While there are many beautiful plants with purple flowers, there are equal amounts of plants that have purple leaves! Whether you like to grow plants indoors or outdoors, in warm climates or cold, you can cultivate purple-leafed plants.
Gardeners looking for outdoor plants with purple foliage can choose from perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses, and even trees.
African milk tree is a large upright succulent that can grow to 6 feet tall in ideal conditions. Give it plenty of bright direct sunlight and loose, well-draining cactus soil. Do not overwater cacti and succulents, as they can easily develop root rot and die.
The African milk tree ‘Rubra’ is a colorful cultivar. This plant grows a thick triangular stem with both sharp spines and sharply pointed leaves along the 3 outer edges of each stem.
The fleshy stems are mottled green-pink, and the leaves and spines are brightly colored shades of pink, green, and maroon. This is a dramatic-looking plant that would make a great addition to a larger, brightly lit location!
- Astilbe ‘Delft Lace’
- ‘Black Magic’ Elephant Ear
- Black Rose Aeonium
- ‘Black Scallop’ Bugleweed
- ‘Blue Hawaii’ Elephant Ear
- Boat Lily
- Bok Choy
- Burgundy Lace Fern
- Burgundy Spice Sweetshrub
- Calathea Purple Rose
- Canna ‘Australia’
- Chinese Fringe Flower
- Chocolate Joe Pye Weed
- Coral Bells ‘Forever Purple’
- Coral Bells ‘Midnight Rose’
- Crabapple ‘Cardinal’
- Dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’
- Eastern Ninebark ‘Diablo’
- Echeveria ‘Afterglow’
- Flowering Dogwood ‘Purple Glory’
- Hens and Chicks ‘Purple Haze’
- Japanese Maple
- Ornamental Cabbage
- Ornamental Millet ‘Purple Majesty’
- Ornamental Pepper ‘Purple Flash’
- Persian Shield
- Polka Dot Plant
- Purple Basil
- Purple Ground Clematis
- Purple Heart Plant
- Purple Kale
- Purple Leaf Plum
- Purple-leaf Sand Cherry
- Purple Leaf Weigela
- Purple Lettuce
- Purple Sea Holly
- Purple Shamrock
- Purple Velvet Plant
- Purple Waffle Plant
- Red Leaf Cordyline
- Rex Begonia
- Royal Purple Smokebush
- Stonecrop ‘Purple Emporer’
- Wandering Jew
Astilbe ‘Delft Lace’
botanical name Astilbe ‘Delft Lace’ plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Part shade to full shade water needs Medium height 2 to 3 feet hardiness zones 4 to 9 where to plant Outdoors
Astilbe is a varied genus with many beautiful species. These plants typically have somewhat fern-like green leaves, but ‘Delft Lace’ has reddish-purple leaves and bright pink flowers.
Plants will grow best in a shaded location and make an ideal addition to a shade garden. In bright sun and extreme heat, leaves tend to die back by late summer and will remain dormant until the following spring.
Astilbe plants are valuable perennials because they are hardy and beautiful, and the flowers attract many pollinators. These plants are also resistant to browsing deer and rabbits. They will grow best in moist, rich, well-drained soils.
Water them regularly throughout the hottest summer months to help keep them healthy and growing until the end of the season. If the plants become too hot or dry, they may die back prematurely but should return the following spring.
‘Black Magic’ Elephant Ear
botanical name Colocasia esculenta ‘Black Magic’ plant type Bulb sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 3 to 4 feet hardiness zones 7 to 10 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Elephant ear plants are winter hardy in zones 7 to 10, but if you live in a cooler climate, you can dig and store bulbs indoors to overwinter them. It’s worth the effort because these are fun plants to grow in a partially shaded location.
‘Black Magic’ elephant ear develops huge heart-shaped leaves that range from green with purple veins to entirely dark burgundy with a hint of green.
They grow especially well in rich, moist, well-drained, soils. Elephant ear has insignificant flowers, so you’ll be growing these plants primarily for their unusual vegetation.
Black Rose Aeonium
botanical name Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ plant type Succulent sun requirements Full sun water needs Dry to Medium height 0.5 to 3 feet hardiness zones 10-11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Black rose Aeonium is an interesting type of succulent plant with purplish-green leaves. If kept as a houseplant in typical indoor conditions, this plant has a tendency to stay fairly small, but if growing in a large pot in ideal bright, warm greenhouse conditions, it can grow stems several feet tall with dark reddish-purple foliage.
