Purple leaf plum leaf

Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’

Add some plants with purple leaves to your garden to provide colour through the seasons. These are 10 beautiful plants with purple leaves to grow.

Plants with purple leaves are a boon in summer when their dramatically dark foliage works hard to provide a striking contrast with bright flowers.

Many purple leafed plants also have beautifully toned young spring growth. In autumn, several of them will provide an even more spectacular show before shedding their leaves for winter.

The deeply pigmented foliage of plants with purple leaves, which is caused by a higher concentration of anthocyanin than chlorophyll, produces some of the most vivid autumn shows around. This is because the chlorophyll breaks down to reveal additional colours, while the red-hued anthocyanin becomes even brighter.

For fiery, flaming effects to see the season out with a flourish, look no further.

Top 10 Plants with purple Leaves:

Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’

10. Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’

It’s hard to think of a more versatile plant with purple leaves than Cercis canadensis. Grow it as a shrub or a multi-stemmed small tree. It could be at the back of a border or given a prominent position in the garden.

In spring, its bare branches produce clusters of bright pink flowers while its leaves emerge as a bright reddish-purple colour. In summer, these leaves darken to a rich burgundy, before maturing to a stunning mix of gold, orange, scarlet and crimson in autumn.

Grow in sun or partial shade on any well-drained soil. Ultimately it can reach 8m tall after around 20 years.

Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea

9. Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea

Berberis species are known for their spines and tolerant, robust nature, but aren’t given much credit for their ornamental qualities.

This deciduous species has reddish-purple leaves. The leaves on young shoots are pinker, giving a lovely effect when shrubs are outlined with fuzzy new growth. They also bear bright yellow blossom in summer and glossy red berries in autumn.

Berberis grows well in any soil and colours best in full sun. It’s also a surprisingly good candidate for clipping into topiary shapes.

Heuchera ‘Midnight Rose’

8. Heuchera ‘Midnight Rose’

This heuchera is like marmite in the garden: some people love the marbled purple and hot pink leaves while others hate them with a passion! If you grow heucheras in containers, make sure you take action to prevent vine weevil.

Vine weevil is less of a problem in the open ground and the plants do well in sun or shade to add some dramatic colour to the garden. The pink colouring shows best in spring.

Acer palmatum

7. Acer palmatum

This popular and well-known Japanese maple has many purple and maroon forms such as ‘Bloodgood’. Grow it in a sheltered spot out of strong winds and avoid strong sun.

The best position for Japanese maples is light, dappled shade. In autumn, the leaves turn a brilliant shade of crimson before falling and carpeting the ground with wonderful colour. They’re slow-growing plants which are suitable for smaller gardens and containers.

Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’

6. Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’

The dark purple leaves of this smoke bush will offset your borders with a dark background. The vigorous shrub produces oval leaves that are larger if the shrub is pruned back hard each year.

Cotinus are tolerant plants that grow well in sun or dappled shade and most soils, but its colour is brighter when grown in a sunny spot. It can reach 8m tall, but can cope with being pruned back hard to keep it in bounds.

Dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’

5. Dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’

The ‘Bishop’ series of dahlias are famous for their flowers but also have the most tremendous purple leaves, stems and flower buds.

There’s something autumnal about the warm orange flowers that accompany the dark purple on dahlia ‘Bishop of Oxford’. It’s a truly unmissable plant to enjoy up until the first frosts of winter. It grows to around 90cm tall.

Hydrangea quercifolia

4. Hydrangea quercifolia

The oak-leaved Hydrangea is a superb shrub for moist but well-drained soil in sun or dappled shade.

In truth, its large, distinctively shaped leaves are predominantly green during summer, but as autumn approaches, they develop purple tinges, which gradually give way to claret and crimson. The large creamy-white flower panicles make a wonderful contrast. Reaches 1.5m tall.

Sedum telephium ‘Xenox’

3. Sedum telephium ‘Xenox’

Most cultivars of Sedum telephium have purplish leaves, but ‘Xenox’ is possibly one of the best, offering a strong beetroot-purple that’s particularly striking in autumn, while other perennials fade.

Foliage colour seems to deepen when its clusters of flowers are produced, carried above the fleshy leaves like stalks of reddish-pink broccoli. They last as seedheads well into winter, too.

Rabbit-proof, attractive to pollinators and requiring next to no maintenance, this is a fine border plant, at 30cm tall.

