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25 Plants That Look Like Lavender Purple Flowers: Ultimate Guide

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This is the ultimate guide of 25 flowers that look like lavender, and you can use them to decorate your garden or home.

The beautiful scented blooms of lavender flowers attract pollinators, which is a dream in the garden.

With its delicate and soothing hue and scent, lavender has always been a favorite among garden enthusiasts and interior decorators. 

Whether you want to create a vibrant garden oasis or add some purple color to your home, these lavender look-alike plants offer diverse options. From the vivid blossoms of Russian Sage to the whimsical catmint, you’ll find plenty of choices to bring the calming beauty of lavender into your surroundings. 

I live in a beautiful mountainous area where lavender plants grow abundantly. You can find them in garden parks and even featured on restaurant menus. I often find inspiration for my recipes from them. Once, while visiting a local restaurant, I discovered a lavender milk tea and biscuits recipe. Once you’ve learned how to grow your herbs, turning them into syrup or cakes is just a small step.

If yu are lavender lover, you will enjoy these Lavender quotes and captions that elevate your Instagram posts. In addition, join me on a deep dive into the meaning and symbolism behind lavender that carries for a long time.

lavender angustifolia
lavender angustifolia

Transforming lavender into scented oil or salve is an excellent choice if you want to make your cosmetics.

Dive into this guide to discover the perfect lavender substitute to elevate your garden or living space to new levels of natural elegance.

What Is Lavender?

Lavender is an aromatic perennial evergreen herb that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae), like many other popular culinary and medicinal herbs such as basil, rosemary, Mint, thyme, and oregano. 

Over 45 species of lavender plants differ in color, size, smell, properties, and use. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), commonly known as English or true lavender, and lavandin are two of the most common species of the same Lavandula genus. However, unlike lavender, lavandin is a hybrid made of hybridization of the two plants – Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia. 

Lavender Flashcard
Lavender Flashcard

What Are the Benefits of Lavender?

True lavender’s calming and relaxing properties ease anxiety, insomnia, and stress. Furthermore, lavender possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties; thus, transforming it into lavender into scented oil or salve is an excellent choice for gardeners’ minor cuts and bruises or skin irritations.

What does lavender need to grow?

Lavender is a resilient plant that requires specific conditions for successful growth. It thrives in full sunlight and needs at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sun exposure daily. Well-drained, slightly alkaline soil is essential to prevent root rot, and proper spacing between plants ensures good air circulation. Lavender should be watered regularly when first planted to establish its roots, but it requires less water once established. Pruning for bushier growth, light fertilization in the spring, and mulching for moisture retention are key factors for nurturing healthy lavender plants.

Why Grow Plants That Look Like Lavender Instead of the Real Lavender?

Growing plants that resemble lavender rather than real lavender can be a practical choice for various reasons:

Lavender has specific requirements for soil and climate, including well-drained soil and ample sunlight. If your local conditions don’t align with these needs, opting for similar-looking plants that are more adaptable is a wise choice.

Some lavender look-alike plants are hardier and require less maintenance than true lavender. Like catmint, which is more resistant to pests and diseases, or Russian Sage, which requires minimum care.

Lavender look-alike plants, including Wisteria with its cascading, lavender-hued flower clusters, come in various colors and shapes, offering a broader spectrum for your garden or home decor.

True lavender is slow-growing and may take several years to reach its full size. In contrast, some alternative plants, like Agastache or Spanish Lavender, can grow faster and fill out your garden more quickly.

Some lavender substitutes, like Catmint or Russian Sage, not only mimic the visual appeal of lavender but also offer additional benefits, such as attracting pollinators or having medicinal properties. 

25 flowers that look like lavender


1. Lavandin (Lavandula intermedia)

Of all the plants on this list that look similar to lavender, Lavandin is the closest, sometimes mistakenly called French lavender. Instead, it is hybrid lavender, called spike lavender or grosso. It is the closest in its appearance to lavender; however, it is faster in growth and higher in oil yield. Grosso has larger and more open flowers, with a looser cluster of dark purple or bluish blooms. With its higher camphor content, Lavandin has a stronger scent and is popular in cleaning products, aromatherapy, or as an insect repellent.

