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Chocolate Scented Daisy: Tips For Growing Chocolate Flower Plants

Chocolate Scented Daisy: Tips For Growing Chocolate Flower Plants


By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Growing chocolate flower plants (Berlandiera lyrata) in the garden sends the scent of chocolate wafting through the air. The pleasant fragrance and yellow, daisy-like flowers are just a couple of reasons to grow the chocolate scented daisy. Berlandiera chocolate flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other important pollinators to the garden.

Planting and Care of Chocolate Flower

An herbaceous perennial, the chocolate scented daisy sometimes grows to 2 feet (0.5 m.) in height and the same in spread. Growing chocolate flower plants with abundant growth may take on the form of a sprawling ground cover, so allow plenty of room when planting the chocolate scented daisy.

Chocolate flower care can involve pruning and clipping the plant to keep it within boundaries. The plant can be trimmed back by one-third in summer if it begins to look untidy, followed by another show of the fragrant blooms. If you’re growing chocolate flower plants to feed the birds, leave the seed heads intact.

Berlandiera chocolate flowers grow well in the arid and semi-arid areas of the southwest. Start the chocolate scented daisy from seed in fall or in spring. Although somewhat drought resistant when established, seeds must be kept moist for germination.

Chocolate flower care may involve watering regularly for the best show of blooms on growing chocolate flower plants. Blooms may appear as early as April and last until autumn. Plants are hardy to 10 F. (-12 C.).

Plant the chocolate scented daisy in a full to part sun location. Plant it near the deck or another seating area to fully enjoy the fragrance. Care of chocolate flowers is simple and worthwhile, as the plant provides bright blooms with chocolate stripes underneath the petals and interesting, ornamental brown seedpods.

Try growing chocolate flower plants in your garden or flower bed. You can even add it to a chocolate garden. After all, most everyone loves the smell of chocolate.

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Growing Fragrant Chocolate Daisies

Chocolate daisy flowers are not only a beautiful addition to your garden. Who wouldn't want to smell chocolate in their garden?

Ever dreamed of having a home or garden filled with the smells of yummy things like baked goods or chocolate? Well, if that’s the case, you’re really going to love growing Berlandiera lyrata also known as Chocolate Daisies. This flower doesn’t get its name from its color, but rather it’s scent. These yellow flowers look like daisies, but they smell just like chocolate.

Why Grow Chocolate Daisies

If the scent of chocolate isn’t enough of a draw for you to grow chocolate daisies, the fact that this flower is excellent for pollinators should. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators are drawn to the scent of chocolate daisies in your yard. Planting this flower can be a great way to bring these pollinators in to help the overall health of your garden. They are also deer resistant making them an excellent choice over some other pollinator-friendly flowers that the deers in your area love to eat. Plus, in the later months, the seedheads will attract birds to your yard if you leave the seeds alone.

Growing Chocolate Daisies

Chocolate daisies are a perennial herb, so you can enjoy them year after year. They grow about one to two feet, both in height and outward spread. They're excellent ground cover for your garden beds as they’ll keep growing. This flower’s foliage is gray-green in color that mounds up and each one will be about two inches across featuring a maroon circle surrounded by yellow petals. To experience the chocolate aroma up close, try sniffing the flowers' leaves or plucking the petals from the flower, which will release the plant's signature scent.

If you want to show them off, chocolate flowers tend to look best during the morning hours before high midday temperatures cause them to droop, and even continue to look nice later in the season when the plant forms seedheads. They'll resemble little cups of seeds for the next generation of plants.

Native Habitat

Chocolate daisies are a native plant to the United States and are found in many of the Southwestern states. These native habitats include Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado. In their native habitat, these plants will bloom throughout the year during the warm weather, adding a lovely pop of color throughout the growing season in your area.

Growing Requirements

As the native habitat for this flower is typically in rocky limestone soils that are rather dry, this plant can thrive well with well-drained soil, loam, clay, or sand. You’ll want to make sure they are in fertile ground. These plants are great if you live in an area that has dealt with some droughts in the past as they have a very low requirement for water. You’ll want to plant them in either full sun or part shade. Also, this plant can quickly overtake the area that you plant it in, so you’ll either want to plant it in an area where there is plenty of space for it to spread or be ready to prune it to keep it in the area you want it to grow in.

Planting

You can either purchase seedlings and plants from your local garden center or propagate these plants from seeds. These are one of the easiest flowers to grow from seeds, so they are great for beginners and experts. Growing this plant can actually be a fun project for families as kids can easily get involved and will be amazed by the smell. When starting seeds, you’ll want to start them indoors and keep them slightly moist to get them to germinate. You can sprout them in the spring through the fall depending on your area, and then transplant them outside. Remember that after germination, you don’t want to let the soil get overly wet. This wetness can cause the roots to rot and kill off your seedlings before they make it outdoors.

These plants produce a lot of seeds, so you’ll always have a supply if you decide to pick the seeds.

