A purple native for long bloom and a purple prince for the container

Mon. Mar. 19, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  A purple native for long bloom and a purple prince for the container

Last week I talked about some wonderful new purple introductions to the plant world.  Today I’ll introduce you to a purple native that works well in rock gardens, sometimes tough places for long-bloomed plants.  It’s called Campanula rotundifolia (Harebell).  Harebell offers delicate violet colored flowers that soften a rock wall.  Plants bloom from late Spring to Fall.


The zone 2 to 8 plant grows from 6 to 18 inches but the slender stems often fall over, that’s why it’s lovely to plant along a rock wall it can hang over!  It grows best in full sun but will tolerate some shade.  This plant will also between pavers, it’s best in a natural type setting.  In other words if you like your plants to look uniform, Harebell is not for you.

Up close on Harebell

A spectacular purple annual that’s new for 2018 is an Alternanthera called ‘Purple Prince’.  It’s the first seed-grown alternanthera with a compact, spreading habit, 10 to 16 in. tall and 18 to 20 in. wide.   The dark wine purple leaves have hot magenta pink undersides.  Talk about a punch of purple to garden beds and containers!

Alternanthera ‘Purple Prince’

Plant ‘Purple Prince’ with bold flowers like zinnias and petunias like the ones I talked about last week.  Or mass to create a gorgeous small-scale seasonal ground cover. ‘Purple Prince’ withstands drought better than other alternantheras, and flourishes in heat and humidity with moderate watering. Tolerates partial shade but for the most vibrant leaf color plant in full sun.

Think about creating a showstopping border with ‘Purple Prince’ and ‘Strawberry Blonde’ marigold.  Or ‘Snowball’, a white marigold or ‘Primrose Lady’, a double-flowered yellow marigold.  Alternanthera was a top performer in university trial gardens throughout the U.S.

Marigold ‘Strawberry Blonde’
Marigold ‘Snowball’
Marigold ‘Primrose Lady’