Start a Chocolate Garden

Can't get enough chocolate? Then fill your garden with plants that have dark purple-brown flowers and foliage or cocoa-scented blooms.

Justin W. Hancock


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Cosmos atrosanguineus
1/21
Chocolate Cosmos

    Plants don't get much better than chocolate cosmos, which both looks and smells like chocolaty goodness! The burgundy-maroon flowers appear all summer long on tall stems and bear a rich scent.

    Name: Cosmos atrosanguineus

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

    Size To 30 inches tall and 18 inches wide

    Zones: 7-10, but commonly grown as an annual

2/21
Chocolate Flower

    Another beautiful plant worth growing for the scent of its blooms, chocolate flower is a North American native groundcover that bears daisy-shape yellow blossoms in spring and early summer.

    Name: Berlandiera lyrata

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 8 inches tall and wide

    Zones: 7-9

3/21
Chocolate Vine

    Give a wall in your garden a lovely covering with chocolate vine, an easy-growing climber that offers purple or white chocolate-scented flowers in late spring. The hand-shape foliage is lovely and lends the landscape a tropical air all summer and fall.

    Name: Akebia quinata

    Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: Climbs to 30 feet

    Zones: 5-9

4/21
Hot Cocoa Rose

    Though it's not chocolate scented, Hot Cocoa rose does offer fun coloring -- the blooms are burgundy-red with unique brown undertones. It's a great cut flower with a moderate old rose fragrance.

    Name: Hot Cocoa Rosa 'WEKpaltlez'

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 8 inches tall and wide

    Zones: 7-9

5/21
'Dark Chocolate' Coleus

    'Dark Chocolate' earned its moniker because of its foliage: The leaves are a rich dark purple color with a slight brown undertone. This lovely coleus grows well in sun or shade and makes a terrific houseplant if you bring it inside for the winter.

    Name: Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Dark Chocolate'

    Growing Conditions: Sun or shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 30 inches tall and 24 inches wide

    Zones: Annual

6/21
'Chocolate Mint' Coleus

    Add drama to your shade garden with this gorgeous coleus. It bears rich purple-red foliage edged crisply in lime green. And as a bonus, you can grow it as a houseplant during the winter months if you have a bright spot for it.

    Name: Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Chocolate Mint'

    Growing Conditions: Shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 20 inches tall and 14 inches wide

    Zones: Annual

7/21
'Chocolate' Joe Pye Weed

    Attract butterflies to your yard with 'Chocolate' Joe Pye weed, a low-care perennial that's a fun version of a North American native plant. Named for its purple-brown foliage, 'Chocolate' bears contrasting white flowers.

    Name: Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate'

    Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide

    Zones: 4-9

8/21
'Sweet Hot Chocolate' Daylily

    Daylilies are among the easiest perennials to grow, so you'll definitely want to add 'Sweet Hot Chocolate' to your garden. It bears amazing mahogany-purple flowers in summer. The blooms are edible (but sadly, they don't taste of cocoa).

    Name: Hemerocallis 'Sweet Hot Chocolate'

    Growing Conditions: Sun and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 24 inches tall and wide

    Zones: 3-10

9/21
'Milk Chocolate' Sedge

    We all know grasses to be green, right? 'Milk Chocolate' sedge throws that rule on its head! This evergreen (everbrown?) perennial bears chocolate-tan leaves. It makes a great textural contrast in the garden.

    Name: Carex comans 'Milk Chocolate'

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 14 inches tall and 30 inches wide

    Zones: 7-9, but can be treated like an annual

10/21
'Chocolat' Sunflower

    You're sure to love the deep, velvety color of 'Chocolat' sunflower, a fun twist on one of the favorite annual flowers of all time. This variety bears big heads surrounded by golden-brown petals.

