Skip to content
Back Back to Insurance menu Go to Insurance
Back Back to Holidays menu Go to Holidays
Back Back to Saga Magazine menu Go to Magazine
Search Magazine

Blue flowers for your garden

Sharon Amos / 14 March 2017

Planning a blue colour scheme for your garden? Find out the names of some beautiful blue flowers for spring, summer, autumn and winter, plus browse our gallery for pictures.

Nigella Love in a Mist
Nigella can easily be grown from seed

One gardener’s definition of a blue flower is another gardener’s purple – so if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, check out our selection of purple flowers for your garden too.

There are lots of blue flowers that you can grow in your home, including tall, elegant floral spikes such as delphiniums and lupins, flowering shrubs with clusters of blue flowers such as California lilac and hydrangeas, and a range of small blue flowers such as forget-me-nots, creeping spweedwell and Hepatica nobilis. 

Read below to find out what to plant for spring, summer, autumn and winter blue flowers or browse our photo gallery above to see pictures of different varieties of blue flowers.

Remember that flowering seasons will overlap, especially when the weather is variable. Be sure to research the plants you like to check that your garden can provide their growing requirements; for example, whether the plants need a sunny spot or shade, sandy or moist soil, and so on.

The meaning of blue flowers

Blue represents serenity and can help to create a calming space in the garden. Blue flowers can also symbolise hope, and are often bought as gifts for people who are sick or stressed. 

Saga Home Insurance provides cover that goes beyond what you might expect. For more information and to get a quote click here.

Spring flowering blue flowers

Spring-flowering blue flowers, clockwise from top left: English bluebells, Ceanothus (California lilac), Forget-me-nots, Anemone blanda

Spring blue flowers

Small blue bulbs

Anemone blanda – strictly speaking a tuber rather than bulb – has azure blue daisy-style flowers.

In late spring it’s the turn of our native bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta, which can be distinguished from the Spanish interloper (H. hispanica) by its delicate stem that droops at the top so that the flowers tend to hang from one side. 

Spanish bluebells are much more upright, with flowers on all sides of the stem.

Blue climbers

Early flowering clematis come in shades of blue: Clematis alpina and Clematis macropetala have delicate bell-shaped flowers; varieties such as Clematis ‘Daniel Deronda’ have big saucer-shaped blooms.

Find out how to grow spring-flowering clematis

Blue shrubs

The truest blue-flowered shrubs come from the genus Ceanothus, the California lilac, which features plumes of baby blue flowers. C. arboreus ‘Trewithen Blue’ is a big vigorous evergreen; C. ‘Blue Mound’ is smaller, with more compact flower heads.

Rhododendrons also come in a variety of lilacy baby blue shades, including 'Bob's Blue', 'Blue Diamond' and 'Blue Baron'.

Other blue plants for spring flower

Ajuga reptans is a perennial ground-cover plant, with spikes of blue flowers – ‘Bronze Beauty’ has contrasting bronze-tinged foliage.

Familiar forget-me-nots (Myosotis alpestris) will seed around your garden once you’ve got them; for a more unusual effect look out for Brunnera macrophylla, which has similar forget-me-not style flowers above big heart-shaped leaves.

Find out how to design a herbaceous border

Summer-flowering blue flowers

Summer-flowering blue flowers, clockwise from top left: Himalayan poppy, Agapanthus 'Blue Giant', Camassia Leichtlinii, Jacob's ladder

Summer blue flowers

Summer gardens can be a shimmering haze of blue, from the tall spires of classic delphiniums and lupins to the azure blue petals of the fabled Himalayan blue poppy (Meconopsis grandis) that is notoriously difficult to grow, to the small daisy-style flowers of Felicia.

Find out how to grow delphiniums and how to grow lupins

As well as the familiar blue lobelia bedding plant, seek out its perennial cousins such as Lobelia siphilitica and ‘Blue Shadow’, which are tall upright plants rather than trailing.

Blue bulbs

Agapanthus are the classic summer blue bulbs with rounded heads clustered with funnel-shaped flowers. If you want to grow them in the garden rather than in pots, ‘Headbourne Hybrids’ are the hardiest. Camassia leichtlinii ‘Caerulea Group’ is like a large upright bluebell with starry flowers.

Blue flowers to grow from seed

Love in a mist (Nigella) has papery pale blue flowers with a ruff of feathery foliage; Phacelia tanacetifolia has curious flowers packed in tightly in a neat spiral – hence its common name of fiddleneck – bees love it; Jacob’s ladder, Polemonium caeruleum, has open blue flowers with yellow stamens.

Cornflowers are easy to grow sown directly into the ground.

Blue shrubs

Hydrangeas grown on acidic soil will have clouds of blue flowers.

Find out how to grow hydrangeas

A blue rose?

A blue rose is the rose-breeder’s so far unattainable goal, as the pigment needed does not exist in roses. ‘Veilchenblau’ is the closest thing: its flowers open in shades of lavender and take on a bluish tinge as they age.

Blue roses sold in florists will have been dyed.

Autumn blue flowers

There’s not much new blue coming into the garden apart from asters such as Aster ericoides ‘Blue Star’, which wavers between lavender and blue. For a touch of sky blue, look out for ornamental sage Salvia uliginosa – there’s definitely no dispute about colour with this plant.

Winter blue flowers

In late winter/early spring, one of the first plants to flower is Iris reticulata, a miniature iris with deep blue petals marked with yellow.

Depending on the weather, some of the spring-flowering bulbs listed above may also make an early appearance.

Read our ideas for a colourful winter container

Blue flowers

Blue flowers clockwise from top left: Hepatica nobilis, Delphinium, Felicia, Nemophila

List of flowers available in blue

These flowers and shrubs are available in blue varieties.

  • Agapanthus
  • Ajuga reptans
  • Anemone blanda
  • Bluebell
  • Brunnera macrophylla
  • California lilac
  • Camassia Leichtlinii
  • Catnip
  • Clematis
  • Cornflower
  • Creeping speedwell
  • Delphinium
  • Forget-me-nots
  • Felicia
  • Hepatica nobilis
  • Himalayan blue poppy
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris reticulata
  • Jacob’s ladder
  • Lobelia
  • Lobelia siphilitica
  • Love in a mist (Nigella)
  • Lupin
  • Nemophila
  • Monkshood (aconite)
  • Pansy
  • Phacelia tanacetifolia
  • Primrose
  • Rhododendron
  • Salvia uliginosa

Try 12 issues of Saga Magazine

Subscribe today for just £34.95 for 12 issues...


Saga Magazine is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site or newsletter, we may earn affiliate commission. Everything we recommend is independently chosen irrespective of affiliate agreements.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.