A young plant will look like a fleshy, leafy rosette growing close to the ground. As it grows, it will develop a stalk. Lower leaves will die off, while new leaves will continue to emerge from the top. More mature plants will typically grow a few side-branching stalks, each with its own leafy rosette at the top.
‘Black Scallop’ Bugleweed
botanical name Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.25 to 0.5 feet hardiness zones 4 to 9 where to plant Outdoors, Ground Cover
Bugleweed is an excellent choice for a flowering ground cover plant. It will grow vigorously to fill in bare patches of earth, such as along pathways, borders, and edges.
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans) is listed as an invasive species in a few states, so please confirm that it is not on your state’s invasive species list before planting it.
Many varieties of bugleweed have leaves slightly tinged with purple. The ‘Black Scallop’ variety has leaves ranging from green to purple-veined, to deep dark purplish-black, depending on the amount of sunlight the plant receives.
This plant grows well in many sun and soil conditions and is low-maintenance, other than periodic thinning.
‘Blue Hawaii’ Elephant Ear
botanical name Colocasia esculenta ‘Blue Hawaii’ plant type Bulb sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 2 to 3 feet hardiness zones 7 to 10 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
The distinctive leaves of the ‘Blue Hawaii’ elephant ear plant are hard to miss. They are bright green with large and prominent purple veins. Not only are they strikingly colorful, they are also huge! Each massive heart-shaped leaf can be up to a foot long, growing singly atop thick, sturdy stems.
‘Blue Hawaii’ elephant ear grows from a large bulb. They grow best in rich, moist, well-drained soil. If you live in zones 7 to 10, your plants can overwinter outdoors.
If you live in a colder climate zone, you can easily dig the bulbs each fall and store them in a cool dark location for the winter months, then plant them outside again each spring.
botanical name Tradescantia spathacea plant type Herbaceous perennial, Houseplant sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.5 to 1 foot hardiness zones 9 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Boat lily, also sometimes called Moses-in-a-basket, is winter hardy in tropical climates but is commonly grown as a houseplant.
Even if grown as a houseplant, it can be placed outside in a container during summer months and then taken in for the winter. You can also take cuttings to propagate for overwintering.
When grown in bright light, the boat lily stays fairly compact. Oblong, tapered leaves grow along stems that can creep along the ground to act as a ground cover or drape over the edges of a pot. Leaf surfaces are typically bright green, and the undersides and stem boast a rich purple hue.
botanical name Brassica rapa plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.5 to 2 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors
Bok choy, or pak choy, is a familiar garden vegetable grown for its crunchy leaves. There are varieties that stay entirely green and others with attractive purple leaves with green stems.
Bok choy grows quickly, so it makes an ideal edible space-filler for a springtime vegetable garden. If left to flower, it develops a stalk of small yellow blooms.
Bok choy is a cool-season vegetable. It is easily grown from seed in early spring or fall. It does well in full sun, as long as the air temperature isn’t too hot, or it will bolt quickly.
Growing in partial shade can slightly prolong its growing season. Bok choy can be eaten either cooked or raw at any stage of its growing cycle.
Burgundy Lace Fern
botanical name Athyrium niponicum ‘Burgundy Lace’ plant type Fern sun requirements Part shade to full shade water needs Medium height 1 to 1.5 feet hardiness zones 5 to 8 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Ferns are an excellent choice for a shade garden. While most ferns display attractive green foliage, the burgundy lace fern sports silvery-green foliage with purple stems, veins, and highlights. The colorful fronds of the burgundy lace fern would complement any other plants growing nearby.
This fern would do well planted in a shady location, under cover of nearby trees or shrubs. Plant it alongside a stream or near a shaded outdoor sitting area so you can enjoy this graceful plant. Soil should be moist and well-drained.
Ferns are typically low-maintenance additions to the garden and are not bothered by rabbits, deer, or insect pests.
Burgundy Spice Sweetshrub
botanical name Calycanthus floridus ‘Burgundy Spice’ plant type Deciduous shrub sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 6 to 10 feet hardiness zones 6 to 9 where to plant Outdoors
Burgundy spice sweetshrub is a cultivar of allspice, a shrub native to the southeastern United States. Burgundy spice sweetshrub leaves range from mostly green with slight purple coloration to deeply burgundy with green veins.
