Purple Flowers That Come Back Every Year: Perennials for Every Garden

If you’re looking to expand your garden with purple flowers that come back every year, there are so many options to choose from. What you choose will depend on your geographical location, as well as the amount of care you’re willing to put into extending your flower collection.

Purple perennial flowers include Dahlias, Chrysanthemums, Jacob’s Ladder, Phlox, Salvia, False Indigo, and Bluebonnets. They vary in height, bloom shape, and how labor-intensive they are, so there’s something out there for everyone.

That said, let’s dive into a list of beautiful purple perennials to pick from for your next garden upgrade!

  1. Bluebonnet
  • Origin: Southern North America
  • Scientific name: Lupinus
  • Hardiness zone: 4–8

These blue-purple beauties are native to the southern United States and are considered the state flower of Texas. This should probably tell you how much they love the sun and can tolerate dry conditions!

Bluebonnets thrive with adequate sun exposure; at least 6 hours per day of full sun. However, if the climate is too hot, maybe consider plating them where they can be covered partially. Watering once a week is enough for them.

  1. Catmint
  • Origin: the Mediterranean
  • Scientific name: Nepeta × faassenii
  • Hardiness zone: 4–8
Catnip flowers (Nepeta)

Catmint is a member of the mint family, with the same fragrant flowers and foliage. It’s also called Faassen’s Catnip because It has a similar effect on cats.

This drought-resistant perennial comes in many different shades of purple, ranging from lavender to periwinkle, depending on which cultivar you choose. Some of them can even reach 3 ft. tall when provided with enough sun.

The flowers are delicate, trumpet-shaped, and make for a great addition to any rock garden, border, or even as groundcover.

  1. Chrysanthemums
  • Origin: China
  • Scientific name: Chrysanthemum
  • Hardiness zone: 5–9

These gorgeous flowers have clusters of flowerheads arranged in the shape of a sphere. Endearingly nicknamed “mums,” the Chrysanthemum blooms in the autumn and provides a nice pop of color when everything else is dormant.

You can find many beautiful shades of purple that go from a pinkish red-purple to almost blue-purple blooms. Caring for them includes providing adequate sun exposure, as well as watering them frequently.

However, make sure to have them in well-draining, moist soil and not to leave them in soggy soil, or else they might rot.

Also Check: Flowers That Look Like Stars

  1. Dahlia
  • Origin: Southern North America, Central America
  • Scientific name: Dahlia
  • Hardiness zone: 8–11

As relatives of Chrysanthemums, Dahlias also display double-petaled, gorgeous blooms. The flower size can range from a couple of inches wide to almost one foot in diameter, often termed a “dinnerplate” bloom. They can be a few inches tall or reach almost 8 ft. in height!

Dahlias come in a wide variety of shades, and the purple ones can be breathtakingly beautiful in an almost psychedelic way, like the “Mystery Day” variety. 

They are a little more finicky when it comes to care, though, as they need regular watering and adequate sun exposure.

  1. Dalmatian Bellflower
  • Origin: Europe
  • Scientific name: Campanula portenschlagiana
  • Hardiness zone: 3–9
Dalmatian bellflowers

This is a beautiful, low-growing perennial that makes for an amazing groundcover. The foliage reaches a height of 4 inches and can cover an area of about 20 inches, and is covered in gorgeous blue-purple blooms from spring to fall.

The Dalmatian bellflower gets its name from the Dalmatia region in Croatia, which means that the plant prefers rocky, incredibly well-draining soil and plenty of sunshine. However, if the heat index is high where you are, partial shade is preferable.

  1. Echinacea (Coneflowers)
  • Origin: North America
  • Scientific name: Echinacea purpurea
  • Hardiness zone: 5–8

Echinacea, also known as coneflowers, are a unique addition to any garden. They have the advantage of being native to North America, and so they’re rather hardy and resilient.

They have striking, cone-shaped blooms that attract pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. They’re hardy in a variety of climates but do poorly in excessive humidity or rainy conditions. Their prime enemy is soggy soil, which causes their roots and stems to rot.

To keep them in good shape, water them regularly until they’re well established. Only then, when the plant is mature, can it take arid or dry conditions.

  1. False Indigo
  • Origin: Eastern North America
  • Scientific name: Baptisia
  • Hardiness zone: 3–9

Also known as “Wild Indigo,” this flowering plant comes from the bean family, Fabaceae. It has small, dainty flowers that bloom all along the stalk, creating a show-stopping display. 

There are several cultivars available, but the most common is B. australis. Just be careful, as this particular plant is toxic to both humans and animals. So make sure it’s in a well-guarded area to avoid pets going into it, and wear gloves whenever you’re handling the plant.

