Fragrant, Dark, and Beautiful: Black Flowers and Your Garden

“Black flower” seems like an oxymoron. In fact, black roses are traditionally sent to wish illness, tragedy, and death on people or to convey hatred. Almost no one would think of planting black flowers in his or her garden, but today we’re going to try persuading you to consider it. Let’s examine a few popular black flowers for their positive attributes.

Types of Black Flowers

Black Dahlia

It’s important to know there are no truly black flowers. Breeders have tried, but as far as we know none have been cultivated. Most are extremely deep burgundy or purple, like the black dahlia. This plant is a rich burgundy and is often used in centerpieces. Black dahlias, sometimes called burgundy blacks, are typically planted in April or May. They bloom in summer and need eight hours per day of direct sunlight to thrive. Do not water them until you see the first sprouts unless you live in a hot climate. Pair them against white or pink blooms for the best contrast.

Chocolate Cosmos

The chocolate cosmos flower is native to Mexico. These are generally deep reddish-black or can be red with a black center. The flower was partially named for its fragrance, which resembles vanilla with chocolate undertones. For optimal fragrance experience, plant them in the spring or early summer. The fragrance will strengthen as summer continues. It needs well-moistened soil, full sun, and frequent deadheading. Be aware this plant is prone to aphids and mildew; ask a professional for prevention tips.

Black Mondo Grass

This plant is recognized for herbal uses instead of as a blossom. Its most striking part is its purplish-black leaves, which provide a sharp contrast with bell-shaped pink flowers. This plant also grows berries. These berries are edible but may be tart. Black mondo grass requires acidic soil for optimum growth. For best color contrasts, place it at the front of a flower border or make it part of a mixed bouquet.

Black Tulip

Also known as Queen of the Night or Black Parrot, the black tulip is an intriguing flower. They usually resemble the colors maroon or wine red as opposed to black and have velvety blossoms. They grow from 16-18 inches tall and can thrive in full or partial sun. Because black tulips are hybrids, you can care for them in much the same way as any other tulip. Tulips are perennials and should be planted in early fall. Tulips also need dry soil; saturated soil will kill your flowers.

Black Velvet Petunia

The black velvet petunia is the “new flower on the block,” having been introduced only a few years ago. Its thick petals are velvety and shine like polished piano keys. Despite its dark color, a black petunia needs plenty of sun. The black petunia allegedly originated in Argentina and continues thriving in hot climates today. Black velvet petunias must be protected from low temperatures, especially when frost or rain is expected. Its best contrast comes from bright pink flowers.

Bat Orchid

Orchids just got more exotic thanks to the bat orchid. It’s named for its whisker-like leaves that trail down the plant. Its buds look a bit shriveled, but this is normal. Keep your bat orchids in full sun and moist soil or greenhouses – they love heat. Conversely, keep them protected from cold temperatures.

Photo Credit:

Photographer Tingeling offered the photograph of Dark Red Dahlia under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Frauke Feind offered the photograph of Petunia under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer Brigitte Werner offered the photograph of Black Flower Garden under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer José R Valverde offered the photograph of Black Tulip under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer José R Valverde offered the photograph of Black Tulip under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay

Photographer picman22 offered the photograph of Bat Plant under a Creative Commons License on Pixabay