15 Prettiest Purple Annual Flowers To Beautify Your Garden

Purple annual flowers are very sought after by gardeners. Depending on whether the color is light or dark, purple blooming annuals will express more sweetness, delicacy or sadness, melancholy to your garden. 

Add their shape to this interesting and wide ranging shade and you can have great visual effects, subtle, elegant, exotic or even contrasting and absurd.

Annuals are plants that only live one year. They are handy for gardeners because you can change the planting of your flower beds or borders every year. There is a small range of annuals with purple flowers, from sweet peas to petunias, but they are enough to experiment with this color and its effects in your garden.

If you are looking for annual plants with purple flowers you will find it a hard task. This is because you are being very selective: most flowering plants used in gardening are perennials and purple is not the most common color.

So, we did the hard work for you! We looked for them and put them in a list. But we did more: we matched them with great pictures and wrote down how to grow each one for you. So you are left with the pleasant task of choosing one and growing it…

Purple and Color Combinations

Before we actually start looking at the wonderful plants we have in store for you, there are a few guidelines I would like you to know about the color purple and annual flowers.

To start with, the color purple is a very showy and visible color. This means that you need to be very careful how you use it. Don’t be afraid, and be daring if you want, but be informed too.

Here are some tips:

  • Purple tends to attract the viewer’s attention more than other colors, expect red.
  • Purple changes its effect according to the other colors you mix it with.
  • Purple and blue usually express class and sophistication.
  • Purple and red express passion and depth of feelings.
  • Purple and white is a very eye catching combination, fresh and energetic at the same time.
  • Purple shades in the blue range do not mix with yellow and orange well. You’d better use only those in the red range of purple.
  • Purple and pink can create stunning romantic and emotional effects.

Purple Annual Flowers in Your Garden or Containers

We said that annual flowers allow you to change the planting in, pattern, look and effect of your flower beds, borders pots etc. That is true, but there are also a few things you need to keep under control.

  • Annual plants only last a few months, which means that you will have a gap in your composition (border, bed etc.) when it’s gone. So, be ready to replace them.
  • Gardeners often grow plants that are potentially perennials as annuals. This is because they are at their best in their first year. Their blooms are more vigorous, the leaves are healthier etc. These plants are usually classed as short lived or tender perennials by botanists but treated as annuals by gardeners.
  • Very often, as they age, annual flowers lose their aesthetic appeal. The leaves dry up and lose their beauty just as the bloom ends. Most gardeners like to change them at this stage. This is especially true if you have a neat, well manicured garden. For wild and natural looking gardens this may not be necessary.
  • With annuals, you will need to rime the blooming season properly. Choose some that blossom at different stages, so you will get some purple from spring all the way to the first frost.

And now, get ready for an amazing journey in the world of purple annual flowers…

15 Purple Annual Flowers To Add Depth And Richness In your Garden

Depending on the intensity of the color, purple annual flowers can form beautiful, mysterious, bewitching ensembles or elegantly enhance the whole palette of mauves and pinks.

Here are the best 15 annual plants with purple flowers to add a pop of purple to your garden:

1. Mexican Aster ‘Double Click Cranberries’ (Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Double Click Cranberries’)

Mexican aster Double Click Cranberries

For a flower that embodies the essence of purple, in its deepest and richest shade, Mexican Aster ‘Double Click Cranberries’ is a magnificent choice.

Cosmos are popular elegant looking annuals; their flowers have beautiful texture, as if they were small silk or cotton flowers, or even paper…

There are other varieties within the purple range, and if you prefer single flowers, then the magenta ‘Rosetta’ or the white and purple pink ‘Sensation Picotee’ may be right for you.

But if you want a showy, decidedly purple flower for your beds or borders but also for containers, then ‘Double Click Cranberries’ is in a league of its own.

  • Hardiness: Mexican aster ‘Double Click Cranberries’ is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from early summer to fall.
  • Size: 3 to 4 feet tall (90 to 120 cm) and 1 to 2 feet in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will adapt to well drained loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil with pH from fairly alkaline to fairly acidic.

2. Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)

Heliotrope

Heliotrope is a small shrub with beautiful large flowers and large and showy clusters of velvety, start shaped rich violet purple flowers. It is a perennial plant in Nature, but gardeners grow it as an annual, a very common practice to maximize the bloom potential of plants that flower more profusely in their first year.