This plant is just like most bean plants, meaning it doesn’t appreciate soggy soil or inadequate sun exposure. Be diligent about watering it when it’s still young, but when it’s fully grown, it can tolerate some drought.

  1. Hardy Geranium
  • Origin: Europe
  • Scientific name: Geranium bohemicum
  • Hardiness zone: 3–9

This is a hardy, cold and drought-resistant Geranium (also called cranesbill) that blooms in dainty little flowers. The original plant comes from the Caucasus region in Europe.

The flowers thrive in partial shade or full sun, but they don’t tolerate soggy soil or overwatering. It’s also important not to smother the plant’s crown when first planting it, as it needs enough sun to bloom.

  1. Jacob’s Ladders (Greek Valerian)
  • Origin: Europe
  • Scientific name: Polemonium caeruleum
  • Hardiness zone: 4–9
Jacob's-ladder flower or Polemonium caeruleum

With a name inspired by the biblical story where Jacob sees a ladder ascending to the heavens, this gorgeous herbaceous plant has foliage that resembles ladders. With thin stems and blade-shaped leaves, the effect is very obvious.

It’s also commonly known as Greek Valerian, although it’s unrelated to the actual herb called Valerian. The scientific name for it is polemonium, named after king Polemon of Pontus.

It forms beautiful clumps of blue to purple flowers that have a dot of yellow in the middle. This striking contrast makes for a very eye-catching flowering plant!

  1. Lenten Rose
  • Origin: Europe
  • Scientific name: Helleborus orientalis
  • Hardiness zone: 4–9

This is a striking flower with veined, royal purple petals that kind of resemble a rose, but it doesn’t belong to the rose family. It’s a member of the buttercup family, Ranunculus, which includes a wide variety of flower colors and shapes.

These beauties enjoy a shady growing area, so look for places under a large tree or hedge. And like other buttercups, they need  super well-draining soil to avoid diseases like soft rot from infesting the plant.

  1. Pasque Flower
  • Origin: North America
  • Scientific name: Pulsatilla
  • Hardiness zone: 4–8

These beauties are similar in shape to the Lenten Rose and belong to the same Ranunculus family, but their growing conditions couldn’t be any more different. The Pasque-flower needs full sun to thrive, and in the summer heat, needs copious watering so as not to dry out.

They have the advantage of repelling rodents and rabbits while attracting welcome guests like bees and other insects for pollination. They are winter hardy and can begin to bloom when there’s still frost on the ground.

  1. Phlox
  • Origin: North America
  • Scientific name: Phlox paniculata
  • Hardiness zone: 4–8
Flowers phlox, summer meadow

Garden Phlox is a favorite for many reasons, the biggest of which is the dazzling, ball-shaped bloom clusters. It also has a pleasant, yet mild scent, which is great for attracting pollinators!

The tall, showy flowers are perfect for vases. Their stems can reach 4 ft. tall, which makes cutting them quite easy. The flowers prefer full sun and plenty of water in well-draining soil. So, watering once a week and checking soil moisture can help maintain these beauties.

  1. Princess Flower
  • Origin: South America (Brazil)
  • Scientific name: Tibouchina urvilleana
  • Hardiness zone: 9–11

Princess flower is a hot-climate perennial that has showy, large blooms of a royal purple shade, as well as magenta buds that look gorgeous even before blooming.

These garden wonders can grow up to 6 ft. tall, which is an impressive feat! However, it mostly grows into shrubs, which need frequent pruning. The Princess flower enjoys full sun and humus-rich soil. Since it’s native to hot climates, it’s best brought inside during the winter.

Read more: 10 Flowers That Look Like Roses

  1. Salvia
  • Origin: Europe
  • Scientific name: Salvia sylvestris
  • Hardiness zone: 4–8

Also known as May Night Sage, this species of Salvia has tall, rich, vibrant purple flowers that can reach 3 feet tall. Just don’t confuse it with Salvia divinorum, the herb known for its psychoactive properties.

They require frequent watering and full sun, but make sure the soil is well-draining to avoid disease.

  1. Sedum
  • Origin: Asia, Europe
  • Scientific name: Sedum
  • Hardiness zone: 3–9
Close-up of beautiful sedum flower.

Sedum is the opposite of a finicky plant. In fact, it’s referred to as a “stonecrop” by gardeners, because it’s like having a stone for a pet; you do the minimum to it and get great results in return.

In fact, taking too much care here can be detrimental to the plant, as too much water or fertilizer can suffocate it. If you’re a beginner in the garden, this one’s for you.

Wrap Up

Searching for purple flowers that come back every year can be a bit of a chore. But thanks to this list, you can find something that goes well with the climate you’re in, as well as the level of care you’re willing to put in.

Just make sure you’re choosing well for your hardiness zone to reap the benefits of planting a purple perennial in your garden.