Want your summer gardens to kick off with a bang and end with a grand finale? Then plant purple salvia, a beauty that’ll light up your yard all summer. Many gardeners know the plant for its red blooms (which has earned it the name firecracker plant), but the purple can be a great addition to the garden.
Common Names: Salvia, firecracker plant.
Botanical Name: Salvia splendens.
Hardiness: Grown as an annual in all zones.
Size: 8 to 30 inches high, 8 to 12 inches wide.
Flowers: Bright spiky clusters of tubular flowers. While typically red, some cultivars are available in orange, white, pink, lavender or blue.
Light Needs: Full sun. Where summers are hot, they’ll do best in partial shade.
Growing Advice: Sold as bedding plants. Plant at the same level as growing in containers and pinch tops to encourage branching. Mulch to retain moisture and keep soil cool.
Prize Picks: The Sizzler and Salsa series bloom in an interesting palette of colors, including excellent lavender and blue choices.

Want more purple plant ideas? Take a look at our Top 10 Plants for a Purple Garden list for more purple options.