Fall for Purple

While sugar maple shades get all the press–orange, red, russet, and gold–one of the most exciting garden colors for fall is purple. Not those pale Easter shades, but the rich and robust ones, from plum to burgundy.

Case in point is this seductive scene where the dark, saturated tones of a purple leaf grape (Vitis viniferea ‘Purpurea’) and a plummy coral bell (Black Beauty Coral Bell) create a quiet moodiness in contrast to the boisterous harvest hues.

As you survey the garden this autumn, imagine how you could up the drama with just a few purple plants. To get you started here are a few we love.

Black Beauty Coral Bells

Glossy, ruffled dark purple foliage grows into a tight mound, providing excellent contrast for its sprays of tiny white flowers. Partial to full sun. Up to 12 in. tall and 16 in. wide. Zone: 4 – 9


Little John Azalea
Zone: 8 – 9

Burgundy-red flowers and mahogany foliage provides year-round color. Partial to full sun. Up to 6 ft. tall and wide.


Sizzling Pink Fringe Flower
Zone: 7 – 9

Deep-burgundy foliage maintains a purple tinge as it as it ages. Partial to full sun. Up to 6 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide.


Burgundy Spire™ Dracaena Palm
Zone: 9 – 11

Deep burgundy to rich chocolate foliage forms a bold spire. Partial to full sun. Up to 8 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide.


Bloomerang® Dark Purple Lilac
Zone: 3 – 7

Classic lilac fragrance with very dark flowers that rebloom into fall. Yes, lilacs in fall. Full sun. Up to 6 ft. tall and wide.


Purple Dome New England Aster
Zone: 4 – 8

Royal-purple flowers bloom well into frost-free autumn weather. Partial to full sun. Up to 2 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide.


Marcus® Meadow Sage
Zone: 4 – 9

Spikes of intense violet flowers top fragrant foliage well into fall. Full sun. Up to 12 in. tall and 18 in. wide.


Rubikon Hens & Chicks
Zone: 4 – 8

Hardy succulents that keep their reddish-purple hues year round. Partial to full sun. 6 in. high, spreading to 12 in. wide.


Festival™ Burgundy Cordyline
Zone: 8 – 11

Bright burgundy-red foliage creates a dramatic grass-like effect with long arching leaves. Full sun. Up to 3 ft. tall and wide.


Voodoo Stonecrop
Zone: 3 – 9

Mahogany-red leaves and rosy-red flowers provide bold, contrasting color. Partial to full sun. Up to 6 in. high and 24 in. wide.

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