Lavandula Stoechas
Lavandula Stoechas

2. Lavender Plant – Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)

Spanish lavender offers a unique “rabbit ear” flower shape that sets it apart. It’s often more heat-tolerant and resistant to pests, making it an excellent alternative for hot climates. 

While Spanish Lavender is not as commonly used in cooking as true lavender, you can infuse its flowers into syrups, sugar, or vinegar to add a subtle lavender-like flavor and fragrance to dishes, desserts, and beverages. 

Beyond the kitchen, Spanish Lavender’s aromatic qualities make it perfect for crafting fragrant sachets, potpourri, herbal teas or added to lavender-infused oils or bath bombs.

Spanish lavender is primarily an ornamental plant due to its unique flower shape and hardiness. It’s a favorite choice for garden borders, rock gardens, and Mediterranean-style landscapes, adding color and texture.


3. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Like lavender, rosemary requires bright, direct, full sun and well-drained soil. However, rosemary is an exceptionally drought-tolerant shrub that can thrive in arid conditions, making it a great choice for regions with limited water availability. Additionally, rosemary is known for its robust growth, often reaching full size more quickly than lavender. Its aromatic leaves and fragrant blue flowers make it an excellent choice for adding visual and olfactory appeal to your garden. 

Rosemary is also a versatile herb in the kitchen. This rosemary salt adds a savory punch to various dishes, from roasted meats to savory breads and soups. So, rosemary can provide a beautiful garden and a flavorful addition to your culinary endeavors.

In addition, rosemary promotes hair growth, improves scalp health, and reduces dandruff so great for hair care routine. For example, I make a rosemary hair rinserosemary water, or oil to promote hair growth and improve the overall health of my hair. 

flower holy basil
flower holy basil

4. Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi, is a great choice for your garden as it shares a lovely purple flowers that resemble lavender. It grows outdoors as a small perennial plant. While it tolerates partial shade, it needs plenty of sunlight to grow properly. It does not tolerate frost, though, so in regions with cold winters. It can adapt to various soil types, but it grows best in soil that retains some moisture while allowing excess water to drain away.

In addition, Holy basil is an excellent plant for the garden that deters insects like aphids, flies and mites.

Holly basil is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is often used in Ayurvedic medicine to help reduce inflammation. Tulsi also possesses antidepressant and antianxiety properties similar to antidepressant drugs. 

thai basil
Thai basil

5. Thai Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora)

Thai Basil adapts well to a broader range of climates than true lavender, making it a practical choice for gardeners in various regions. While it shares the same affinity for bright, direct sunlight and well-drained soil as lavender, it is more forgiving of diverse weather conditions. This resilience allows it to thrive in both temperate and tropical environments. 

Thai basil has a bushy growth habit and can grow up to 45-60 cm in height. With shiny green and narrow leaves and small and tubular purple blooms, it maintains a connection to the lavender aesthetic.

In addition, Thai Basil’s vibrant and aromatic leaves add flavors to Southeast Asian cuisine, enhancing dishes like Thai curries, stir-fries, and noodles compared to the more niche culinary uses of true lavender.

Sweet basil
Sweet basil

6. Sweet basil

Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the most popular and widely used herbs in the culinary world. Its leaves are bright green, oval-shaped, and have a glossy appearance. The plant typically grows to 12 to 24 inches and produces clusters of small white flowers in summer. Its sweet and aromatic fragrance with a strong peppery flavor makes it a staple in the culinary world, particularly in Italian cuisine, in dishes like pesto sauce, caprese salad, pizza or pasta.

In addition, Sweet Basil is easy to grow and maintain compared to English lavender. While it prefers well-drained soil, Sweet Basil can thrive in a broader range of garden settings. It also grows faster, producing ample foliage and blossoms throughout the growing season. 