Cornus ‘Kesselringii’

2. Cornus ‘Kesselringii’

The oval leaves of this dogwood have a purplish tinge during summer, complementing its purple stems perfectly.

In autumn, their colour darkens and intensifies into red and purple shades – in contrast to clusters of white berries, if they’ve been produced – before falling and revealing the shrub’s dramatic stems, which become a darker purple-black in winter.

Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’

1. Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’

The black-leaved elder is more beautiful than the common elder that grows in the hedgerows. Its slim black foliage is the perfect background for showing off delicate, pink tinged elder flowers.

The flowers can be used to make a pink coloured elderflower cordial. For the most intense leaf colour, make sure you grow this tall shrub in a sunny position. It can reach 3m in height.

Offset these jewel-like plants with purple leaves against these flowers with sunshine yellow petals. Find our top 10 plants for acid soil.

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Photos: Alamy,

Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Tree

For a fabulous, hardy accent, take a look at our special Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Tree (Prunus x cistena). This colorful, easy care accent tree really takes your landscape to the next level.

Our expert growers have trained the super popular Purpleleaf Sand Cherry medium-sized shrub into a single stem, tree form plant. It’s one of the sexiest small trees available on the market!

In early spring, it’s absolutely covered in elegant white flowers with pink centers. They provide an exquisite contrast against the dark purple twigs and new glossy red foliage.

Give it center stage! You’ll love the dramatic impact as the red new growth ages to a shiny, deep, dark purple foliage all growing season long.

This plant has a lot of purple going on! You may not see the dark purple-black fruits, but the local songbirds surely will. They’ll snap them up as fast as they can.

This is a small tree that will stay rounded, trim and petite. It makes an amazing accent all season long.

Because Sand Cherry grows up into Canada, this will work for any landscape over a wide range of states. Even homeowners in Zone 3 can enjoy this pretty tree with its knockout reddish purple coloring in their gardens year after year. Not many accent trees can say that!

Try Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Tree and add lasting color to your garden. Order yours today!

How to Use Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Tree Form in the Landscape

This is a wonderful patio tree for a sunny courtyard. Try placing several of them in a curved line on the patio in large containers. Or plant them in a garden bed to frame your seating area. You’ll gain an easy, high-end look without a lot of ongoing effort.

Plant one on either side of your front door to highlight a front entrance. It makes a gracious welcome for your guests.

No matter where you place it, you’ll gain an easy conversation piece. There will be plenty to talk about with its amazing flowers and reddish purple foliage.

Another great way to showcase the charm of Purpleleaf Sand Cherry trees is to use it in small groupings and mixed borders. You’ll make any plant “pop” against the dark leaf color.

Plan your border around this centerpiece, and partner with spring bulbs, Daylilies, Russian Sage, Coneflower, Asters and Ornamental Grasses for a great look all year.

This tree even shines in winter with its rounded silhouette. You’ll want to be sure to place one where you can see it from a window inside your home. Don’t miss a single minute of the welcome springtime show!

#ProPlantTips for Care

Purpleleaf Sand Cherry thrives in full sun. The more sun, the better!

Give it well-drained soil. If you see puddles after a rain, try an old farmer’s trick. Add 18 – 24 inches of dirt above your native soil line. You’ll plant directly into that mound.

Although drought tolerant once established in your garden, Purpleleaf Sand Cherry need a bit of water during the driest periods to stay stress free.

Honestly, they really prefer a regular schedule of moderate moisture to stay healthy and vigorous. Give them a thick layer of wood mulch over the root system to provide even more protection.

Of course, if you will be planting them in containers, be sure to give them a nice, even amount of moisture. Water them in late fall, all the way up until the dirt in the container freezes.

In spring, enjoy those heavenly flowers! Then, you can lightly prune right afterward, if needed to shape.

You’ll adore this petite tree, which stays small naturally in the landscape. They are super hardy and love the sun.

Order yours today!

Early Blooming Trees and Plants

Early Blooming Trees and Plants

Flowering Pear trees bloom in early spring Pyrus Calleryana ‘Bradford’ or Bradford Pear. The Aristocrat pear is very similar. Both have gorgeous white blooms that last about 2-4 weeks. The Tree will grow to about 40-50 ft. tall and wide. Nice thick dark green foliage spring through summer seasons. The foliage will also turn a nice red/purple color in late fall. It is a deciduous tree which means it will lose its leaves during the cold winter months.

