Chocolate is a fun theme for a garden! Find plants with the fragrance of chocolate and flowers and foliage to resemble both milk and dark chocolate. Together they create a chocolate-lovers garden dream. They are not edible though, so you’ll have to take care of cravings with the real thing.
For more garden ideas, see How to Grow Hydrangea From Cuttings.
A Chocolate-Inspired Garden
Several years ago, I visited a garden where the theme was chocolate. No one had to say a thing: I realized it the moment I went through the gate to the back garden where I was greeted by the fragrance of milk chocolate and vanilla, and a variety of plants with flowers and foliage in dark hues of burgundy, red, purple, brown, and black. It was a chocolate-lover’s garden heaven.
When I got home I started looking up all the possible plant choice to create a chocolate garden.
I realized the gardener was very clever. It’s rare to have the chocolate fragrance and appearance in the same plant (although chocolate cosmos is an exception), but, by placing the colour and fragrance plants near each other, the whole thing totally spoke chocolate!
I’ve listed the plants I found and some of their characteristics. And no, except for the veggies, they are not edible, so you’ll have to remedy any cravings with real chocolates.
Scent can be subjective! Give the sniff test before you buy!
- Chocolate Flower | Berlandiera lyrata
This yellow, daisy-shaped flower has a chocolate scent. It attracts butterflies and deer do not like it. It is drought-tolerant and blooms at night. (zones 7-9)
- Chocolate Cosmos | Cosmos atrosanguineus
This one has both a chocolate-like colour and fragrance. You can overwinter the tuberous root in cold storage. (zones 4-11)
- Chocolate Vine | Akebia quinata | Can be invasive – check for your region.
Chocolate-scented flowering, deciduous vine with a vanilla fragrance and edible fruit. Can be invasive. (zones 4-8)
- Chocolate Snakeroot | Eupatorium rugosum
Perennial shrub. (zones 4-8)
- Chocolate Mint | Mentha piperita
Deer-resistant, perennial herb. (zones 1-24)
Wait! Before You Plant…
Be sure any plants you choose:
- Are recommended for your plant hardiness zone.
- Are not invasive in your area.
- Are suitable for your growing conditions including sun, soil, water, and wind.
- Contribute to biodiversity by providing food, nectar, or habitat for wildlife.
- Will not be too big for the space at mature size.
You can read more ecological gardening tips here.
Chocolate-Colored Flowers & Leaves
Most of these plants have been bred to capture the beautiful deep burgundy, red, purple, brown, and black hues. They can be show-stoppers when displayed next to lighter, contrasting foliage plants.
- Black-eyed Susans ‘Green Wizard‘ | Rudbeckia occidentalis
- Coleus ‘Chocolate Mint‘ | Plectranthus scutellarioide
Annual, heat tolerant. (zones 10-11)
- Columbine | Aquilegia ‘Chocolate Star‘ ‘Single Black’ ‘William Guinness’ ‘Chocolate Soldier’, ‘Black Barlow’
Perennials (zones 3-9)
- Coralbells ‘Mocha’ | Heuchera x villosa
- Dahlia ‘Chocolate Sundae‘ and ‘Karma Choc‘
Store them for the winter in colder climates. (zones 7-10)
- Daphne ‘February Plum‘ | Houtteana
Deep purple to black leaves. (zones 6-8)
- Daylily ‘Sweet Hot Chocolate’ | Hemerocallis
Perennial (tuberous root), attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.
Hemerocallis fulva is considered invasive in some parts of North America.
- Dianthus ‘Black Adder’ Sweet William
- Eupatorium ‘Chocolate‘ | Eupatorium rugosa
- False Indigo ‘Chocolate Chip’ | Baptisia
- Flowering Tobacco ‘Chocolate Smoke‘ | Nicotiana
- Geranium ‘Espresso’ | Geranium maculatum
- Hollyhock ‘Rosa Nigra‘ | Alcea
Biennial. (zones 3-9)
- Joe Pye Weed ‘Chocolate‘| Eupatorium rugosum
- Iris ‘Black Form’ | Chrysographes
- Loosestrife ‘Persian Chocolate‘ | Lysimachia congestiflora
- Morning Glory ‘Chocolate‘ | Lpomoea nil
Check that it’s not invasive in your growing zone.
- Pineapple Lily ‘Oakhurst‘ | Eucomis comosa
- Sunflower ‘Chocolate Cherry’ | Helianthus annus
Annual. (zones 1-10)
- Sweet Pea ‘Streamer Chocolate’ | Lathyrus odoratus
Annual (zones 7-10)
- Violet ‘Frosted Chocolate’ | Viola x wittrockiana
Perennial or annual depending on growing zone. (zones 3-8)
Look for veggie seeds with ‘chocolate’ in the name. Or, browse catalogs and watch for those dark, lovely colors.
- Chocolate corn
- Mini chocolate bell peppers
- Chocolate cherry tomato
Grab the free printable list for reference!
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Chocolate Plants By Look Or Smell
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~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