Seeking to add a sense of calm and mystery to your landscape? Nothing inspires feelings of serenity, calm, and creativity more than trees that glisten with purple flowers.
Hues will vary from tree to tree. Some offer blooms in a soft, pale violet. Others, a peaceful lavender. Even still, are those that radiate a rich, dark plum or burgundy, which can appear in both flowers and foliage.
Today, there are so many purple flowering trees to choose from. Each with differing preferences for climate and care. Keep reading to discover your favorite.
Trees with Purple Flowers
Another difference between the tranquil trees you’ll see here is when and how long they bloom. Some announce the coming of warmer weather and longer days with spring blooms that brighten up gardens just rousing from winter dormancy.
Others put on a beautiful show starting in late spring and continuing right through to autumn when their foliage performs the grand finale.
Once the sun is high in the sky, photosynthesized energy is refocused to lush foliage and, in some cases, fruit. You’re about to see 15 different tree options that do all this in breathtaking ways.
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Trees with Purple Blossoms in Spring
The following five examples bloom in spring, then fill in with lush foliage. To make it easy to imagine which one would best fit your landscape, I’ve set out the varying maturity sizes for each tree together with its own unique features, in terms of color and scent.
When considering this, remember to check if they grow in your hardiness zone as well as your comfort level with the extent of their care.
Korean Lilac Tree
(Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’)
Growing 6-8” per year, this quaint lilac matures to 7ft by 4ft. Hardy in zones 3-7 and adaptable to most soil types, bountiful blooms result in full to partial sun and relatively moist soil with a pH of 5.5-7.5.
The Korean lilac delivers panicles of lavender-hued flowers that set a heavenly scent sailing on the breeze through your garden. Foliage emerges in a deep, rich burgundy that matures to dark green through the season.
Weekly watering will maintain consistent moisture. Lilacs don’t require fertilizing when planted in healthy soil. But late-summer pruning is required to maintain tree shape by removing any new growth on the bottom third of the trunk.
Profusion Crabapple Tree
This grand crabapple creates a stunning feature, maturing to 20ft by 25ft, at a rate of 2-3ft per year. Deep purple flowers cover its canopy when planted in full sun and well-draining soil with a 6.0-8.0 pH.
Vibrant red flower buds burst forth into a singular cloud of deep purple blooms, each 1 ½” wide, throughout April and May. Bronzed-tipped, dark green foliage emerges, following flower buds, and fades to dusty yellow in autumn.
Once established, drought-tolerant crabapples will thrive on natural rainfall. But, when young, they’ll need weekly watering for healthy root growth.
If needed, a 10-10-10 fertilizer can be applied in early spring. As can the pruning of any winter-damaged branches.
Royal Empress Tree
This resilient, rapidly growing bloomer matures to 40ft by 30ft, at a rate of 10ft per year. In hardiness zones 5-8, it prefers full to partial sun and moist, nutrient-rich soil with a 5.0-7.0 pH.
In late winter, pea-shaped buds line long arching branches. Amethyst-purple blooms open that smell like gardenias and jasmine. Giving the tree a wispy appearance. Velvety, heart-shaped leaves can grow to 18” long and end the season with bronze and gold hues in fall.
Weekly watering will improve performance and productivity. Due to this tree’s rapid growth, fertilizer may be needed to replenish nutrient-depleted soil and pruning should be done in late winter, prior to the emergence of buds.
This unique redbud variety matures to 20ft by 25ft, at a rate of 12-18” per year, in zones 4-9. Performance increases in full to partial shade. While tolerant of most pH levels, this redbud does prefer well-draining, loamy soil.
The Eastern Redbud glows neon purple with clusters of sweet-pea-like blooms. With buds appearing along its branches before new leaves. Blooms are then replaced, in summer, with dark green, heart-shaped foliage that turns a vibrant, autumn yellow.
Deep, weekly watering will help young trees become established. Once mature, they rely on natural rainfall and are quite drought-tolerant. A slow-release tree and shrub fertilizer can be applied in early spring. Be sure to apply just after pruning once winter-damaged branches have been removed.
Prairifire Crabapple Tree
(Malus x ‘Prairifire’)
Known for being hardy in severe winter climates, this prairie native matures to 20ft by 15ft, at a rate of 12-24” per year. It prefers full sun and moist, loose, well-draining soil with a 5.5-5.9 pH.
The cold-hardy Prairifire crabapple presents purple-pink flowers in early spring that develop into juicy apples that are a favorite of local wildlife during rough winters.
Dark green leaves with deep purple undertones emerge that turn a rich, coppery hue, in autumn.
