Praise for the Year of the Purple

Tue. Mar. 13, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Praise for the Year of the Purple

Okay, the Minnesota Vikings choked before getting to the Super Bowl, but 2018 is still the year of the Purple.  With Pantone picking Violet as this year’s Color of the Year, we’re looking at some lovely varieties for plants that’ll please the purple in you.  Wisconsin, don’t worry, this will not harm your Packer card, besides, every plant has some Green!


There are a couple of petunias that pop, from the Potunia series comes ‘Starfish’, a 2018 introduction, it features the same, compact, rounded habit of previous potunias, but with stunning Bluish purple, star shaped flowers that are accented with dark blue veining and white flashes radiating out from the center.

Potunia ‘Starfish’

Up next…‘Evening Sensation’, also a 2018 introduction.   Few petunias can be described as pleasantly fragrant, but this guy is no standard petunia. There are hints of hyacinth, sweet honey and rose, with flowers a soothing indigo-blue. The 5-8″ mounded plants spread 30-35″.  Gorgeous in mass plantings or use in containers and hanging baskets. ‘Evening Sensation’ also boasts a high flower count.

Petunia ‘Evening Sensation’

Speaking of senses, there’s an Oregano you’ll should think about… ‘Kirigami’ is an eye-catching, ornamental oregano featuring large purple-green bracts, rose flowers and clear, light green foliage. Ideal as a decorative patio plant, with a fabulous fragrance to attract pollinators in hanging baskets, borders and rock gardens.  You don’t eat this guy but it will look gorgeous hanging around!  Right now, you’ll find ‘Kirigami’ offered only as seeds.

Oregano ‘Kirigami’ ornamental bracts
Oregano ‘Kirigami’

A 2017 AAS winner that I didn’t get to last year fits right in to this year’s color scheme.  ‘Twizzle Purple’ Penstemon.  This North American native blooms profusely with 1-inch tubular flowers on long slender stalks that grow up to 35 inches high, making this beauty a magnet for pollinators from mid- to late summer. ‘Twizzle Purple’ can be used to add height to combination planters or in landscapes for high-impact color.

Penstemon ‘Twizzle Purple’