The color variations between leaves add to the charm of this shrub. In fall, the foliage turns beautiful shades of yellow and orange before dropping for the winter.
Flowers bloom in the spring and can last into mid-summer. The flowers are showy, fragrant, and deep reddish-burgundy in color. This plant does very well in a partially shaded location with rich, moist soil, although it is tolerant to a variety of soil conditions.
Calathea Purple Rose
botanical name Goeppertia roseopica ‘Purple Rose’ plant type Houseplant sun requirements Part shade to full shade water needs Medium height 1 to 1.5 feet hardiness zones 11 to 12 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
This beautiful calathea plant has broad flat leaves with highly variegated patterns of dark green, light green, white, and hints of pink.
The underside of the leaves, however, is bright pinkish-purple and provides a beautiful and stunning contrast to the greens. Leaves tend to fold together each evening in the dark, separating the following morning again.
These plants do well in a shaded location with rich, moist, well-drained soil. The most difficult thing about growing calathea as a houseplant is that they require high humidity.
In warmer climates, high humidity is easy to provide during the summer, but in winter, plants may have a tendency to brown and dry. Try misting them regularly, particularly in winter, to keep humidity levels high.
botanical name Canna x generalis ‘Australia’ plant type Bulb sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 4 to 5 feet hardiness zones 7 to 10 where to plant Outdoors
Cannas are familiar garden plants in the southeast, and while many have green leaves with red, yellow, or orange flowers, the canna ‘Australia’ has broad burgundy leaves with red flowers. Plants can be easily grown in containers and thus brought indoors to overwinter in a cool, dark location in cooler climates.
Cannas are easily grown in a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil. Plants can grow quite tall with large, dramatically showy flower stalks.
Even when not flowering, the richly colored leaves of ‘Australia” are beautiful on their own. This plant would make an excellent accent plant and looks especially nice grown in a cluster.
Chinese Fringe Flower
botanical name Loropetalum chinese plant type Broadleaf evergreen sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 3 to 6 feet hardiness zones 7 to 10 where to plant Outdoors
The Chinese fringe flower is a shrub that provides year-round interest in the home landscape. Leaves vary in color from burgundy-green to burgundy-red and remain on the plant throughout the year. In spring, a multitude of showy bright pink or red drooping, fringe-like flowers cover the bush with splashes of color.
Plants grown in sunnier locations will tend to have more colorful leaves and more abundant blooms than those grown in shadier locations.
This would make an excellent plant for a shrub border or hedge or as a larger, stand-alone accent plant. While pruning isn’t necessary, you can prune to maintain shape and size.
Chocolate Joe Pye Weed
botanical name Eupatorium rugosum plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium to Moist height 3 to 4 feet hardiness zones 4 to 8 where to plant Outdoors
Chocolate Joe Pye weed is a cultivar that has green leaves with a hint of purple around the edges. When grown in full sun, the leaves may become more uniformly purple with deep reddish-purple veins. This perennial wildflower grows tall and bushy each season and prefers a location with moist, well-drained soil.
Chocolate Joe Pye weed can be enjoyed for its attractive foliage and also its clusters of small white flowers that bloom from late summer into fall.
The flowers are lightly fragrant and attract butterflies and a multitude of other pollinators. If allowed to naturalize and spread, chocolate Joe Pye weed will form dense clusters.
botanical name Coleus plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 1 to 2.5 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Coleus is a commonly-grown annual garden plant. It is readily available as small bedding plants or can be grown from cuttings or from seeds planted in the spring.
Coleus is best known and appreciated for its highly varied foliage in a rainbow assortment of hues. There are many colorful varieties of coleus, including shades of pink, purple, burgundy, and maroon.
Coleus will grow well in full sun but is also very tolerant of partial shade. Prune the plants to keep them bushy if they start to grow too leggy. You can also prune off the small flower spikes if desired to keep plants more well-rounded in appearance.
If you have any favorite plants that you want to maintain during the winter, take cuttings and grow the cuttings indoors to plant again outside in the spring.
Coral Bells ‘Forever Purple’
botanical name Heuchera ‘Forever Purple’ plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.5 to 0.75 feet hardiness zones 4 to 9 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
There are many cultivars of coral bells, including ‘Forever Purple’ which boasts beautiful purple foliage. Coral bells are best known for their attractive foliage, but they also grow interesting little flower spikes in late spring.
