Blue Chiffon® rose of Sharon. Photo by: Proven Winners.

Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh may not have been a gardener, but he was clearly an admirer of blue flowers, perfectly capturing their beauty in his famous painting Irises (1889). Perhaps as an artist he knew Mother Nature’s secret to producing “true" blue flowers, which is actually a blend of plant pigments that reflect light in such a way to create the illusion of natural blue. (Even flowers can benefit from the right lighting!)

Making up less than 10% of the flowering plant kingdom, plants with blue blooms are a rarity, but you still have many options. This elite color group includes a wide range in shades ranging from sky blue to deep indigo and growth habits from groundcovers to large shrubs. And if you plan carefully, your garden will be singing the blues from early spring through late fall.

On this page: Blue Perennial Flowers | Blue Annual Flowers | Blue Flowering Shrubs

BLUE PERENNIAL FLOWERS

Photo by: mizy / Shutterstock.

‘Jack Frost’ Siberian BuglossBuy now from Proven Winners
Brunnera macrophylla

Also called heartleaf brunnera and false forget-me-not, this shade-loving beauty is grown as much for its foliage as it is for its lovely sprays of tiny baby-blue flowers in spring. Large heart-shaped leaves overlaid with silver create a luminous glow in the shade garden throughout the growing season.

Zones: 3-8
Size: 12 to 15 inches tall and wide
Bloom time: Late April to June
Where to grow: Shade to partial sun in moist, well-drained soil.
Others to try: ‘Emerald Mist’, ‘Sea Heart’, ‘Sterling Silver’, ‘Looking Glass’

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Decadence® 'Blueberry Sundae' False IndigoBuy now from Proven Winners
Baptisia australis

Tough, drought tolerant, and produces spires of flowers in late spring that last well into summer. The indigo-blue flowers are set off by vase-shaped mounds of blue-green foliage. Once the flowers have finished blooming, they develop large, black seed pods that provide winter interest.

Zones: 3-9
Size: 2½ to 3 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Late May to July
Where to grow: Best flowering occurs in full sun, but can tolerate some shade; average, well-drained soil.
Others to try: Midnight Prairieblues™, ‘Blue Towers’

Learn more about growing baptisia.

Photo by: Millette Rejean D / Millette Photomedia.

’Blue Suede Shoes’ Bearded Iris
Iris germanica 'Blue Suede Shoes'

This spectacular sapphire-blue iris wasn’t around during Van Gogh’s time, but it bears a striking resemblance to the irises captured in his famous painting. The large ruffled blooms, accented by bright yellow beards, make their debut in the spring only to come back again later in the summer.

Zones: 5-9
Size: 36 to 39 inches tall, up to 2 feet wide
Bloom time: Mid to late spring and again in late summer
Where to grow: Full sun in average, well-drained soil.
Others to try: ‘Breakers’, ‘Astro Blue’, ‘Baja Blue’

Learn more about growing irises.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Summer Cloud DelphiniumBuy now from Proven Winners
Delphinium grandiflorum

Breathtaking blue flowers all summer long. Selections in the grandiflorum group have a more compact growth habit, so they never need staking, as well as better heat tolerance during the dog days of summer. If you remove the spent flowers, you will be rewarded with blooms through early fall.

Zones: 3-7
Size: 12 to 18 inches tall and wide
Bloom time: Late spring through summer
Where to grow: Full sun in moist, well-drained soil
Others to try: ‘Blue Butterfly’, ‘Blue Mirror’, ‘Summer Blues’

Learn more about growing delphiniums.

Photo by: Jacqueline Chong / Millette Photomedia.

’Blue Yonder’ Lily of the Nile
Agapanthus africanus

These blue-flowered wonders produce huge flower clusters in hues ranging from dark blue-violet to pure white, held high above clumps of narrow leaves. The seedpods that follow are almost as attractive as the flowers and make great additions to winter floral arrangements.

Zones: 6-11
Size: 4 to 5 feet tall, 1 to 2 feet wide (with the exception of dwarf forms)
Bloom time: July to September
Where to grow: Full sun in well-draining soil. Adapts to a wide range of soil types.
Others to try: ‘Little Galaxy’, ‘Storm Cloud’, ‘Blue Wave’

Learn more about growing lily of the Nile.

Photo by: SKPG_Arts / Shutterstock.

Virginia Bluebells
Mertensia virginica

With bright pink buds that open into delicate sky-blue bells, this spring-blooming native wildflower naturalizes easily when grown in a moist, shady environment. Although plants go dormant in early summer, they will return with vigor in spring. Combine with daffodils, celadine poppy, pink tulips, and columbines.