Weekly watering will ensure lush foliage and abundant fruit. A general 10-10-10 fertilizer can be applied in early spring if needed. Pruning should be done just after flowering, and before new buds set for the following spring’s growth.
Trees with Purple Flowers
So far, we’ve seen some fantastic examples of purple flowering trees. From showy bloomers to dazzling fruiters, it can become hard to pick a favorite. Luckily, you’re not limited to just one.
Darkened corners and unsightly utilities cry out for a colorful cover. In this case, just one can make all the difference. Several grouped together can bring an element of magic and intrigue found in a few residential landscapes.
Let’s look at some trees that really pack a punch in both small and large outdoor spaces.
An excellent shade tree to lounge beneath, this wonderfully colorful Jacaranda can grow 25–50 ft. tall. This particular tree with fern-like leaves can extend 20” in length. Fast-growing, this prolific bloomer prefers direct sun and rich, well-draining soil with a 6.5-7.5 pH, in zones 10 and 11.
The tropical Jacaranda produces densely growing clusters of fragrant, purple panicle-shaped blooms on upward arching branches that form an upturned canopy.
Gaining an astounding 10ft per year, in its first few years after planting, there is no other specimen that parallels this prolific bloomer for warm climates.
In spring and summer, deeply water Jacarandas every two weeks to support strong flowering. Only one yearly application of a 10-10-10 fertilizer will encourage robust growth and late-winter pruning will stimulate optimum blooming and foliage formation.
Amethyst Kin Emerald Empire Crape Myrtle Tree
This Crepe Myrtle cultivar, newly developed for harsh winter climates, matures to 20’ x 15’, in zones 2-5. Preferring 6-8 hours of sun per day, flowering is abundant when planted in loose, loamy soil with a 5.0-6.5 pH.
Vibrant green foliage surrounds frilly purple blooms. Drought and humidity resistant, the Amethyst King can be grown as a large shrub or pruned as a tree. A stunning garden feature that will increase pollinator activity for a healthy garden.
Water these well in the first year. Once established, natural rainfall is sufficient. Pruning can be done, in early spring, to maintain the desired shape. When it comes to fertilizing Crepe Myrtle, a flowering shrub fertilizer, applied in early spring and summer will encourage a longer bloom time.
Twilight Rose Tree
(Rosa cv. WEKebtidere)
Perfect for small garden spaces, this elegant rose tree stands 3-5ft by 2-3ft and boasts the darkest purple flowers on this list. In zones 4-10, performance increases in full sun and fertile, well-draining soil with a 6.0-6.5 pH.
For a touch of the mysterious, Twilight trees present clusters of old-fashioned, double-petaled roses that span 4-5” across and smell of clove and citrus. All are surrounded by dark green foliage that only adds to their sumptuous appeal. Blooms continue into fall when many other plants have stopped blooming.
Water weekly, or when the soil is dry down 3” inches. Apply a liquid rose fertilizer, once in the spring and again in summer to prolong bloom times. Other than for shaping, pruning isn’t required.
Bloomerang Lilac Tree
(Syringa ‘SMSJBP7’ PP26549)
As an alternative to the Twilight rose for small spaces, the Bloomerang lilac tree turns up the fragrance factor and stands only 4-5ft tall. Blooms abound when placed in full sun and fertile, moist yet well-draining soil with a 6.5, or lower, pH.
Delicate sprays of aromatic flowers, in pastel lavender hues, cover densely growing, rounded branches and stems. Lush green leaves that fade to golden-yellow in fall, weave through and around each bloom.
Good drainage is essential for lilacs. Soggy soil often leads to root rot. Water well every 10 days to two weeks throughout the growing season. When needed, apply a lilac fertilizer just after its spring bloom. Pruning at this time can be done to maintain a preferred shape.
Vitex Chaste Tree
(Vitex agnus castus)
In zones 6-9, the Vitex Chaste is a shrub that can be trained as a tree. Growing to 20ft tall by 15ft wide, at a rate of 2ft per year, Chaste trees require full sun and very well-draining soil with a 6.0-7.0 pH.
This Chaste variety blooms from late spring right through early fall. Long, upward-reaching spikes of lilac florets emerge from lush, green foliage. This tree puts on quite the show for being so low-maintenance and fast-growing.
When young, water every 7-10 days. While drought tolerant in maturity, these trees perform best when well-hydrated. Only when necessary, a general-purpose, fertilizer with a balanced NPK can be applied every 1-2 years. Prune to remove any damaged or undesirable growth in late winter.
