are many different varieties of hellebore. The one in the picture is rather a special one which I bought from The Royal Horticultural Society.

Hellebore is perennial, and, when the leaves turn brown, you can just cut them back, and maybe keep some of the seed pods to plant.

Be careful, because you can get an allergic skin reaction from contact with the sap (there is sap in the seed pods), so don't handle them for more than a couple of minutes, and wash your hands afterwards. I once had very serious poisoning from large white hellebores - I have written about it and you can see the photographs in Poisonous Plants - Hellebore, Oleander and Periwinkle.



8 Osteospermum

Osteospermum is a daisy-like flower and comes in several colors. I chose the one shown in the picture for my garden because I love the delicate shades of pale mauve to white, with grey undertones.

The petals open up in sunlight, and close when the sun goes down, or when the weather is not very bright. I love to see the variations in a single day - if I get up early at dawn and go out to see it, the petals are quite tightly closed.

Osteospermum is an easy plant to grow, and just needs to be dead-headed as the flowers fade, in order to encourage more flowering, and then cut back once flowering has ceased in winter, to make a nice compact plant for the following year. It flowers over a long period of time, and seems to be happy in full sun or partial shade.

Vinca, also known as Periwinkle


9. Periwinkle

Periwinkle is also known as Vinca

Vinca Minor has smaller flowers and leaves, and Vinca Major is a larger plant, but looks similar. Periwinkle is a low-growing plant, which makes it good ground cover. It has shiny dark green leaves and beautiful purple flowers in spring, and continues flowering sporadically, throughout the rest of the year.

Periwinkle will grow under trees, and, if you are not careful to restrict its growth, it will cover a rockery completely in about three years.

Hosta - purple and white

Hostas are mainly popular for their decorative leaves
Hostas are mainly popular for their decorative leaves | Source

10. Purple and White Hosta Flowers

Hostas Flower Briefly in late summer

These purple flowers look beautiful, but my hostas mostly get eaten by slugs, so the flowers last for even less time than they should.

It only takes one slug or snail to escape from my various slug treatments, and voom, leaves and flowers are gone in a night.

I like this photo of a hosta in full bloom, which I took in my garden, but it is certainly not representative of the sort of hostas I grow, which usually look a bit sad.

I've even written a web page and poem about the problem - called "War on Slugs"

Summer Artichoke, Lavatera, Hollyhock and Roses


Poll About Your Garden - Please join in with your comments

Do you like to have large color blocks of similar shades, or do you like to mix your borders?

I sometimes have mine changing to different swathes of color as the seasons change, starting off with yellow daffodils in Spring, then lots of pink and white in Summer, followed by orange and red in late summer and finally back to pink again, with a few bright orange nasturtiums and red cotoneaster berries until the cold weather kills them off.

What do you like most about your garden?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • I want to paint a brick garden wall deep lavender with trellis on the top half. What do you think?

    It would look unusual, but this is no bad thing. It would not be to my taste, but everyone is different, so go by your own feeling about it.

    If it was me, and I was unsure, I would take a photograph of the relevant area, and then, using Photoshop or some similar photographic programme, I would color the wall the deep lavender tone you have in mind, and then consider whether to go ahead with that particular colour, making sure that any plants you grow there have flowers that look good against that color.

Did you like the pictures of mauve and purple flowers? This is my Guest Book: Please leave a comment - I love to hear from Gardeners around the world

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    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      4 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      As a purple lover I should really make a plan to get more purple in my garden!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Grant 

      4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @burntchestnut: Yes, it's lovely. We used to grow it in Africa, and I have also grown it in London, on the sunny side of my garden, trailing up a fence

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I haven't heard of the Black Lily before. I think the purple passion flower is pretty. They usually grow in a hot climate.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I have lots of these in my garden and lots more......

    • Gloriousconfusion profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Grant 

      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @masunyoananda: That's great, thank you.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very interesting lens, learned a lot which I didn't know here...Blessed...:)

    • Gloriousconfusion profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Grant 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      @sharonbellis: Yes, I love it too. It looks good with an occasional splash of orange, too

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I love the colour purple in the garden it's very eyecatching.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana Grant 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Ramkitten2000: Yes, I think it can be very effective. I have a friend who was aiming for a completely white-flowered garden, like Gertrude Jekyll's White Garden at Sissinghurst, but, with so many other beautiful colours, I'm not sure I would want just white. Various shades of pink to dark purple would be more my preference.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I really like gardens--or individual beds--that focus on a range of shades of a certain color. All flowers are beautiful, of course, but I love the look of, say, a dozen different purples, from light lavender to deep royal purple to reddish-purple. This is something I plan to do when we build our new home in about a year. And having a monochrome flower garden keeps me from getting totally overwhelmed by all the choices there are at the garden store, because I can say, okay, I'm just looking for purple flowers. But as I see here, there sure are a lot of those!


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