by Warren Keller – @warrensgardens
When you think of a new plant or flower for your garden I bet you never thought about black flowers? But, guess what… they exist! And despite their contradiction to a vibrant colorful flower, black flowers can offer charm and really pull you deep into the gardening world! Here’s a little bit about some of my all-time favorites. We’ll start with the “Black Magic” Petunias.
I first stumbled upon the “Black Magic” Petunia at ACE Hardware. I’ve grown many petunias over the years in my private garden, but admittedly I’ve never seen anything as wickedly sweet as this! Unique in color and perfect in size as to not overwhelm your garden, this Petunia is less eerie and more mythical in nature. To me, it reminds me of a velvet cloak. Every time I’m in Los Angeles I swing by my friend Kat Von D’s home and contribute meaningful flowers for her Black Garden and this go round was one of her most favourite additions.
Obsessed? Addicted? Me, too! But there’s more – the black sunflower brings a sort of mystery to a “colourless” garden and can mesmerise your eyes and make you feel like you’re being pulled into a limitless mind space of possibility.
A simple search on Instagram under #blackflowers and you may also come across this irresistible double black hellebore, or one of the edible flowers, the ‘Molly Sanderson’ Viola and then there’s the super rare Copiapoa tenuissima which resembles (no big deal) the entire Milky Way.
All of these may be available at your local garden center. For me it’s all about the thrill of the hunt and I like to start local. But, if you’re pressed for time online is an option. Try visiting; Annie’s Annuals, Burpee Seeds and Baker Creek Seeds.
True, these plants are easy to grow, but do be sure to take note of the care instructions. A good green rule of thumb I live by is using a quality planting mix and be sure to fertilise often, for best show. Lastly, don’t forget about deadheading your flowering beauties.
Want more? Checkout these other “must haves” that I’m currently on the hunt for. Tacca chantrieri ‘Black Bat plant’, Hoya pubicalyx ‘Black Dragon’, Alocasia reginula ‘Black Velvet’, ‘Black Magic’ Mangave and Black Bearded Iris ‘Hello Darkness’.
Which black blooms mesmerise you? Tell me in the comment section below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.