21 Purple Annual Flowers To Plant This Season

If you are considering adding some purple annual flowers to your flower patch this year, you've made an excellent choice! Purple is one of the most standout colors when it comes to flower gardening, and there are many options to choose from. In this article, we look at our favorite purple annual flowers that you can plant each season.

purple annuals

Whether you are a purple fanatic or just would love some easy to grow purple flowers to add annually to your garden, this is a perfect place to start. The best part about annual flowers is that almost any flowers, including perennial flowers, can be treated as annuals in colder or hotter hardiness zones. This means if you plant annually, you have a much wider variety of flowering plants to choose from than someone looking for a flower that will come back each season.

If you want height go for Snapdragons, or if you’d like something for your flower arrangements, African Daisies and Statice will be sure to please. Are you looking for something aromatic? You can’t go wrong with Nicotiana, the flowering tobacco plant. But the reality is, there are plenty of awesome flowers you can pick from!

Ready to learn more? If so, we’ve compiled a list of over 20 of our favorite purple annual flowers that you can plant in your home garden this season! Remember, some of these may be classified “technically” as perennial, but they can be grown annually in many climates. Let’s jump in!

African Daisy  

Osteospermum
In June, buds appear on the African Daisy flower, which blooms until the autumn frosts.
Scientific Name: Osteospermum
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Africa
  • Plant Size: 10 to 14 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 9 to 11

These are perfect flowers to plant for a bouquet garden. African Daisies have large, showy blooms that come in bold colors. The blooms can reach upwards of 6 inches wide. When cut, they are fragrant and long-lasting.

African Daisies of this variety are hardy in plant zones 9 to 11. However, they do like full sun in more mild climates as well. They may stop blooming during the hot summer months and resume when temperatures drop.

Osteospermum resists insects, parasites, and diseases particularly well.

Alyssum or Sweet Alyssum

Lobularia maritima
Sweet Alyssum is an impressive flower that has a strong honey aroma, which spreads throughout the garden on summer days, attracting many butterflies and bees.
Scientific Name: Lobularia maritima
  • Plant Type: Warm Climate Perennial or Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Mediterranean, Southern Europe
  • Plant Size: 3 to 10 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade to full sun, 6 hours
  • Plant Zone: 5 – 9

Alyssum is a low-growing plant with delicate sphere-shaped clusters of blooms. The flowers are tiny and can be white, purple, or lavender. They grow and spread relatively densely and make a great temporary ground cover.

It is also popular for borders around pathways or in containers and window boxes. Alyssum is drought and heat tolerant. It grows well in coastal areas in moist, well-drained sandy soil. The sweet, honey-like fragrance of Alyssum attracts birds, pollinators, and butterflies. Though mostly grown as an annual, this plant will flower year-round in warmer, temperate climates.

Angelonia or Snapdragon

Angelonia augustifolia
Snapdragon is native to Mexico and the West Indies, blooming with bright beautiful flowers, collected in an elegant brush.
Scientific Name: Angelonia augustifolia
  • Plant Type: Annual or Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Mexico, West Indies, South America
  • Plant Size: 1 to 4 ft
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 9 to 11

These drought and heat-tolerant Angelonia flowers are a low-maintenance choice to fill a garden planter. They spread quickly and will cover the space in no time. The flowers are about 1 inch tall and grow on the top of tall stems. There can be twenty or so individual flowers on each stem. They grow around and vertically.

These are beautiful flowers for arrangements because of their height, thickness, and density. They are low maintenance in full sun with well-drained soil. Their name comes from the shape of the flower, which resembles the snout of a dragon.

Cape Forget Me Not, Bugloss

Anchusa capensis
Distinctive features of the Bugloss are straight standing stems, slender narrow leaves, and racemose inflorescences of a predominantly bluish or purple color.
Scientific Name: Anchusa capensis
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: South Africa
  • Plant Size: 8 inches to 1.5 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 7 to 10

The name “capensis” means “from the cape,” referring to the Cape of South Africa. These flowers are very bright and rich in color. The blooms gather in clusters at the top of the stem and have solid petals with white centers. The new growth on the plant is red, adding a bonus of color.

In some areas with cooler winter temperatures, the plant may self-seed and can become invasive.

Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and pollinators and are edible. They are used medicinally to calm inflammation internally and on the skin externally. You can also use the petals to make a rich purple dye.