The purple-maroon leaves of ‘Forever Purple’ will contrast nicely with just about any other vegetation in the vicinity.
Coral bells are a good addition to a shade garden or grown in a partially shaded location. Grow it in the perennial garden, along a border, or even in a container. Soil should be rich, moist, and well-drained.
Coral Bells ‘Midnight Rose’
botanical name Heuchera ‘Midnight Rose’ plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.5 to 0.75 feet hardiness zones 4 to 9 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Coral bells are a popular perennial garden plant. There are many heuchera cultivars available with beautifully colored foliage, including ‘Midnight Rose.’ This cultivar has strikingly colored foliage that varies from plant to plant.
Leaves may be dusky green with flecks of silvery-gray and hints of pink on top and a rich solid burgundy-red underneath. Other plants are more predominantly burgundy, with just hints of green and gray flecks. Either way, the leaves are beautiful!
Coral bells are a clump-forming plant that looks great planted with other coral bells varieties or other mixed perennials. Because it is low-growing, it makes a good ground cover or edging plant. Clusters will spread over time by either self-seeding or spreading by runners, but excess growth can be easily controlled.
botanical name Malus ‘Cardinal’ plant type Tree sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 10 to 15 feet hardiness zones 5 to 8 where to plant Outdoors
There are many commercially available varieties of crabapple. Several cultivars have purple to bronze-colored leaves, including ‘Cardinal.’ This cultivar has showy purple-green leaves, which look nice throughout the growing season.
But the real show-stopper is the super-abundance of beautiful pink flowers that cover the tree each spring. The colorful fall foliage is also worthy of appreciation.
Plant your crabapple ‘Cardinal’ in a sunny location. Soil should be rich, moist, and well-drained. Prune your crabapple tree in late winter to maintain a more compact form and remove any dead branches. Flowers and fruits will attract birds and butterflies.
Dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’
botanical name Dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’ plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 2 to 3 feet hardiness zones 7 to 10 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Dahlia is an old-time classic garden flower with many more recent cultivars being developed. ‘Bishop of Oxford’ is an interesting cultivar in that it has striking purple-green leaves that contrast nicely with jumbo-sized coral-pink flowers.
If you are a fan of long-lasting cut flowers, dahlias are the perfect choice for your floral arrangements!
Dahlias grow best in full sun but will tolerate light shade, especially in hot summer climates. Dahlias need rich, well-drained soil that stays consistently moist. They do not tolerate dry soil or drought. A healthy plant can bloom almost continually through the summer until the first frost.
Eastern Ninebark ‘Diablo’
botanical name Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diablo’ plant type Deciduous shrub sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Dry to medium height 4 to 8 feet hardiness zones 3 to 7 where to plant Outdoors
Eastern ninebark is a medium-sized shrub native to eastern and central North America. The ‘Diablo’ cultivar has purplish-green leaves that become deeper purple when grown in shadier locations.
Large semi-spherical clusters of white flowers bloom in the spring. At a distance, the flower clusters resemble snowballs balancing amongst the leaves.
Eastern ninebark is a low-maintenance shrub that would be a good choice for a hedge planting or grown as erosion control near a stream.
Ninebark is easily grown in a variety of soil and light conditions. Plants tend to be rather sprawling, with long leafy branches reaching out in all directions, but can be pruned to maintain a more compact shape if desired.
botanical name Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ plant type Succulent sun requirements Full sun water needs Low height 1 to 2 feet hardiness zones 9 to 12 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ is a succulent that can be grown as a houseplant or planted in a rock garden in warmer climates. As a houseplant, grow echeveria in the sunniest location you can or place them under grow lights.
You can move them outdoors to grow in a container during the summer months, then bring them back inside before the first frost.
Echeveria grows as a compact, leafy rosette. The ‘Afterglow’ cultivar has beautifully colored leaves that fade from bright pink to a blue-green color with various shades of purple.
Make sure to grow any echeveria in well-drained soil so they are never sitting in wet conditions. Plants will eventually spread over time and make an excellent ground cover.
Flowering Dogwood ‘Purple Glory’
botanical name Cornus florida ‘Purple Glory’ plant type Tree sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 15 to 20 feet hardiness zones 5 to 9 where to plant Outdoors
The ‘Purple Glory’ dogwood has leaves ranging from light greenish-purple to deep maroon, turning to dark purple in the fall. Spring flowers are showy with a dark and antique rose color. By early fall, trees produce red berries that attract various birds.