These plants will thrive when planted in the right conditions, and continue to grow by themselves with little maintenance. You may however want to trim the plant back in the summer months if it starts to get too big and messy. Depending on where you planted, you can even mow it down after the first bloom rather than trim it. This act will lead to another bloom. If you opt just to let it grow, you’ll want to deadhead the blooms which helps produce even more flowers to enjoy.

Chocolate daisies have a lot going for them that make them an attractive perennial to plant in your yard. Their smell, ease of care, being deer resistant, attracting pollinators, and requiring low moisture all bundle up into one lovely package. This plant is one that you should give a try to garden this year.

About Shannon McKee

About Shannon McKee

Shannon McKee is an urban gardener that has been gardening seriously for over ten years now. Much to her husband’s chagrin, every year it seems like her once little patch of the backyard gets bigger and bigger. She’s always looking for ways to get the most out of her garden without spending a fortune. She focuses mostly on vegetables, but a few flowers and fruits pop up in her yard here or there. There’s nothing better in her mind than heading out to the garden and making a healthy snack to enjoy during the day. As a stay at home mom who works from home, she de-stresses by getting her hands dirty.


Botanical information

Akebia quinata, from the family Lardixabalaceae, is a woody deciduous plant commonly known as Chocolate Vine but also goes by the names Five-Leaf Akebia, Akebia, Chocolate Vine, and Raisin Vine.

It was originally from the eastern parts of Asia, such as Central China, Japan, and Korea. The vine was imported mainly because of its unique appearance that seems to have a positive effect on aesthetics. In the United States, it is most suitable to grow in zones 4-8.

Chocolate vine is composed of five leaves in a muted blue-green shade connected by a slender stem. The stem will be green in color during the plant’s young age but will eventually turn brown as it grows older. It also develops a useful plant part called tendrils, which are modified stems that are used mostly for anchorage.

The name “Chocolate Vine” was coined due to its flowers, wherein they are chocolate-purple and give off a sweet smell like vanilla and chocolate and they bloom in bundles. As it matures, long violet flat pods around 8-9 cm long are produced with black seeds inside.


Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate daisy) will reach a height of 0.45m and a spread of 0.6m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Cottage/Informal, Drought Tolerant, Garden edging, Gravel, Wildflower, Wildlife

Cultivation

Grow in poor, well-drained, preferably alkaline to neutral soil in full sun. Tolerates partial shade. Drought tolerant, but best if watered weekly in dry periods. Flowers open at night, often closing by midday. Self-seeds. Flops in fertile and wet soils.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)


How to Care for Chocolate Vine

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You can't process your own cocoa powder from chocolate vine (Akebia quinata), but the beautiful, chocolate-purple flowers on this woody vine certainly fill a garden with the delectable fragrance of chocolate. Also known as fiveleaf akebia, chocolate vine grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, and blooms from March to April. Given proper care, vines can easily climb to heights of 20 to 40 feet and, with a spread of 6 to 9 feet, work well for filling in trellises and arbors.

Plant the chocolate vine in well-drained, sandy loam soil for best results, although the plant will thrive in most soils without amendments. Select a site in full sun to partial shade, which receives about six hours of direct or filtered sunlight lately. If no such sunlight conditions are available in your yard, the chocolate vine can grow in almost full shade.

Plant at least two chocolate vine plants for cross-pollination, particularly if you want to enjoy the vines for their edible fruits.

Apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant to prevent weeds from growing around the vines. Do not push the mulch directly against the plant stem. Use an organic mulch, such as leaf mold, compost or shredded bark, which breaks down to add structure to the soil.

Provide a trellis, arbor, pergola or other support structure for the climbing vine. Alternatively, you can grow chocolate vine as a groundcover without any support structure consider it for erosion control on a hillside.

Water the plant frequently, providing it with medium moisture. Expect to water about once weekly throughout most of the year, but more frequently in hot, dry months. Chocolate vine will tolerate some drought, so you might want to wait until the soil feels dry to the touch before watering.

Fertilize the tree up to once monthly, using a water-soluble, complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10, if desired. Chocolate vine grows very well -- sometimes too well -- so limit fertilizer except in poor, infertile soil.

Cut the vines back as needed, beginning in late spring after flowering, to control the size of the vine. Left unpruned, the vine can spread into unwanted areas fairly quickly. Cut straight through the vine at a point about 1/4 inch above a leaf. Use bypass pruners or lopping shears, depending on vine thickness.

Cut the plant back to the ground in spring to renovate the plant, removing any old, straggly vines and encouraging new growth. You also might try this as a way to regain control over a neglected chocolate vine.


Chocolate Sunflower Uses

Unfortunately, your chocolate sunflower plant won't yield any chocolate-flavored seeds. However, you can harvest the seeds for use as bird or squirrel food or dried and saved for next year's garden. To harvest seeds, wait for the seeds to fully develop on the plant, then cut the seed head off and hang it to dry. Once thoroughly dry, rub the seed head with your hand to remove the seeds the seeds should fall off easily, if not, let the head dry longer. Place the seeds in a sealed jar or plastic bag and store in a cool, dark location until you're ready to use them. Because of their small kernel size, chocolate sunflower seeds make a poor snack for humans.


Watch the video: daisy flower grow and care. March 22, 2019