Trees with Purple Leaves
Rich purple color doesn’t always come from flowers. Lest we forget those trees that beautifully enrich gardens with luxurious purple foliage. Some with secondary blooms and some without. Yet, all with stunning architectural form.
These also come in different sizes, hardiness zones, and levels of care. When paired with one or two smaller bloomers, you can’t go wrong!
Royal Purple Smoke Tree
This burgundy-purple smoke tree reaches 15ft x 12ft, in maturity, growing 12” per year. In zones 4-9, this specimen performs at its peak in full sun. Yet, it’s adaptable to a variety of soil types and pH levels.
The Purple smoke bush can be grown as a small tree, a large shrub, or both in different parts of your garden. Deep burgundy foliage releases airy, translucent flower clusters that appear as puffs of pink smoke from a distance. In autumn, leaves fade to a vibrant, scarlet red.
Water deeply twice per week, when young. Once established, smoke trees are drought tolerant. Fertilizing isn’t typically necessary unless growth is visibly stunning. Trimming can be done in late winter or very early spring.
Merlot Redbud Tree
(Cercis canadensis ‘Merlot’ PP22297)
Growing just 12ft tall and 15ft wide, at 12” per year, the Merlot Redbud will add the perfect touch of drama to your garden, in zones 6-9. Especially when positioned in full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil with a 6.6-7.8 pH.
The Merlot Redbud is a new, heat-tolerant cultivar with eye-catching, red-purple foliage that deepens in color through the seasons. Delicate flowers appear in mid-spring in a lovely, contrasting shade of lavender.
In the first few years after planting, weekly (or twice weekly) watering will be needed to encourage robust root growth. In maturity, Redbuds will become drought-tolerant and perform well with natural rainfall. Slow-release granules for trees can be applied in early spring. Pruning is seldom needed.
Purple Plunge Weeping Plum Tree
(Prunus cerasifera ‘Purple Plunge’)
With a unique growing habit, this weeping purple plum grows to a mature 10’ x 4’, at a rate of 1-2ft per year, in zones 5-9. It prefers full sun and loose, loamy, easily-draining soil with a pH of 6.0-6.8.
This ornamental tree produces white and pink spring blossoms. Which, in autumn, render small, cherry-sized fruit that the local wildlife relish. Hot and cold-hardy, this tree is low maintenance and adaptable to a wide range of soil types.
In order to bloom and fruit, this weeper needs consistently moist soil. Fertilize in early spring as new growth begins with a fruit tree-specific fertilizer. The best time to prune the Purple Plunge is in late winter, while still dormant.
Ruby Falls Redbud Tree
(Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’ PP22097)
This second weeping tree stands a mere 8ft tall and 6ft wide. Its compact size makes it a special attraction in zone 5-9 gardens, filling in at a rate of 12” per year. Also adaptable to varying soil conditions, the redbud variety does need full to partial sun and a 6.5-8.0 soil pH.
Displaying ornate, lavender-red blooms in spring, this unusual weeping redbud develops large, heart-shaped leaves that first emerge with a reddish-burgundy hue. Maturing to a deep violet then golden-yellow in autumn.
Extra watering will be needed, when young, to encourage robust root growth. In maturity, Redbuds gain drought tolerance and thrive with natural rainfall. Slow-release granules formulated for trees can be applied in early spring. Pruning is seldom needed.
Thundercloud Plum Tree
(Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’)
The Thundercloud Plum has a striking presence wherever it is planted. Maturing up to 25ft by 25ft, this tree quickly grows 1-2ft per year. In zones 5-8, this prefers full sun and well-aerated, free-draining soil with 6.0-6.8 pH.
As a purple-leaved cultivar of the cherry plum, the thundercloud displays similar white to light pink flowers that give way to small, edible fruit in late summer. The darkest of purple leaves have shimmering copper undertones.
Water weekly during the growing season, especially during its first season. Fertilize each spring with 1 cup of a 10-10-10 fertilizer, spread evenly within the tree’s dripline. Pruning should only be done in late winter or early spring to avoid new growth that would struggle in winter.
Final Thoughts Trees with Purple Flowers
What an incredible selection! 15 purple flowering trees that will add brilliance and calming, creative color to your garden.
Did you find a favorite? The Korean and Bloomerang lilacs will welcome your guests with a heavenly scent. Are you a Redbud fan? The Eastern, Merlot, or Ruby Falls varieties will be perfect additions to your collection.
Whatever your preference, before deciding, remember these important factors:
- Will its maturity size fit?
- Does it thrive in your hardiness zone?
- How will its color and texture work with your other plants?
Once you determine these, you’ll have found the perfect one for your garden.