Chocolate gardens are a delight to the senses, perfect for gardeners who enjoy the taste, color and smell of chocolate. Grow a chocolate themed garden near a window, pathway, porch or outdoor seating where people congregate. Most “chocolate plants” grow well in either full sun or partial shade. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow a chocolate themed garden.
Chocolate Garden Plants
The best part of designing chocolate gardens is choosing the plants. Here is a selection plants that smell like chocolate or have a rich, chocolaty color or taste:
- Chocolate cosmos – Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) combines the color and fragrance of chocolate in one plant. The flowers bloom all summer on tall stems and make excellent cut flowers. It is considered a perennial in USDA zones 8 through 10a, but it is usually grown as an annual.
- Chocolate flower – Chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata) has a strong chocolate fragrance early in the morning and on sunny days. This yellow, daisy-like flower attracts bees, butterflies and birds to the garden. A Native American wildflower, chocolate flower is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 11.
- Heuchera – Heuchera ‘Chocolate Veil’ (Heuchera americana) has dark chocolate-colored foliage with purple highlights. White flowers rise above the large, scalloped leaves in late spring and early summer. ‘Chocolate Veil’ is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9.
- Himalayan honeysuckle – Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa) is a shrub that grows up to 8 feet (2.4 m.) tall. The dark maroon to brown flowers are followed by berries that have a chocolate-caramel flavor. It can become invasive. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 11.
- Columbine – ‘Chocolate Soldier’ columbine (Aquilegia viridiflora) has richly colored, purple-brown flowers that bloom from late spring through early summer. They have a delightful scent, but they don’t smell like chocolate. ‘Chocolate Soldier’ is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9.
- Chocolate mint – Chocolate mint (Mentha piperata) has a minty-chocolate fragrance and taste. For maximum flavor, harvest the plant in late spring and summer when it is in full bloom. The plants are highly invasive and should only be grown in containers. Chocolate mint is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9.
Some of these plants are hard to find in local garden centers and nurseries. Check nursery catalogs both online and offline if you can’t find the plant you want locally.
Designing Chocolate Gardens
Learning how to grow a chocolate themed garden is not difficult. When you are creating a chocolate garden theme, make sure to follow the growing conditions of the chocolate garden plants you have chosen. It is preferable that they share the same or similar conditions.
The care of your chocolate garden will also depend on the chosen plants, as requirements for watering and fertilizing will differ. Therefore, those that share the same needs will offer the best results.
A chocolate garden theme is a delight to the senses and a pleasure to tend, making it well worth a little extra effort to obtain the plants.