Flowering dogwood grows best in a location with partial shade and medium-moisture soil. Add a protective layer of mulch to help keep roots moist during the summer months.
Dogwoods are susceptible to a variety of fungal diseases and insect pests, but they may still be a worthwhile addition to the home landscape because they are beautiful and useful trees.
Hens and Chicks ‘Purple Haze’
botanical name Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Purple Haze’ plant type Succulent sun requirements Full sun water needs Low height 0.25 to 0.5 feet hardiness zones 4 to 8 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Hens and chicks are an unusual succulent that grows well in temperate climates. This plant makes an excellent addition to a rock garden, desert garden, xeriscape, along borders and edges, or in containers. Grow hens and chicks in full sun with loose, well-drained soil.
Hens and chicks form a dense ground cover of tight, leafy rosettes. Rosettes spread by sending out new tiny rosettes from more mature plants to colonize an area.
New plants are easily separated and propagated if desired or leave them all to grow where they are. Some varieties are green, some are green with purple leaf tips, and other varieties are entirely purple.
botanical name Acer palmatum plant type Tree sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 10 to 25 feet hardiness zones 5 to 8 where to plant Outdoors
There are numerous varieties of Japanese maple available, varying in size, growth habitat, leaf shape, and color. There are several varieties with reddish-purple leaves during the growing season.
During late fall, Japanese maples develop bright, variable, and very showy fall foliage colors, including shades of red, orange, purple, and bronze.
Japanese maples are attractive small trees for the home landscape. They grow well in full sun but also appreciate partial shade, especially in warmer regions within their range.
They do best when grown in rich, well-drained soil. These trees are commonly grown as ornamentals and don’t generally need to be pruned except to remove dead branches.
botanical name Brassica oleracea plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 0.5 to 1.5 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Most ornamental cabbages are grown for their colorful foliage, including shades of pink, purple, and white. Plants can often be found in nurseries and garden centers and can also be started from seed.
They grow best in full sun but will tolerate some afternoon shade during the hottest summer months. In warmer climates, they are best grown as decorative plants during the spring and fall. Ornamental cabbages planted in the fall will survive several frosts, and stay looking fresh into early winter.
Ornamental cabbages are versatile additions to the garden. They can be planted with annuals or perennials, grown in an herb garden, or used as a border, and they are also very suitable for growing in containers. Use rich, moist, well-drained soil.
Ornamental Millet ‘Purple Majesty’
botanical name Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’ plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 3 to 5 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors
Ornamental millet ‘Purple Majesty’ is a variety of grass. It has tall sturdy stems and long, narrow, downward-curving, purple-green leaves.
From mid-summer through early fall, it develops a very showy inflorescence that resembles a thick purple to white bottle brush. ‘Purple Majesty’ looks best grown in groups where the tall plants can help support each other and where they will really stand out from the crowd.
Ornamental millet is easily grown from seed. Plants are quick-growing and somewhat resemble stalks of purple-leaved corn. Grow it in full sun with moist, well-drained soil. In mid to late fall, birds will be interested in the ripe seeds.
Ornamental Pepper ‘Purple Flash’
botanical name Capsicum annuum ‘Purple Flash’ plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 1 to 1.5 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Pepper plants are easily grown in warm summer garden settings, and the ornamental pepper is no exception. These plants grow easily from seed and are also sometimes sold as bedding plants in garden centers. In tropical climates, peppers are actually herbaceous perennials, but throughout most of the United States, they are grown as annuals.
‘Purple Flash’ is a smaller, compact variety of ornamental pepper. The leaves are a bright purple-green color with some white highlights. The plants also produce purple flowers.
The pepper fruits are small and round, almost purpleish-black in color, and extremely hot. These decorative pepper plants are a beautiful addition to a seasonal flower garden, or herb garden and are an excellent choice for containers.
botanical name Strobilanthes dyerianus plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 1 to 3 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Persian shield is best grown as an annual in the summer garden. It can sometimes be found sold as a bedding plant but also grows from seed or from cuttings.
Plants grown outdoors as annuals can be overwintered indoors in pots. You can also take cuttings from outdoor plants in the fall to root during the winter, then plant the rooted cuttings outdoors the following spring.
