Chocolate Garden

Bring the rich scent of chocolate into your garden with these beautiful plants.
By: Marie Hofer

There can be a world of chocolate in your garden. I'm not talking about the plants that look milky brown and have chocolate in the name -- 'Chocolate Ruffles' heuchera (brown foliage) or the 'Chocolate Soldier' columbine (brown flowers) or even 'Chocolate Chip' ajuga (its new leaves are brown). No, we're talking about walking through the garden and smelling chocolate. A sniff of the plants below can be very satisfying. Unfortunately though, if aroma makes you hungry, you'll need to carry a chocolate bar with you. The only two of these that are edible (the geranium and the mint) have only the vaguest of chocolaty flavors.

Chocolate Flower

chocolate-flower-s4x3

chocolate-flower-s4x3

(Berlandiera lyrata)

The chocolaty aroma that wafts from these dark-eyed daisies is best in the morning. A wildflower that's native to the Southwest, the chocolate flower thrives on minimal water. In moist, humid climates, try planting in containers; that will also allow you to place the plant where you can best appreciate its fragrance. This hardy perennial is short-lived but freely reseeds.

Chocolate-Mint Geranium

(Pelargonium tomentosum 'Chocolate Mint')

Scented geraniums come in apple, pineapple, orange and even pink champagne, so obviously a chocolate-mint was needed, too. The foliage, not the flowers, carry the fragrance. Enjoy as an annual during the growing season and then bring inside for the winter.

Chocolate Mint

chocolate_chocmint

chocolate_chocmint

(Mentha x piperita 'Chocolate Mint')

Call the fragrance on this mint nine parts mint to one part chocolate. Like others in its family, this mint spreads aggressively via rhizomes. If you want to keep it inbounds, plant in containers or install ground barriers. Mint is tolerant of almost any soil, but in moist, rich soil, growth will be rampant.

Chocolate Cosmos

chocolate-cosmos-s4x3

chocolate-cosmos-s4x3

(Cosmos atrosanguineus)

Velvety, black-maroon flowers give off a wonderful chocolate scent from midsummer to fall. This plant needs full sun and well-drained soil with even moisture. In spring, plant tubers 3 feet apart in full sun. In the fall, treat as you would a dahlia; lift and store for the winter. Enjoy the aroma but don't eat: This plant is toxic.

Not on the list:
Somehow the sweet shrub (Calycanthus floridus) has gained the reputation for having a chocolate aroma. Not so. The brown-maroon flowers of the sweetshrub have a lovely fragrance, but it's fruity (or sometimes spicy). The other common names for this large deciduous shrub: strawberry bush, spicebush and Carolina allspice.

Source for chocolate flower: Mountain Valley Growers

Keep Reading

Next Up

Favorites in an Atlanta Garden

One gardener's solution to living on a busy suburban corner.

Sage

Sage offers exciting spiky blooms in a veritable rainbow of colors.

English Lavender

English lavender is valued for its fragrance, color and texture.

Zinnia Flowers

Celebrate summer by planting a mix of zinnia flowers you can pick and plunk into vases.

Campion, catchfly

This colorful perennial is great for a mixed perennial border or cottage garden.

Petunia: Our Favorite Flowers

Add color and versatility to your summer garden container.

Swordleaf Inula

This delicate perennnial with daisy-like blooms is great as a perennial border.

Cool Colorful Plants

These versatile annuals have exploded in popularity in recent years producing months of color from summer into fall. Take a look at some winners for your garden.

Are Mums Perennials?

Learn which mums you can count on to color your landscape for years to come.

Balloon Flower Growing Tips

This hardy perennial is a prized medicinal plant in the Far East.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Log Cabin Living

6:30am | 5:30c

Log Cabin Living

7:30am | 6:30c

Desert Flippers

12:30pm | 11:30c

Desert Flippers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Desert Flippers

2:30pm | 1:30c

Desert Flippers

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.