This plant has become very popular in borders, also thanks to its foliage, but also in cottage gardens, as it mixes in perfectly well with other flowers.

On top of the vibrant violet purple of the flowers, you will also get a touch of burgundy purple in the stems and in the veins of the leaves, which adds to its decorative value, especially if you need some leaf color variation.

  • Hardiness: heliotrope is hardy to USDA zones 10 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: from early summer through fall.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will need well drained and organically rich loam or sandy loam, which you will need to keep humid. The pH can go from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

3. Floss Flower (Ageratum houstonianum)

Floss flower

For a sea of lavender to violet purple, floss flower is just perfect. This carpeting perennial will grow fast and it is easy to care. Yet another advantage it has for your garden is that it’s one of the few annuals that grow well in part shade. This makes it quite “precious” for flower beds, borders or anyway shady patches.

The flowers have very thin but numerous petals, which look like fluffy disks, and of course it is from this that it takes its name. There are many cultivars, and not all are purple. However, ‘Blue Danube’, ‘Blue Horizon’, are and ‘Red Top’, despite the name, is bright magenta purple.

While each flower is small, the overall effect is just impressive.

  • Hardiness: floss flower is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: from mid summer to fall.
  • Size: 6 inches to 2 feet tall (15 to 60 cm) and 6 to 12 inches in spread (15 to 30 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will grow well in moist but well drained loam, clay, chalk or sandy soil with pH from fairly acidic to partly alkaline.

4. Giant Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)

Giant larkspur

This herbaceous annual will give you tall spikes of rich purple flowers during the summer months. It is an ideal plant for cottage gardens, where it will look perfectly at home, but also for informal borders and flower beds. For best effect, you should grow it in groups.

The plumes may look like lupines from a distance, but when you get close, they will show a thinner, mor lace like texture, which is quite elegant indeed.

It is a perfect plant also if you don’t have the luxury of hot weather, even in summer. In fact, it likes cool places, which means that you can grow it in Canada and in the Northern States of the USA.

  • Hardiness: giant larkspur is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: summer.
  • Size: 2 to 4 feet tall (60 to 120 cm) and 1 to 2 feet in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will grow well in moderately rich and well drained loam, chalk or sand, with alkaline to neutral pH.

5. Morning Glory (Ipomoena indica, Ipomoena purpurea and Ipomoena nil ‘Grandpa Ott’)

Morning glory

Morning glory must be one of the most famous bell shaped flowers in the world. And purple is a very common color for this vine. This too is a perennial by nature but often grown as annual by gardeners.

Its ability to grow fast and strong is very much appreciated by gardeners. You can grow it to cover a fence or embellish a wall and you won’t have to wait long for the large and showy flowers to appear among the rich green and beautiful heart shaped leaves.

  • Hardiness: morning glory is hardy to USDA zones 9 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to fall!
  • Size: 4 to 15 feet tall (1.2 to 4.5 meters) and 2 to 3 feet in spread (60 to 90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will need well drained loam, with a pH from acidic to neutral, but it will also tolerate slightly alkaline soil.

6. Love in a Mist (Nigella damascena)

Love in a mist

Love in the mist has that wild and original look that many associate with wild prairies, cottage gardens and “old fashioned” flowers. It reminds many people of cornflower, with its very geometric petals that seem to hover above a “mist” of thin leaves…

While it is more common in its blue and white range, it can also be pink or purple. In fact, the cultivar ‘Mulberry Rose’ is purplish pink while ‘The Persian Jewel’ has a rich magenta purple breed.

It can be grown from seed very easily and also naturalized in natural looking lawns and prairies, and it will tolerate even the cold Canadian climate.

  • Hardiness: love in the mist is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: summer.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall (30 to 60 cm) and 10 to 12 inches in spread (25 to 30 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will grow in well drained loam, chalk or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to neutral but not acidic.

7. ‘Superbells Plum’ Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Plum’)

Superbells Plum calibranchoa

This is a lovely trailing plant that will fill with lots of showy, dark magenta flowers all the way from spring to the first frost! It is an excellent choice for hanging baskets but also to exploit height differences in rock gardens, beds or on the steps leading to your front door.

Also called “dwarf petunia” for its looks (they are in the same subfamily), this generous beauty can also be grown as a short lived perennial, which means that it will survive two to three years in the right conditions.

However, most gardeners grow it as an annual as the first year’s bloom is larger and stronger than those of the following years.