Celosia or Cockscomb

Celosia argentea
Cockscomb flower has gained great popularity due to its lush and soft inflorescences with spectacular color.
Scientific Name: Celosia argentea
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Tropical Africa
  • Plant Size: 9 inches to 3 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or dappled sunlight through a canopy
  • Plant Zone: 2 to 11

Reminiscent of the shape of the flame-like comb that sits atop a rooster’s head, celosia is a fun and lovely flower to grow. Its large and rich-colored blooms are a great addition to the garden and are quite the show-stopper when grown in large quantities.

Cockscomb blooms attract butterflies and will flower from summer into fall. The height of the plant can cause them to become top-heavy. Staking these are a good option. Or, you can also cut these particular blooms and use them in an arrangement. The flowers are 6 inches or greater and are have a very dense velvety appearance.

Cleome, Spiderflower

Cleome hassleriana
Spiderflower is a spectacularly beautiful flower with a strange smell and blooms all summer from June to September.
Scientific Name: Cleome hassleriana
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Brazil to Northern Argentina
  • Plant Size: 3 to 6 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 10 to 11

Cleome is an annual flower that grows into a bush-like plant each year. The flowers grow in an elliptical shape around the center greed bud. Ten or so flowers create a sphere shape on the end of the stem. Long thin pieces shoot out around the base of these blooms spindly and give the plant a spider-like appearance.

The flowers attract bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, and bats. They have fragrant flowers that are attractive for arrangements. Cleomes can be beneficial to plant around your vegetable garden due to their resistance to deer and rabbits. Though they are considered annuals, they may reseed themselves and return next year.

Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button

Centaurea cyanus
Cornflower is a beautiful, uncomplicated flower that does not require special care.
Scientific Name: Centaurea cyanus
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Western Asia, Europe
  • Plant Size: 1 to 3 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 2 to 11

The medium-sized electric blue blooms of the cornflower are an attractive choice for a garden. Cornflower is an edible plant sought after by birds and butterflies. In addition, it will attract other pollinators.

The plant will reseed itself so you can control the growth if desired by deadheading flowers. It is a hardy, low-maintenance plant that does not require a lot of water. However, the soil needs to be relatively moist and well-drained because it prefers cooler climates. The purple blooms are pretty for flower arrangements and are long-lasting after being cut.

Floss Flower, Bluemink

Ageratum houstonianum
Floss Flower blooms profusely and for a long time – from June to the first frost.
Scientific Name: Ageratum houstonianum
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Central America
  • Plant Size: 6 inches to 1 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 2 to 11

This flower has a long spring to fall bloom season. Bluemink is deer and rabbit resistant but will attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of moderately thick stems. Both the blooms themselves and the clusters of blooms are reminiscent of pom-poms. The flowers hold their color for some time, ideal for containers, borders, or cut for flower arrangements.

Relatively easy to grow, you can start these indoors so the plant will produce even more blooms. Until establishing themselves, the plants need regular watering. Deadheading is encouraged to keep them flowering all season long.

Geranium, Carolina Cranesbill, Carolina Geranium

Geranium carolinium
Carolina Cranesbill is a member of the geranium family, its winter- and spring-blooming flowers attract bees and other small pollinators.
Scientific Name: Geranium carolinium
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: Up to 1 ft
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 10 to 11

There are many different varieties of Geranium. This particular type of plant blooms in pink, purple, and white. Flowers are five-petaled and cup-shaped with a yellow pollen center. They also have five red shoots in between petals. The shoots attract songbirds, hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.

This plant can spread quickly and is best to grow in a naturalized area. You can find these growing wild in wooded areas. The flowers will continue to bloom from spring until summer. Some regions consider Geranium a weed.

Impatiens, Sun Patiens

Impatiens x hybrid
SunPatiens is a very elegant and compact plant that is covered with many bright flowers during the flowering period, decorating the plant from late spring until frost.
Scientific Name:Impatiens x hybrid
  • Plant Type: Annual or Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Japan
  • Plant Size: 1 ft to 2 ft 4 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Deep Shade, Partial Shade to Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 2 to 11 as annual, 10-11 as perennial

A low maintenance ground cover plant, impatiens grow quite well in the shade. You can find these sweet blooms in purple, pink, orange, red, and white hues. Impatiens like regular water but can handle a little bit of drought. They will attract a variety of pollinators, butterflies, and bees.

If you are looking for dense low-level blooms to fill in an area, these are excellent choices. They create a blanket-like effect on hillsides or in large planters. Perfect to line walkways or to fill in a specific area. There are also sun hardy versions called “sunpatiens” that can withstand heat a little better.