    Name: Helianthus annuus 'Chocolat'

    Growing Conditions: Sun and well-drained soil

    Size: To 48 inches tall and 24 inches wide

    Zones: Annual

11/21
'Chocolate Ruffles' Coralbells

    Though the leaves on this spectacular coral bells emerge coppery in color, they quickly mature to a bold chocolaty-purple. As its name suggests, the foliage is a bit ruffled, adding texture to the landscape. White flowers appear in late spring and early summer.

    Name: Heuchera 'Chocolate Ruffles'

    Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Zones: 4-9

12/21
'Summer Chocolate' Mimosa

    A stunning selection of mimosa from Japan, 'Summer Chocolate' offers finely divided leaves in a rich, dark purple-red shade. Pink flowers accent it in late summer.

    Note: This tree has invasive qualities in some areas; check local restrictions before planting it.

    Name: Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate'

    Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 20 feet tall and 25 feet wide

    Zones: 7-10

13/21
'Velour Frosted Chocolate' Viola

    Start your chocolate garden with the rich caramel-meets-chocolate (with a purple blush) look of 'Velour Frosted Chocolate' viola, a cool-loving plant that does beautifully in most areas during fall and spring.

    Name: Viola 'Velour Frosted Chocolate'

    Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide

    Zones: Annual

14/21
'Colorburst Chocolate' Calibrachoa

    A perfect complement to chocolate cosmos, 'Colorburst Chocolate' calibrachoa is a compact selection that bears burgundy blooms blushed with brown.

    Name: Calibrachoa 'Colorburst Chocolate'

    Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 8 inches tall and 10 inches wide

    Zones: Annual

15/21
'Mocha' Coralbells

    'Mocha' is a delightful variety of coralbells featuring deep purple foliage that seems to get darker as the season progresses. The leaves are larger than many other common coralbells, and it holds up better to heat and humidity.

    Name: Heuchera x villosa 'Mocha'

    Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide

    Zones: 4-9

16/21
Chocolate Mint Scented Geranium

    You'll want to grow this plant where you can easily brush the leaves because of their refreshing minty fragrance. While it doesn't smell of chocolate, the foliage is delightfully splotched with dark purple. It's a great summer annual or houseplant if you have a sunny window.

    Name: Pelargonium 'Chocolate Mint'

    Growing Conditions: Sun and well-drained soil

    Size: To 3 feet tall and wide

    Zones: 9-10, but usually grown as an annual

17/21
'Heart Attack' Sweet William

    A perennial form of sweet William, 'Heart Attack' offers deep blackish-red flowers in spring and summer. The blooms are delightfully fragrant and make for wonderful cut flowers

    Name: Dianthus barbatus 'Heart Attack'

    Growing Conditions: Sun and well-drained soil

    Size: To 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide

    Zones: 4-8

18/21
'Midnight Feelings' Phlox

    Though it doesn't bear a chocolate name, there's no mistaking the color of this plant's brown-red bracts. These bracts are what puts on a show; they surround flower buds that curiously never open. The flowers last longer than traditional garden phlox.

    Name: Phlox paniculata 'Midnight Feelings'

    Growing Conditions: Sun and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide

    Zones: 4-8

19/21
Purple Four-Leaf Clover

    Even if white clover is a major pest in your lawn, you might consider its cousin, purple four-leaf clover. This quick-growing groundcover bears rich chocolate-purple foliage edged in green. Curiously, most of the leaves have four leaflets instead of the traditional three, so you can always feel lucky!

    Name: Trifolium repens 'Atropurpureum'

    Growing Conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 8 inches tall and 18 inches wide

    Zones: 4-9

20/21
'Intrigue' Canna

    'Intrigue' is a particularly lovely canna with stiff upright leaves in a delightful shade of purple-gray, kind of like when you leave a chocolate bar sitting out too long. In late summer, it has orange-red flowers, but they really take a backseat to the foliage.

    Name: Canna 'Intrigue'

    Growing Conditions: Sun and moist, well-drained soil

    Size: To 7 feet tall and 2 feet wide

    Zones: 8-10, but can be treated like an annual or stored in a cool, frost-free place for winter

21/21
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