Persian shield grows best in rich, moist, well-drained soil. It can be grown in full sun in cooler climates, but in warmer climates, it appreciates some afternoon shade.
This is an excellent bedding plant, grown along borders or grown in outdoor containers. If you have a good sunny window, you can even grow it indoors as a houseplant!
Polka Dot Plant
botanical name Hypoestes phyllostachya plant type Annual sun requirements Part shade water needs Medium height 1 to 2 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Although the polka dot plant is actually an herbaceous perennial, it is most commonly grown in the United States as an annual. If you live in a tropical climate, however, you can grow this plant outdoors year-round.
Polka dot plant performs best in a shaded location with rich, moist soil. You can grow it as a bedding plant or use it for container gardening. Plants can be overwintered or grown indoors in pots or take cuttings to root indoors and replant the following spring.
Once you see a polka dot plant, you won’t soon forget it. These leafy tropical plants have bright green leaves with bright pink splotches scattered across the entire leaf surface.
The colorful leaves really stand out in any garden setting. If plants start growing leggy, occasionally pinch back stems to help keep them compact and bushy.
botanical name Ocimum basilicum plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 1.5 to 2 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Basil is one of the most popular summer herbs. It can be easily grown from seed or purchased as a small bedding plant. Basil grows well in warm summer climates and does not like the cold.
Plant it in a location with full sun, with rich, moist, well-drained soil. Basil grows well in containers and can be incorporated into an herb garden, vegetable garden, pollinator garden, or annual flower garden.
Basil plants typically have bright green leaves, but there are purple varieties as well. Leaves can vary from a pale purple-green color to deep velvety maroon, depending on the variety and the amount of sunlight the plant receives.
Purple Ground Clematis
botanical name Clematis recta ‘Purpurea’ plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full Sun water needs Medium height 2 to 4 feet hardiness zones 3 to 9 where to plant Outdoors
While clematis may be best known as a vining plant with large, showy flowers, the purple ground clematis is a bit different. This clematis is an herbaceous perennial with 2 to 4-foot stems that can be staked upright or left to sprawl as a ground cover.
Leaves are green with a pale purple hue that varies depending on season and sunlight. Fragrant white flowers bloom from late spring until mid-summer.
This plant is best grown in full sun but will tolerate a little afternoon shade. Clematis like rich, well-drained soil that stays uniformly moist and cool during the growing season.
Train this clematis to grow along a fence, plant it as a ground cover, or include it in a pollinator garden where the flowers will attract bees and butterflies.
Purple Heart Plant
botanical name Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.5 to 0.75 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Purple heart plant has very purple oblong pointed leaves that grow along trailing stems. This plant makes a good ground cover, or you can grow it in a container or along a wall where it can drape over the edge. Pink, 3-petaled flowers appear sporadically along the stems.
This plant is an herbaceous perennial in tropical climates. In other locations, it can be easily grown as an annual or as a houseplant.
Plants grow readily from stem cuttings, so you can easily overwinter several cuttings indoors and plant them out again the following spring.
botanical name Brassica oleracea ‘Redbor’ plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 1 to 1.5 feet hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Purple kale is both beautiful and delicious. This showy leafy vegetable can be grown in the vegetable garden or in a large container, or you can incorporate it into your flower garden for some interesting variety! Kale is easy to grow in the cooler months.
Plants will bolt and send up flower stalks when the weather becomes hot, so plan to grow kale primarily in the spring and fall.
Purple kale is a very attractive plant in the home garden. It can be easily grown from seed or purchased at many nurseries and garden centers. Leaves tend to be purplish-green and highly ruffled around the edges. They have bright lavender-purple stems and veins, which make them quite colorful.
Purple Leaf Plum
botanical name Prunus cerasifera plant type Tree sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 15 to 30 feet hardiness zones 5 to 8 where to plant Outdoors
The purple leaf plum, also sometimes called cherry plum, is an ornamental fruit tree with pretty 5-petaled pink flowers that bloom each spring.
The flowers attract bees and other pollinators. Ornamental plum trees produce abundant flowers but don’t always set fruits. If the tree does grow fruits, they are small and purple, edible, and also attract birds.
The leaves are purplish-green throughout the entire growing season. Plum trees grow best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Soil should be rich, moist, and well-drained. Prune your plum tree to maintain uniform growth.