Larkspur, Staggerweed

Delphinium
Larkspur is a herbaceous plant, that is directly related to the ranunculus family.
Scientific Name: Delphinium
  • Plant Type: Annual or Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Temperate and Subtropical Old World and North America
  • Plant Size: 1 to 3 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 5 to 9

You might just find Larkspur glistening in the woods the next time you hike in the mountains. These beautiful flowers grow in abundance vertically up a stock. The shape and intricacy of Larkspur blooms are reminiscent of an orchid. Their stocks and blooms give off a feathery effect and are great to add height or layers to a garden.

They do best in the sun and like water but in well-drained soil. They will give a show from Spring until Summer and will reseed themselves.

Be aware they are highly toxic to humans, dogs, cats, and horses if ingested. 

Lisianthus, Texas Bluebell

Eustoma grandiflorum
Lisianthus is a herbaceous annual or perennial plant, that belongs to the Gorechavkov family.
Scientific Name: Eustoma grandiflorum
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Northern Mexico and Great Plains of the United States
  • Plant Size: 1 to 3 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 8 to 1

Texas bluebells grow in quantity off the sides of trails in wooded areas. They grow in clusters at the top of their stems and have the shape of an upside-down bell. Some varieties, like Spanish Bluebells, grow hanging downwards.

Lisianthus likes full morning sun with afternoon shade, is drought-resistant, and can handle cooler temperatures. It is best to purchase an established plant and transplant rather than wait for seeds to reach maturity. These little gems will bloom from summer into fall and the first frost. Great flowers to plant and use for arrangements.

Lobelia

Lobelian erinus
Lobelia is a small, strongly branching, densely leafy plant, abundantly covered with small flowers of white, blue, blue, and pink color.
Scientific Name: Lobelian erinus
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: South Africa
  • Plant Size: 4 inches to 1 foot 6 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 10 to 11

Lobelia blooms in many different shades of purple and white. They are excellent for ornamental flowers because they bloom abundantly and close together. The blooms are small and have an orchid-like shape where three petals splay out, and two remain erect.

The colors of the petals are very bright and eye-catching. It is best to grow in garden boxes or containers where they can happily spill over the sides. Lobelia will produce flowers from spring to fall cut back in summer to encourage more blooms.

Though they attract butterflies and pollinators and are deer resistant, they are poisonous to humans if ingested. 

Morning Glory, Cypress Vine

Ipomoea
Morning Glory is well known for its tolerance to poor, dry soils.
Scientific Name: Ipomoea
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Mexico
  • Plant Size: 3 to 8 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 2 to 11

There are many varieties of morning glory, and they grow as a twining vine opening their blooms up wide in the morning and closing them at night. They are a low-maintenance annual that tolerates a wide range of climates, soils, watering, and light. Their blooms are trumpet-shaped and grow in pretty bright colors of blue, pink, and shades of purple.

Morning Glory grows and spreads quickly. They are considered invasive in some areas. If you have a place that you are happy for them to take over, you can allow them to reseed themselves. To keep them more under control, cut the blooms back before they drop the seeds.

Nemophila or Baby Blue Eyes

Nemophila menziesii
Nemophila grows well in partial shade, but abundant long flowering is possible only with good sunlight.
Scientific Name: Nemophila menziesii
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Mexico
  • Plant Size: 6 to 8 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 7 to 11

Nemophila prefers cooler climates where summer temperatures drop below 65 degrees overnight. You can plant these flowers in the fall and expect them to first bloom in the winter in warm climates. Deadhead Nemophila to prevent sprawl and increase bloom time. They will die off in high summer temperatures.

The delicate flowers of Baby Blue Eyes are a bright blue-purple, small and almost round with a white center. They can be upwards of 3 inches wide and grow at the top of a thin stalk. In the wild and when planted in mass, the flowers spread densely across an area like a blanket. Very beautiful for a garden, these flowers do not last when cut and used in arrangements.

Nicotiana Perfume Deep Purple, Flowering Tobacco

Nicotiana x sanderae
Flowering Tobacco is an ornamental, annual, herbaceous plant with large, star-shaped flowers.
Scientific Name: Nicotiana x sanderae
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Northern Mexico and Great Plains of the United States
  • Plant Size: 1 to 2.5 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 8 to 10

Flowering Tobacco plants proliferate in full sun from spring until fall. They are tolerant to heat though they need some water and well-drained soil. The plants can grow to five or 6 feet tall and two feet wide. These are great for planting in an area where you would like a little privacy.

The flowers open up in the evening and release an aromatic scent that will spread throughout your garden. The blooms are tubular, almost like small trumpets, and are 1 to 3 inches long. They come in a brilliant deep purple, but you will commonly see them with white or pink flowers.

