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.
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.
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.
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.