Zones: 3-8
Size: 12 to 18 inches tall and wide
Bloom time: April to May
Where to grow: Filtered shade in moist, humus-rich soil.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

‘Rapido Blue’ Carpathian BellflowerBuy now from Proven Winners
Campanula carpatica

This blue-flowered, ground-covering perennial becomes smothered with upturned, bell-shaped flowers in spring, creating a colorful carpet that lasts through most of the summer. Excellent for use in rock gardens, the front of the border, or to edge garden pathways.

Zones: 3-8
Size: 5 to 7 inches tall, 5 to 8 inches wide
Bloom time: Early spring to summer
Where to grow: Full sun in average, well-drained soil. Prefers afternoon shade in warmer climates.
Others to try: ‘Deep Blue Chips’, ‘Pearl Deep Blue’, ‘Samantha’

Photo by: Sharon Dickson.

Blue Danube Stokes’ Aster
Stokesia laevis ‘Blue Danube’

This prolific native wildflower sports frilly lavender-blue flowers up to 4 inches across that continue nonstop from late June until the first frost, especially if deadheaded regularly. In zone 9, it may even keep blooming through winter if you don’t allow it to go to seed. Stem cuttings last in a vase for a week or longer.

Zones: 5-9
Size: 18 to 24 inches tall and wide
Bloom time: June through September
Where to grow: Full sun to partial shade in just about any soil type, as long as it has good drainage.
Others to try: ‘Peachie's Pick’, ‘Blue Star’, ‘Klaus Jellito’

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Globe Thistle
Echinops spp.

The spiky, golfball-sized flower heads make a bold statement, both in the garden and in floral arrangements. Although the blooms look similar to blue ornamental onions, they emerge later in the summer and last for months, creating a dramatic backdrop for other summer-blooming perennials.

Zones: 4-9
Size: 3 to 5 feet tall, up to 2 feet wide
Bloom time: Late June to September
Where to grow: Full sun in any soil with good drainage.
Others to try: ’Blue Glow’ (pictured), ‘Taplow Blue’, Veitch’s Blue’, 'Platinum Blue'

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Magic Show® ‘Wizard of Ahhs’ spike speedwellBuy now from Proven Winners
Veronica hybrid

Although speedwell flowers come in a variety of colors, those with dark blue flowers are often the most arresting. ‘Wizard of Ahhs’ is prized for its exceptionally long bloom time—begining in June and continuing for months—creating an eye-catching vertical accent in garden beds or container arrangements.

Zones: 3-9
Size: 18 to 24 inches tall and wide
Bloom time: June to September
Where to grow: Full sun in fertile, well-draining soil.
Others to try: ‘Darwin’s Blue’, ‘Crater Lake Blue’, ‘Moody Blues Dark Blue’, 'Sunny Border Blue'

Learn more about growing speedwell.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Gentiana ‘True Blue’Buy now from Proven Winners
Gentian hybrid

True to its name, this gentian’s blooms are a brilliant royal blue, set off by attractive emerald-green lance-shaped leaves. The tubular, upward-facing flowers bloom in profusion all along the stems, often continuing right into fall. A great choice for rock gardens, containers, and the middle of the border.

Zones: 4-7
Size: 24 to 30 inches tall, 12 to 18 inches wide
Bloom time: Midsummer to early fall
Where to grow: Full sun to part shade in rich, acidic, well-drained soil. Protect from afternoon sun in climates with hot, humid summers.
Others to try: ‘Marsha’, Bottle Gentian (G. andrewsii)

BLUE ANNUAL FLOWERS

Photo by: Millette Rejean D / Millette Photomedia.

Love-in-a-Mist
Nigella damascena

With its delicate flowers, ferny foliage, and ornamental seedpods, this classic cottage garden flower is a favorite for fresh and dried cut-flower arrangements. A number of cultivars are available with large semi-double flowers in shades ranging from pale sky blue to denim.

Size: 1 to 2 feet tall, up to a foot wide
Bloom time: Spring through early summer
Where to grow: Full sun in well-drained, fertile soil.
Others to try: ’Miss Jekyll’, ’Oxford Blue’, ‘Moody Blues’

Photo courtesy American Meadows.

Blue Cornflower
Centaurea cyanus

Also called “bachelor’s buttons," this old-fashioned favorite is popular in cutting gardens. They come in shades of blue, lavender, pink, and white flowers, but the blue color is so distinctive, it has been replicated in a Crayola crayon. Nectar-rich blooms attract bees and butterflies and its small seeds are loved by goldfinches and other songbirds.