  • Hardiness: ‘Superbells Plum’ calibrachoa is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11,
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: spring to fall!
  • Size: 6 to 12 inches tall (15 to 30 cm) and 1 to 2 feet wide (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will adapt to most types of soil, well drained loam, chalk, clay or sand with pH from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. In containers, generic well drained potting soil will be fine.

8. ‘Purple Queen’ Hollyhock (Alcea rosea ‘Purple Queen’)

Violett flower of the Hollyhock - Alcea rosea

Hollyhock is a favorite annual with many gardeners thanks to its long upright spikes packed with beautiful flowers that look great at the back of borders.

And the cultivar ‘Purple Queen’ offers large and showy flowers that reach 4 inches in diameter (10 cm) and they are of the most vibrant magenta purple shade ever!

This is a wild looking flower that looks great against a wall, in a large border or in a tall flower bed. Its upright habit suits informal gardens, and you can grow it in pots as well. 

This variety won the All American Selections prize in 2004.

  • Hardiness: ‘Queen Purple’ hollyhock is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: summer.
  • Size: 2 to 4 foot tall (60 to 120 cm) and 1 foot in spread (30 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it is happy in well drained loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil with pH from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

9. ‘Divine Violet’ Impatiens (Impatiens ‘Divine Violet’)

Impatiens  flower

The large, round and sweet looking flowers of impatiens nestling among its very lush and decorative, deeply veined pointed leaves is a spectacle in any garden or container. 

And if they are deep magenta purple like with the ‘Divine Violet’ cultivar, then the color balance is perfect and harmonic.

This is yet another “annual but also perennial” plant, which will for sure fill your pots or flower beds with purple flowers from spring to fall, and you may wish to recycle it as a perennial, maybe moving it to a less central place, after you have enjoyed its massive spectacle of her first year.

In the end, it is a winner of the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society!

  • Hardiness: ‘Divine Violet’ impatiens is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun, partial shade or even full shade.
  • Blooming season: late spring to fall.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it grows well in well drained loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil with pH from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. If in a container, use well drained generic potting soil. It does prefer a position that is sheltered from the wind though.

10. Petunias (Petunia spp.)

Petunias

Petunias are of all colors, as you know, and there are some cultivars with the most beautiful shades of purple. In fact, if you want to fill your borders, beds, hanging baskets, patio or terrace with an ingressive display of purple flowers on trailing branches from spring till winter sets in, petunias are a very safe choice.

You can also pick and choose from a wide range of different purple colors… So, ‘Supertunia Morning Glory Charm’ is of a rich velvet purple shade, as is ‘Supertunia Royal Velvet’. ‘Tidal Wave Purple’ on the other  hand is in the burgundy to dark magenta shade.

‘Supertunia Lavender Skies’ is of a saturated lavender hue. ‘Easy Wave Violet’ is of the brightest magenta you will ever see.

But maybe the most striking deep, dark and rich burgundy magenta color you can find is in ‘Easy Wave Burgundy Velour’.

Petunias too can live longer than one year, but most gardeners grow them as annual to make the best of their first year’s vigorous blooms.

  • Hardiness: petunias are hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to the first frost.
  • Size: 6 to 12 inches tall (15 to 30 cm) and 2 to 3 feet in spread (60 to 90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will grow in any well drained and humus rich potting soil. Alternatively, it will grow in well drained loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil with pH from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

11. Sweet Peas (Lathysus odoratus)

Sweet pea is an annual climbing

Sweet peas are just fantastic. They grow fast, they produce a sea of stunning and sweet smelling flowers, and, finally, they exist in every shade of color and color combination on Earth! Including all the purple shades.

From dark magenta to pastel or even watercolor lavender shades, you can find a sweet pea that is perfect for your trellis, patio, pergola, fence or even to cover that dull wall that bugs you every time. And they will do it in a matter of weeks!

Really, the choice of cultivars in the purple range is huge, so, I will only mention some super notable ones. ‘Matucana’ is a great choice for a strong color contrast; it has vibrant violet keel and wings (the central petals) and bright magenta standards (the outer petals).

‘Promise’ on the other hand is pink purple and white, a very lively and bright combination. ‘Lady Grisel Hamilton’ instead plays with delicate shades of pastel lavender.

Finally ‘Senator’ has a deep purple pattern that looks like it was painted with a crayon on a sky blue background.