Sweet Basil thrives in warm climates with full sun exposure. It requires at least six hours of direct sunlight daily to grow successfully. As for soil, it prefers well-drained, fertile soil with good moisture retention. While it can adapt to different soil types, enriching the soil with organic matter like compost can promote healthy growth and flavor development. 

Veronica Spicata
Veronica Spicata

7. Similar to lavender – Spiked Speedwell (‌Veronica spicata‌)

Spiked Speedwell is a fantastic alternative to true lavender for various reasons. Spiked Speedwell is a  flowering plant from the family Plantaginaceae. It boasts vibrant, spiky blooms in shades of purple, blue, pink or white. It’s well-suited to various climates and soil types, making it adaptable and easy to grow. Spiked Speedwell thrives in full sun to partial shade and needs well-drained soil.

This resilient, low-maintenance plant is a favorite among pollinators and can provide a stunning lavender-like appearance.


8. Catmint (Nepeta Mussinii)

Catmint, another lavender lookalikes is scientifically known as Nepeta mussinii, is a charming herb that shares similarities with lavender in its growth style and features lovely mauve flowers. While it is often mistaken for its close relative, catnip (Nepeta cataria), catmint has its unique appeal. Catmint’s name, Nepeta, traces its origins to Nepi in Italy. This herbaceous plant belongs to the Nepeta genus, encompassing around 250 species native to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Catmint thrives best in well-drained soil and is well-suited for cultivation in USDA Zones 4 to 8. Catmint is also valued for its calming properties, and its leaves and flowers can be used to create soothing herbal teas or culinary creations, including sauces and soups. While some cats may nibble on catmint, it is not as renowned among feline friends as catnip.

Catmint is an herbaceous perennial that grows in the same conditions as lavender and one of the best companion plants to keep pests away.


9. Lavender look-alikes Agastache

Agastache are fragrant and long-blooming perennials that are must-have plants for waterwise landscapes that are filled with flowers and plenty of pollinators. 

There are various species of Agastache across the United states. Those with smaller flowers are all pollinated primarily by bees and butterflies, and hummingbirds predominantly pollinate larger flowers.

In general, blue-flowered varieties such as Blue Fortune, Korean Zest and Agastache foeniculatum (Anise Hyssop) are more tolerant of moisture, enriched soils and reliably cold hardy.

Native and hybrid Agastache species like Hummingbird Mint, from the Southwestern region, known for their vibrant orange, pink, and red flower spikes, are exceptional at luring hummingbirds thrive in dry, sunny environments with well-drained soil. Thus, they struggle in USDA zones 5 and 6 with high rainfall and snowfall, though they can be cultivated in containers or brought indoors during winter.

If you’re considering growing Agastache plants, visit this website where David Salman has spent the last 25 years dedicated to cultivating them.

10. Anise Hyssop Blue Fortune (Agastache)

Agastache Blue Fortune is a captivating choice for gardeners seeking an alternative to true lavender.

Agastache foeniculum
Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Belonging to the mint family, it generates violet-blue or tiny pink clusters of flowers that bloom in late summer and are arranged on the woody stems. It’s a versatile perennial can thrive in diverse climate conditions and well-drained soil. 

It has beautiful flowers that attract bees and butterflies, and Its young, fresh leaves make a great addition to stews, soups, or salads.

11. Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Even though they look and grow similarly and are members of the mint family (Lamiaceae), hyssop belonging to the genus Hyssopus is not to be confused with Anise Hyssop known as Agastache foeniculum. They are two different plants where hyssop is a natural medicinal plant, while Anise Hyssop is not. You can distinguish them by looking at their leaves whereas Real hyssop has leaves more like lavender in color and shape.

Hummingbird MInt
Hummingbird MInt

12. Hummingbird Mint

Hummingbird Mint, also known as Agastache, features lavender-like spikes of tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and pollinators. This hardy perennial thrives in sunny locations and well-drained soil. Gardeners can enjoy its ornamental value while knowing it contributes to the local ecosystem by supporting wildlife. Hummingbird Mint is suitable for borders, rock gardens, or as a container plant.