Size: 1 to 3 feet tall, 10 inches wide
Bloom time: Peak bloom time is early to midsummer, but blooms may be prolonged with frequent deadheading.
Where to grow: Full to partial sun in average, well-drained soil.
Others to try: ‘Blue Boy’, ‘Blue Diadem’, ‘Dwarf Blue Midget’

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Laguna® Sky Blue LobeliaBuy now from Proven Winners
Lobelia erinus

This trailing lobelia is one of the best blue-flowered container plants, producing cascades of tiny soft-blue flowers from spring until the first frost. Although traditional lobelia tends to die back during hot weather, this heat-tolerant variety is bred to withstand sultry summer temperatures. Can be grown as a perennial in Zones 9-11.

Size: 6 to 12 inches tall, spreading up to 2 feet
Where to grow: Full sun to partial shade in average, well-drained soil.
Bloom time: Spring until frost
Others to try: Laguna® Compact Blue, ‘Crystal Palace’, ‘Hot Water Blue’

Learn more about growing lobelia.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Rockin'® Playin' the Blues® SalviaBuy now from Proven Winners
Salvia hybrid

When the blue-violet flowers finish blooming, the color continues because the calyxes retain their deep-blue hue long after the flowers fade. Even better, new flower spikes continue to emerge all summer long, even without deadheading. Nectar-rich blooms and fragrant foliage are magnets for many pollinators. Can be grown as a perennial in zones 7-10.

Size: 2 to 4 feet tall, 2 to 3 feet wide
Bloom time: Planting until frost
Where to grow: Full sun to partial shade in average soil with good drainage.
Others to try: , Rockin'® Blue Suede Shoes™, ‘Victoria Blue’, ‘Henry Duelberg’

Learn more about growing salvia.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

‘Cape Town Blue’ Blue Felicia DaisyBuy now from Proven Winners
Felicia hybrid

This daisy has heavenly sky-blue petals that surround yellow centers and a bloom season that lasts all summer into fall, even without deadheading. The compact growth habit and free-flowering nature make it a great choice for adding bursts of blue to containers, window boxes, rock gardens, and borders. Can be grown as a perennial in zones 10-11.

Size: 8 to 12 inches tall, 10 to 12 inches wide
Bloom time: Planting until frost
Where to grow: Full sun to part shade in fertile, well-drained soil. Avoid wet soils.
Others to try: ‘Forever Blue’, Variegated Blue Felicia Daisy (F. amelloides 'Variegata')

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Blue My Mind® Dwarf Morning GloryBuy now from Proven Winners
Evolvulus hybrid

This non-vining cousin of the traditional morning glory produces dainty true-blue blooms from early summer until the first frost, but won’t run amok in the garden. Spreading no more than 2 feet, it looks lovely spilling from containers and hanging baskets or trailing through the garden as a well-behaved groundcover.

Size: 6 to 12 inches tall, trails up to 2 feet
Bloom time: Planting until frost
Where to grow: Full sun in well-drained soil.
Others to try: ‘Blue Daze’, ‘Hawaiian Blue Eyes’

BLUE FLOWERING SHRUBS

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Beyond Midnight® BluebeardBuy now from Proven Winners
Caryopteris x clandonensis

Plants that give you blue flowers late into the season are few and far between, but this compact shrub produces them in abundance. Clusters of fragrant, deep-blue flowers last well into autumn. A favorite of butterflies and other pollinators.

Zones: 5-9
Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Midsummer through fall
Where to grow: Full sun in well-drained soil. Sites with poor drainage and soggy soil can lead to root rot.
Others to try: ‘Blue Mist’, Blue Balloon®

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Let's Dance® Rhythmic Blue® HydrangeaBuy now from Proven Winners
Hydrangea macrophylla

This reblooming bigleaf hydrangea produces huge mophead flowers all summer, without pruning. It also performs well in colder climates—a smart choice for northern gardens. Color ranges from pink to blue depending on the soil pH. For the best blue blooms, keep your soil acidic and treat with aluminum sulfate.

Zones: 5-9
Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide
Where to grow: Full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil.
Bloom time: Midsummer to early fall
Others to try: Let's Dance® Blue Jangles , ‘Nikko Blue’, ‘Decatur Blue’, ‘Blue Danube’

Learn more about growing hydrangeas.

Photo by: Proven Winners.

Blue Chiffon® Rose of SharonBuy now from Proven Winners
Hibiscus syriacus

Named 2020 Flowering Shrub of the Year, Blue Chiffon gives you lacy blooms from summer to fall on soft, elegant stems. Its flowers attract birds and butterflies and have a delicate, lacy center. A large shrub that is both heat and drought tolerant.

Zones: 5-9
Size: 8 to 12 feet tall, 4 to 6 feet wide
Where to grow: Full sun in average soil
Bloom time: Early to late summer
Others to try: Azurri Blue Satin®

Learn more about growing rose of Sharon and hardy hibiscus.

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