Chocolate scented dahlia!

December 29th, 2017 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Dahlia 'Karma Chocolate'

I didn’t believe it was true, but Dahlia ‘Karma Chocolate’ really does smell of chocolate. You think I’m kidding you, a dahlia that smells of chocolate?!

Back in September my friend Tracey at Foxtail Lilly, boutique florists, gave me a bunch of ‘Karma Chocolate’ and I just sniffed them without thinking.

OK, it’s not strong. But some plants of the chocolate cosmos, Cosmos atrosanguineus don’t smell much either. But that elusive chocolate smell is definitely there.

But it’s not just the smell. This is fine border plant that flowers for months and, in particular, it makes a superb cut flower with waterlily flowers in deep and sumptuous velvety chocolate red.

All seventeen varieties in the Karma Series have been specially developed for cutting, with a long vase life of seven to twelve days and long strong stems that support the flower heads well but which are not too fat and obtrusive.

The rich colouring of ‘Karma Chocolate’ always captures our attention and combined with that gentle, though unmistakeable scent, makes it a genuinely outstanding dahlia. Look out too for the lovely lilac pink ‘Karma Lagoon’ which has the same long lasting cut flower qualities and which also makes a superb plant for a mixed or perennial borders.

The plants come as dry tubers, and when they arrive in the spring you can hang on to them until early May then plant them in the garden. I prefer to pot them up into 12cm pots as soon as they arrive and grow them on just frost free to plant out at the end of May or early June. Be sure to give them stout support, the plants produce a lot of growth and a lot of flowers.

There’ll be so many flowers that you’ll have plenty to cut and still leave an effective display in the garden.

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Is one of our best known gardening writers. A graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Graham was previously Gardening Correspondent of The Observer.
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