Agastache Rugosa
Agastache Rugosa

13. Korean Mint (Agastache Rugoza)

If you life in South Korea, here is a lavender alternative that suits your region: Korean Mint.

Agastache rugosa, commonly known as Korean Mint or Chinese patchouli, is a perennial plant that can reach heights of 40 to 100 cm. Native to East Asia, this aromatic herb thrives in fertile, moisture-retentive soils with ample sunlight. In Southern Korean cuisine, it serves as a popular last-minute addition to dishes like spicy fish stew. Additionally, Korean Mint has a historical role in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used to address issues such as nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite. 

Russian Sage
Russian Sage

14. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Russian Sage is the closest herb that resembles lavender due to its striking silver-gray leaves, white stems, and tiny mauve flowers. It’s known for its adaptability to various climates and is exceptionally drought-tolerant once established.It is less tolerant of winter temperatures but can regrow in the spring. It also tolerates salty soils, thus great for coastal gardens. The primary distinction between Russian Sage and Lavender is the shade of flowers.


15. Hyssop (Hyssopus Officinalis)

One of the best plants look like lavender is hyssop offering lovely spikes of vibrant blue, purple, or pink (and occasionally white) flowers appear at the end of its long, woody stems in late summer and closely resemble lavender. It’s a hardy herb that grows well in sunny locations and well-drained soil.

Belonging to the genus Hyssopus, hyssop is a recognized medicinal plant historically used to treat respiratory and intestinal liver diseases. In culinary applications, its fresh leaves can be added to stews, soups, and salads, and they are believed to aid digestion and reduce the richness of fat-rich foods. Hyssop is also an excellent pollinator plant, making it a valuable addition to gardens. hyssop is drought-tolerant and can handle a wide range of temperatures. If you can’t grow lavender, make a lateral move and grow hyssop instead.


16. Hebe Garden Beauty Blue – another lavender lookalikes

Its purple flowers are tubular and visually appealing, reminiscent of lavender blooms. Hebes is a dense multi-branched evergreen shrub with glossy deep green leaves that thrive in well-drained soil. However more vulnerable to cold weather and dry wind. It needs a well-draining and alkaline soil since the shrub does not thrive in fertile soil.

Allium cristophili
Allium cristophili

17. Purple Rain (Allium Cristophii)

Allium’ Purple Rain’ is a cross between Allium’ Purple Sensation’ and Allium Cristophii. Its globe-shaped clusters of small star-shaped, lilac-purple flower heads (measuring up to 15cm) create a stunning visual display. Flowering in June, this plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil and can withstand cold winters. While it may not have the same fragrance as lavender, it offers an eye-catching and distinctive addition to your garden, often used in ornamental landscaping.

18. Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)

Mexican Bush Sage offers a lavish display of lavender-colored flower spikes, creating a visual spectacle in your garden. It is a resilient plant that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. While it doesn’t have the same fragrance as lavender, its stunning appearance and adaptability to various climates make it an excellent choice for gardeners seeking a look-alike lavender in the garden.


19. Purple flowers of Wisteria

Wisteria is a woody vine celebrated for its cascading clusters of lavender to purple flowers. It creates a breathtaking focal point in gardens and landscapes. While not an herb like lavender, Wisteria offers a remarkable aesthetic appeal and a touch of romance to your outdoor space. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, often thriving in temperate climates. It can grow quite tall, so be sure that you have enough space to spread it out.


20. Catnip (Nepeta Cataria)

Catnip can be also used as a replacement for lavender with its lovely spikes of lavender-blue flowers, which flower in the late spring or early autumn. While it may not be as fragrant as lavender to humans, catnip is an easy-to-grow plant that can adapt to any type of soilBeyond its playful use for cats, it has potential herbal applications and can be used to make soothing teas.

Catnip has triangular or oval leaves that are gray/green with sharp edges, and the plant can grow between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 feet tall.

Catmint is an herbaceous perennial that grows in the same conditions as lavender.