The Purple Leaf Flowering Plum. The light lavender-pink blooms last about 2-3 weeks. Then it gives out dark purple foliage; thus the name. Deciduous.

The Purple leaf plum in full bloom.

The purple leaf plum will turn a nice burgundy color after blooms have expired.

Fruit Trees

All fruit trees are will bloom in early spring. Apples, peaches, apricots, plums, crab apples. From brilliant white blooms to dark pink flowers.

The Centurion Crabapple has bright pink blooms that are spectacular in mass.

Colorful Purple Crabapple surround by other green trees.

The photo below is the flowering Crabapple tree at full growth – Beautiful. It is a cold-hardy tree and flowering buds burst open in early spring. Beautiful cherry pink blossoms. It is a small tree about 20ft. tall and wide. It likes the Southwest climate and can tolerate poor soil.

A spectacular colorful purple flowering crabapple tree.

Iceplants – Due to the early season, warmer weather in the southwest most ice plant (Delosperma nubigenum) is now blooming. This yellow flowering ice plant grows to about 2″ maybe 3″ in height and can spread 36″ in width. It will bloom all the way through mid-summer. A perfect plant for ground cover soil erosion purposes.

The Forsythia Plant – Early blooming plant.

A nice-looking, deciduous shrub with a rounded outline on an upright form that has brilliant yellow foliage with lots of soft yellow flowers that will announce the arrival of spring!

Image by Aurelia-ev from

The Carolina Jessamine

A vine that will bloom bright yellow flower in late winter until mid-spring. It’s amazing how this yellow flowering vine will bloom even in snowy weather. Learn more about this flowering vine by visiting this page. Carolina Jessamine.

Creeping Phlox

This early-blooming plant provides dark pink blooms in early spring. It likes full sun but may lose its flowers during the mid-summer hot sun in the Southwest. It can tolerate poor soil but will look better and last longer if planted with good loamy potting soil. Most gardening stores will have the Creeping Phox Subulata and are the most common.

Beautiful Creeping Phlox for early spring flowers. Image by Michelle Jwanouskos from

Purple Leaf Plum Care – How To Grow A Purple Leaf Plum Tree

Purple leaf plum trees are delightful additions to your home orchard. This little tree, also known as cherry plum, offers blossoms and fruit in cool to moderate climates. What is a purple leaf plum tree? If you want more information on these trees and tips on how to grow a purple leaf plum, read on.

What is a Purple Leaf Plum?

Purple leaf plum trees (Prunus cerasifera) are small deciduous trees. Their habit is either erect or spreading. The slender branches fill with fragrant, showy flowers in springtime. The pale pink flowers develop into purple drupes in summer. These fruit are appreciated by wild birds and are also edible for humans. The bark is quite ornamental as well. It is dark brown and fissured.

How to Grow Purple Leaf Plum Trees

Purple leaf plums fit nicely into many backyards. They only grow 15-25 feet (4.6-7.6 m.) high and 15-20 feet (4.6-6 m.) wide.

If you want to start growing purple leaf plum trees, you’ll need some basic information. The first step is to check your hardiness zone. Purple leaf plum trees thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8.

You’ll want to select a planting site that gets full sun and is easiest in well-draining soil. Be sure that the soil is acidic rather than alkaline.

Purple Leaf Plum Care

Purple leaf plum care won’t take much of your time as a gardener. These trees require regular irrigation, particularly during the season after planting. But even when they are mature, they prefer moist soil.

When you are growing purple leaf plum trees, you may find them attacked by various insect pests. They are susceptible to:

  • Aphids
  • Borers
  • Scale
  • Japanese beetles
  • Tent caterpillars

Seek treatment at your local garden store. Even if you offer the best care to your trees, they will prove short lived. Purple leaf plum trees rarely have a lifespan longer than 20 years.

You can select from a number of cultivars if you are seeking a particular effect.

  • ‘Atropurpurea’ was developed in 1880, offering reddish-purple foliage and light pink blooms.
  • ‘Thundercloud’ is the most popular cultivar and has been used excessively in many landscaped. It is relatively small, with deep purple leaves and blossoms that appear before the leaves.
  • For a slightly taller tree, try ‘Krauter Vesuvius’. Its habit is distinctly upright.
  • ‘Newport’ is the most cold-hardy selection. It forms a small, rounded tree with early blossoms.

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