Really, if you want a lot of fun, of choices, of flexibility, of flowers, for very little effort, sweet peas are a perfect choice.

  • Hardiness: sweet peas are hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11. Yes, you can grow them in Canada too.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to the first frost!
  • Size: 6 to 8 feet tall (1.8 to 2.4 meters) and about 1 foot in spread (30 cm).
  • Soil requirements: they like well drained loam or sandy loam with pH between 7.0 and 7.5 preferably, but they will adapt to slightly acidic and slightly alkaline conditions.

12. Stock (Matthiola incana)

Stock

Stock will grow spikes of showy but sweet looking, round flowers on long stems that tower above beautiful pointed foliage.

You can have them in many colors, including a very rich violet purple which sets off the green patch at the center very nicely.

This annual flower will look great in borders and cottage gardens.

You cam also grow it in containers but its best setting is always in an informal garden, where it will bring its touch of purple energy early in the year, when most plants are dormant.

  • Hardiness: stock is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 10.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: winter to spring.
  • Size: 1 to 3 feet tall (30 to 90 cm) and 1 foot in spread (30 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it likes well drained loam, chalk or sand; it prefers the pH on the alkaline side but it will do well in neutral soil as well.

13. Love-Lies-Bleeding (Amaranthus cadutus ‘Dreadlocks’

Love-lies-bleeding

Now imagine deep dark but very vibrant purple plumes that drop from lush, tropical looking but herbaceous foliage… A bit like surreal dreadlocks… Love-Lies-Bleeding will give you just that!

This annual grows tall and fast, producing a lot of foliage and then growing inflorescences that look like fluffy loofahs of the most amazing color.

This is n annual plant that will give a sense of fertility and vitality to your borders in an informal garden setting. It may have other uses, like growing it at the back of a wild prairie to add some height to it, but remember that it has a big and bold presence.

  • Hardiness: Love-Lies-Bleeding is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from mid summer to fall.
  • Size: 3 to 5 feet tall (90 to 150 cm) and 2 to 3 feet in spread (60 to  cm).
  • Soil requirements: it is very adaptable. It will grow in well drained loam, clay, chalk or sandy soil with pH from acidic to alkaline (but it performs better in alkaline soil). It is drought resistant too.

14. Summer Snapdragon (Angelonia spp.)

Snapdragon Flowers

Gardeners grow summer snapdragon as an annual for its beautiful spikes of vibrant and playful flowers as well as for its long and pointed foliage.

It will live well as an annual in most climates, but it can become a tender short lived perennial in warm climates.

The color range of summer snapdragon goes from snow shote to violet purple. ‘Angelface Super Pink’ us of a magenta shade, ‘Angelface Steel Blue’ is light floral violet purple, while ‘Angelface Blue’ is deep violet.

This annual is an excellent addition to beds and borders of informal gardensbut it can also grow in pots and containers.

  • Hardiness: summer snapdragon is hardy to USDA zones 10 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Blooming season: from late spring to fall.
  • Size: 1 to 3 feet tall (30 to 90 cm) and 1 to 2 feet in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it grows well in any well drained soil type. Loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil with pH from fairly alkaline to fairly acidic. In a container, it wants light potting soil. It is drought resistant.

15. China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)

Callistephus chinensis

Let’s finish our list with a classic annual, and a classic purple flower: China aster! This beautiful daisy shaped little plant is in fact known for its magenta to violet shades, which make the yellow disk in the middle of the flower stand out even more.

They will bloom for months on end even with little care, and they are just wonderful in flower beds. However, you can also use them in borders, and they do look good in containers too.

It is also an easy annual to find in garden centers or online, and it will grow perfectly well from seed.

  • Hardiness: Chinese aster is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun and partial shade.
  • Blooming season: from early summer to the end of fall.
  • Size: 1 to 3 feet tall (30 to 90 cm) and 1 to 2 feet in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it likes well drained loam or chalk and it tolerates a pH that goes from fairly alkaline to fairly acidic.

This Year’s Color Is Purple!

You now know that even if you are picky, and you want plants with purple flowers as well as plants that are annual, maybe because you want to change your beds and borders next year, you do have a good choice of plants.

Some will look great on walls and trellises, like sweet peas, others are classic flower bed annuals, like Chinese aster; some will bloom in summer to fall (the most common season for purple), others even in the early season. But look through this list again and if purple if your favorite color, sure there is an annual that suits your needs and, above all, your taste…

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