The blooms do not last well when cut though they smell lovely for a short time in a flower arrangement.

They are poisonous to humans if ingested.

Pansy, Johnny Jump Ups

Viola tricolor
In order for Pansy flowering to be lush, it is important to constantly cut the plant, removing dry leaves, stems, and withered flowers.
Scientific Name: Viola tricolor
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Europe and Asia
  • Plant Size: up to 10 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 2 to 9

When I think of Pansies, I imagine large blankets of them blooming and creating an exquisite color display. They come in so many colors and color combinations that it is a delight to plant them in your garden. Growing Pansies en masse is recommended, either in garden boxes or by filling a planter.

These flowers attract various bees and butterflies and offer a pleasant fragrance. The petals make dyes, and the flowers themselves are an edible and fun addition to a cake or garden salad.

Pansies will bloom from Spring until September though the bloom is relatively short. However, the plants will reseed themselves, making another brilliant display next year.

Petunia

Petunia x hybrida
Petunia prefers light, well-drained soil, a sunny location and plenty of water.
Scientific Name: Petunia x hybrida
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: South America
  • Plant Size: up to 1ft 6 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 10 to 11

If you’re looking to add lots of color with one flower, Petunias might be your thing. The funnel-shaped blooms come in many colorful varieties, are fragrant and pleasing to the eye. Some of the varieties of Petunias have blossoms that will cascade if grown in hanging pots, planters, or window boxes. Others boast large flowers that can reach up to 4 inches wide. 

A drought-tolerant choice, Pansies like well-drained soil and more sun than shade. Very attractive for pollinators, butterflies, and bees but deer resistant.

They will bloom in Spring to the first frost. Deadheading flowers will ensure more blooms will come. 

Salvia, Blue Sage

Salvia farinacea
Almost all Salvia varieties are resistant to drought, prolonged frost and heat.
Scientific Name: Salvia farinacea
  • Plant Type: Annual or Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: S. Central United States to N.E. Mexico
  • Plant Size: 1 ft 6 inches to 3 ft
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 8 to 10

Salvia will bring flowers to your garden all season and is an excellent addition if you’re looking for a plant that will bring some height to an area. Be sure to check the variety when purchasing.

Depending on what you’re looking for, some Salvia can be annual or perennial. Blue Sage Salvia is hardy in plant zones 8 to 10. However, many varieties are happy from Spring to Summer in cold winter climates.

The long stems of blooms are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. There have multiple blossoms that climb up the periphery of each stem. They do rather well in dryer climates with dryer soil and are resistant to deer. These flowers are also great when cut for arrangements as they last a while.

Statice, Sea Lavender, Wayleaf Sea Lavender

Limonium sinuatum
Statice is photophilous and requires a place in open sunlight.
Scientific Name: Limonium sinuatum
  • Plant Type: Annual or Biennial
  • Geographic Origin: Mediterranian, Northern Africa, Western Asia, Europ
  • Plant Size: 1 ft to 3 ft
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 8 to 10

Statice or Sea Lavender gets its name because the leafy parts of the plant are characteristic of seaweed. Sea Lavender looks excellent in dried arrangements because the blooms maintain their color. They come in myriad shades such as purple, pink, red, burgundy, gold, yellow, white, and lavender.

The wee, cup-shaped blooms with white centers grow in clusters at the top of the stems. The petals of Statice have the feel of tissue paper.

Statice is drought and salt tolerant and prefers well-drained soil. This plant is attractive to pollinators.

Wishbone

Torenia fournieri
Wishbone begins to bloom in spring. Abundant flowering continues, almost till the end of autumn.
Scientific Name: Torenia fournieri
  • Plant Type: Annual
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 6 inches to 1 foot 6 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Dappled Sunlight,  Partial Shade to Deep Shade
  • Plant Zone: 2 to 11

These two-toned violet, blue and white flowers are perfect for containers, hanging baskets, houseplants, or borders. They also come in shades of pink. Ideal for shady areas of your garden but can withstand hot temperatures if out of the sun.

Flowers are trumpet shape and have the markings of a wishbone. The blooms are small amongst the leaves but will grow longer and hang over baskets. These hardy flowers will bloom from late spring until the first frost.

Final Thoughts

So, now that you have some options for purple annual flowers in your flower garden, it’s time to get planting! Most of these purple annuals are fairly low maintenance, so just make sure you provide them proper care, and you are sure to see them flourish. Many of these flowers come in other colors too, so you aren’t stuck with just purple if you fall in love with the shape of a particular bloom. Pick your flowers, and happy planting!

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