Purple-leaf Sand Cherry
botanical name Prunus x cistena plant type Deciduous shrub sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 6 to 10 feet hardiness zones 2 to 8 where to plant Outdoors
Sand cherry is a small shrub native to North America. Cultivars and hybrids have been created with variations in leaves, flowers, and fruits. The purple-leaf sand cherry is a hybridized species with leaves ranging from green to reddish-purple. The leaves stay colorful from spring until fall.
In spring, the purple-leaf sand cherry produces clusters of small 5-petaled white flowers with deep red centers. Flowers are lightly fragrant and attract pollinators.
This sand cherry can also produce some sparse fruits that are enjoyed by birds. Sand cherry would be a colorful addition to a hedge or as a medium-sized accent plant for a sunny location.
Purple Leaf Weigela
botanical name Weigela florida ‘Wine & Roses’ plant type Deciduous shrub sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 4 to 5 feet hardiness zones 4 to 8 where to plant Outdoors
Weigela is a low-maintenance shrub that would be a good addition to a sunny border or hedge row. The purple leaf weigela ‘Wine & Roses’ has purplish-green leaves that would complement any nearby plants nicely.
‘Wine & Roses’ blooms in the springtime with loose clusters of showy bright-pink flowers that attract hummingbirds.
Grow weigela in full sun or dappled shade. Soil should be medium moisture and well-drained. If plants start to look scraggly, prune them into the desired shape immediately after flowering. Flowers develop on old wood rather than fresh growth, so well-timed pruning can help increase next year’s flowering potential.
botanical name Lactuca sativa plant type Annual sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.5 to 1 foot hardiness zones 2 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Lettuce is quick and easy to grow. If you are looking for a little variety to add to ordinary green lettuce, try planting some purple lettuce in the spring or fall.
Purple-leaved lettuce comes in different varieties, but most will have a mix of green and purple leaves. For example, some varieties have purple spots on green leaves, while others have almost entirely bright maroon leaves.
You can buy lettuce as bedding plants, but you will have a much greater selection if you try growing it from seed. Lettuce grows best in cooler seasons and will bolt when the temperature gets too warm. You can grow lettuce just about anywhere in the garden or in a large outdoor container for a quick burst of color.
Purple Sea Holly
botanical name Eryngium planum plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full sun water needs Dry height 2 to 3 feet hardiness zones 5 to 9 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Purple sea holly is a striking plant to see in full bloom. The basal leaves are broad and mostly green, but as the plant develops flower stalks in the summer, the stems are bright lavender purple.
The flower bracts and flowers are spiny and also bright purple with hints of green. These eye-catching flowers will attract a lot of attention and are also favored by bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
Purple sea holly is a perennial that develops a long tap root. Once it becomes established, it is quite drought tolerant. This plant can become rather bushy and will slowly spread over time, so give it a sunny spot with plenty of room to expand. When grown in clusters, it is quite impressive!
botanical name Oxalis triangularis plant type Bulb sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.25 to 0.5 feet hardiness zones 8 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Containers
Purple shamrock is perhaps best known as a perennial bedding plant in warmer climates. It can also be easily grown as a houseplant.
Be aware that this plant may be toxic to humans and pets if consumed in large quantities. Grow purple shamrock in moist, well-drained soil with plenty of bright sunlight, but it does not require full sun to thrive.
Purple shamrock is a low-growing clover-like plant. Its 3-part leaves are shimmery purple and it produces delicate pink flowers in the spring. This would be a good plant to grow outdoors in a container, wintering indoors in a cool, dark location until the following spring. If grown outdoors, it makes an excellent ground cover.
Purple Velvet Plant
botanical name Gynura aurantiaca plant type Houseplant sun requirements Part shade water needs Medium height 1 to 2 feet hardiness zones 10 to 12 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
The purple velvet plant is an evergreen, broadleaf perennial that is commonly grown as a houseplant. As a houseplant, it is easy to grow in filtered sunlight and moist soil.
Take cuttings to propagate, which can then be planted outdoors for summer container gardens, then preserved through the winter by taking fresh cuttings.
Purple velvet plant is well named. Leaves are bright green but covered with a soft velvety purple fuzz. The stems are also covered with purple fuzz, giving the entire plant a very soft look.
Prune velvet plant as desired to keep it compact. Plants tend to sprawl and would look nice in a hanging basket or another container where they can drape over the edge.