The main difference between these two plants is that catmint is more resistant to pests and diseases. So, if you’re looking for a lavender plant that’s a little tougher, catmint might be the right choice for you.

21. Pitcher Sage (Salvia Pitcheri)

This native North American plant forms dense, upright clusters that can reach up to three feet in both height and width. It features upright stems adorned with lance-shaped leaves, silvery green on their upper surface and white on their undersides. During the summer, these plants produce striking two-lipped blue flowers, attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. They are also known for their resistance to deer and their ability to thrive in drought conditions once they are established. To cultivate them successfully, it’s recommended to plant them in full sun within well-drained, average soil.

Pitcher sage (Salvia pitcheri) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) are both aromatic plants that have many similarities. Pitcher sage is a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family and is indigenous to the southwestern United States, whereas lavender hails from the Mediterranean region.

 While pitcher sage produces tubular flowers from white to purple color, lavender’s spherical flowers vary from pale pink to deep purple.

Pitcher sage has a camphor-like aroma, whereas lavender exudes a sweeter, more floral scent.

Both flowering plants have healing properties, however Pitcher sage is addresses digestive issues and soothe sore throats, while lavender eases anxiety and insomnia.

22. Purple Salvias (Salvia Nemorosa)

Another alternative to Lavender Purple Salvias that from the same mint family like lavender. they both have aromatic leaves and flowers in shades of purple and blue. However, the lavender flowers are tubular, while salvia flowers are two-lipped.

If you’re looking for a plant that is beautiful, like the lavender, but without the fuss, purple salvia makes for an ideal selection. These resilient plants are easy to grow and care for, adding a beautiful pop of color to your garden.

Salvia farinacea
Salvia farinacea

23. Mealycup Sage (Salvia Farinacea)

Mealycup sage, often referred to as Victoria blue salvia, is a perennial plant renowned for its striking spikes adorned with rich blue blossoms. While these plants bear a resemblance to lavender, they have their unique characteristics.

Hailing from North America, mealycup sage derives its name from the mealy (or powdery) substance on the flower cups. It belongs to the Salvia Genus, known for its potential healing properties.

Like other salvias, mealycup sage boasts lance-shaped leaves and vibrant, lobed blooms. However, its leaves’ texture differs, lacking the typical fuzziness of other sage species. Instead, they are smooth, slightly elongated, and have serrated edges featuring a grayish hue on their undersides.

Mealycup sage is typically planted in the spring and can grow rapidly, often blooming within four months. It’s a perennial plant that can thrive for up to five years before requiring re-sowing.

Maintaining mealycup sage is easy as it is low-maintenance and resilient. While regular watering is preferable, it can endure drought conditions quite well. In warmer climates where it establishes itself as a perennial, it is common practice to prune it to the ground during the winter, only for it to resurge and flourish in the spring.

Take advantage of this plant’s enduring blooming season and vibrant colors to fill gaps in your flower sequence. Mealycup sage is also a favorite among pollinators such as butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees, drawn to its violet flowers.

Salvia sclarea
Salvia sclarea

24. Clary Sage Plant (Salvia sclarea)

Although not as commonly grown as true lavender, Clary Sage offers an interesting lavender-like alternative. The gray-green leaves and striking pink or white blooms are traits shared between these two herbs.

Known for its medicinal properties, clary sage flowers and leaves are often infused in tea or used in herbal remedies and essential oils. They thrive in well-draining soil and full sunlight exposure.

Salvia Pratensis
Salvia Pratensis

25. Meadow Sage (Salvia Pratensis)

Meadow Sage, also known as Salvia pratensis, presents a picturesque option for gardeners desiring lavender-like blooms. With its lavender to purple spikes of flowers, it requires well-drained soil and enjoys a variety of climates. Meadow Sage is a pollinator magnet, attracting bees and butterflies to your garden. It serves as an excellent choice for borders, cottage gardens, and naturalistic landscapes.

25 plants that look like lavender
Vladka Merva on September 12th, 2023

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