Under its daisy-like appearance, the Berlandiera lyrata remains well known for its strong chocolate fragrance! Strange for a plant that has nothing to do with a cocoa tree.
Native to North America, the Berlandiera lyrata, from its Latin name, has small yellow petals farting in the shape of a lyre and a heart mixing shades of brown and touches of yellow. In its natural habitat, it blooms from spring until the arrival of frost, during which time it remains dormant.
Chocolate in his garden
The “Chocolate Drop” can be a fabulous addition to your flower beds or planter boxes. A surprising way to vary scents of roses and lilies! You can also energize the smell of the flowers by removing the yellow parts from the center of the flower. If you have a sunny ground with a dry or rocky ground the plant will be all the better.
One cultivates this plant today only largely for its particular scent but it was not always the case. The plant was actually used by the American Indians to relieve stomach aches and in other cultures, the dried roots were considered a relaxant or more generally a solution to give courage. Even more surprising: the stamens taste like chocolate!
Seed advancement in the house can take place in late March or early April. Sowing directly in the bed should be maintained until May or June to prevent the seeds and seedlings from being damaged by frost. The same applies to planting. It should only be noted here that the chocolate flower is provided with the appropriate substrate and is kept moist in both the seeds and the young plants during the first few weeks. Only then germination or root growth is possible.
Planting and seeding
The chocolate flower comes from dry regions and therefore does not require regular watering after growth. Pouring is only necessary if the substrate threatens to dry out completely. Slight humidity must be preserved. Especially in the vat, care must be taken to ensure that the soil is not too dry – but also that there is no waterlogging.
Fertilization is not absolutely necessary for the chocolate flower, but it benefits from its flowering power. During the first year, an additional supply of nutrients is not necessarily necessary, as long as the soil has been prepared with compost or a high quality soil has been selected.
Then, a liquid fertilizer can be added monthly or a mature compost can be incorporated into the soil at the beginning of germination or at the latest at the beginning of the flowering period.
A real mix does not need the chocolate flower. But it promotes the flowering power when the dried flowers are cut. In addition, a perfect pruning is recommended if you want to winterize the Berlandiera lyrata outside. This is rarely possible. Otherwise, only the dried, withered and dead shoots are removed.
Where to plant berlandiera lyrata
The real chocolate flower is native to regions such as Arizona, Kansas and Texas, which are hot, sunny and dry regions. This should also be the ideal location for the Berlandiera lyrata. The light semi-shade tolerates the plant but also. When choosing the planting location, it should also be taken into account that the sweet scent of the flowers attracts many insects, such as bees.
Anyone who is allergic or very sensitive to stings should therefore reconsider the choice of plants or plant the chocolate flower as far away as possible from windows, doors and dining rooms. It should also be noted that the sun-loving flower can grow up to 45 inches in height. This can therefore interfere with otherwise very low planting or “shading” of other plants.
Which substrate to choose?
As far as the substrate is concerned, the chocolate flower is not too agitated. It should meet the following conditions:
- Water permeable
- Little or no peat
- Moderate nutrient content
A high-quality garden or potting soil, which is cleaned with sand, is ideal. For older worn-out soils, additional mature compost can be added to increase the nutrient content.
It is important that the substrate is not subject to compression and also provides drainage. In bucket cultivation, this can be achieved by a drainage layer. When planted in the garden, sand and possibly gravel softens the soil, reducing the risk of waterlogging.
Growing berlandiera lyrata in water?
Growing in the bucket is not only possible with the chocolate flower, but even recommended, as it facilitates hibernation in a temperate climate and reduces general care.
Important are the following points:
- Choose a bucket as deep as possible so that the tall plant is sufficiently stable.
- Insert drainage layer to ensure drainage
- Frequent checks and watering as needed to prevent complete dehydration of the soil
- Regular fertilization
- Repotting or changing the soil every two or three years can be combined with root division.
Illnesses and errors of care
Typical illnesses are not known in the chocolate flower, but mistakes can be cured very well. The most common ones include:
- Soil too dense or dense
- Place too dark
- Lack of nutrients
- Desiccant Substrate
- soil clogging
- Lack of protection against freezing or incorrect winterization
If the location and substrate are selected appropriately and care instructions are taken into account, errors can be avoided in advance.
If the chocolate flower develops poorly, loses its flowering power or even withers, the growing conditions should be checked and adapted if necessary. In case of damage caused by waterlogging, it is also recommended converting the plant to dry substrate. Although this does not guarantee its safeguarding, this measure increases the chances of success.
The chocolate flower is an ornament that delights the nose, it can be grown freely in the garden or in the bucket. It is even a tempting and durable cut flower – many benefits can be enjoyed effortlessly. And that over the years, because Berlandiera lyrata’s claims are met and it overwinters well, it is persistent and it is also easy to multiply.