Purple Waffle Plant
botanical name Hemigraphis alternata plant type Herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.5 to 0.75 feet hardiness zones 10 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Purple waffle plant is an herbaceous perennial that is most commonly grown as an annual. Leaves are silvery green on top with burgundy undersides and reddish-brown stems. The unique coloration of this plant nicely compliments any nearby vegetation.
Purple waffle plant is best grown as a ground cover in a partially shaded location and would also do well as a container-grown annual.
Plants can be overwintered by taking cuttings before the first frost and rooting them inside. These can be grown indoors for the winter months and replanted outdoors in the spring.
Red Leaf Cordyline
botanical name Cordyline fruticosa ‘Rubra’ plant type Houseplant sun requirements Part shade water needs Medium height 10 to 15 feet hardiness zones 10 to 12 where to plant Outdoors
The red leaf cordyline is an eye-catching plant. In its native tropical habitat, it can grow to the size of a small tree, but as a houseplant, it will not grow as large.
Red leaf cordyline is a cultivar with bright lavender-pink and green broadly lance-like leaves. If you have a larger sunny indoor space, this plant would be a stunning accent.
Red leaf cordyline needs bright but indirect sunlight to look its best. It also needs a warm location with consistent humidity, or the leaves will have a tendency to become dry and brown. Soil should be kept uniformly moist, except in winter, when the plant appreciates a brief rest with a little less water.
botanical name Begonia spp. plant type Houseplant sun requirements Part shade to full shade water needs Medium height 1 to 1.5 feet hardiness zones 10 to 11 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
In its native rainforest habitat, the Rex begonia is an herbaceous perennial, but in more temperate regions, it is more commonly grown as a houseplant.
Most rex begonia varieties grow well in filtered sunlight and can be planted outdoors in a shaded location for the summer months. Bring it in for the winter or take cuttings to overwinter.
Rex begonia is noted for its beautiful foliage. Leaves are shades of green, bronze, silver, red, and purple. Leaf colors can be highly varied, even within a single plant. There are also many begonia hybrids and cultivars available, many with brightly-colored, showy leaves.
Royal Purple Smokebush
botanical name Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ plant type Deciduous shrub sun requirements Full sun water needs Medium height 10 to 15 feet hardiness zones 4 to 8 where to plant Outdoors
This colorful shrub is a great addition to the landscape to add color and variety. Smokebush is named for its smoky or hazy-looking seed clusters that develop after flowering.
The royal purple smokebush has purple-green leaves that turn bright shades of red and orange in the fall, giving this plant a great deal of interest throughout the growing season.
Smokebush is best grown in a sunny location with moist, well-drained soil. Give your smokebush plenty of room to grow because it can become rather large. Include this attractive shrub as part of a hedge row or as a stand-alone accent plant.
Stonecrop ‘Purple Emporer’
botanical name Hylotelephium telephium ‘Purple Emporer’ plant type Succulent herbaceous perennial sun requirements Full sun water needs Low height 1 to 2 feet hardiness zones 3 to 9 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Stonecrop is an easy-to-grow succulent, well-suited to just about any sunny location with well-drained soil. This plant would be a good addition to a perennial border or rock garden or grown in a mixed container garden. Plants are easily divided by rooting stem cuttings.
‘Purple Emporer’ is a stonecrop cultivar with purple leaves. When grown in full sun, leaves turn a rich dark burgundy but become paler purple and green when grown in partial shade. Clusters of showy maroon-pink flowers bloom in mid-summer and attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
botanical name Tradescantia zebrina plant type Houseplant sun requirements Full sun to part shade water needs Medium height 0.5 to 0.75 feet hardiness zones 9 to 12 where to plant Outdoors, Indoors, Containers
Wandering Jew, also sometimes called small-leaf spiderwort, is a popular plant. Although it is an herbaceous perennial in tropical locations, it is better known in temperate zones as a houseplant. It can be grown outdoors in the summer months. As a houseplant, choose a sunny window and use moist, well-drained soil.
Wandering Jew has strikingly attractive leaves. Leaves grow along long creeping stems that will fill in a pot or planter to make an excellent ground cover.
Leaves are striped with shades of green, silver, and maroon on the upper surface, and rich maroon underneath. Other varieties have solid-color purple leaves. These plants are easily propagated by stem cuttings.