From the employee-owners of Gardener's Supply

Black Magic

Almost-black plants and foliage, clockwise from top left: Black Magic Viola, Sweet Caroline Purple Sweet Potato Vine, Colorblaze Dark Star Coleus and Pinstripe Petunia.

As I looked for flowers to complement some marigolds in a container planting, I stumbled upon Black Magic violas, the blackest flower I’ve ever seen. Most “black” flowers are very dark purple, but Black Magic is a pure matte black. Wow.

It got me thinking about black flowers in general: what’s available, how they fit into a garden scheme and why they hold such allure. Is it because they’re sophisticated? Mysterious? Or just unusual? It seems that breeders have been especially busy creating plants with almost-black flowers and foliage. A quick survey of our garden center revealed Sweet Caroline Purple Sweet Potato Vine, Colorblaze Dark Star Coleus, Black Magic Viola and Pinstripe Petunia.

How do you feel about almost-black flowers and foliage? Where do they fit into a garden scheme? Are they a passing fad, or do you envision a permanent place in your garden for these unusual plants? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see photos of how you’ve incorporated these plants into your gardens and container plantings. Share your photos in My Best Planters.

Suzanne DeJohn
Gardener’s Supply


  1. June 30, 2011    

    They are beautiful in a garden! Can be just the right accent, or make a gothic garden.

  2. June 30, 2011    

    They would be so pretty in a lavender and pink colored garden.

  3. July 1, 2011    

    Love black flowers! I use them with chartreuse colored flowers or leaves, deep red and deep violet flowers. I just love that combination! I have used this combination of colors in the front of my house. My house is a rather grand Greek Revival and instead of the traditional colors I think this really pops!

  4. July 5, 2011    

    This is a very nice picture in flower and very attractive it is most beautiful garden share on the site that can be enjoy in this blog so very nice.

  5. Anonymous
    July 30, 2011    

    I “discovered” black pansies last Fall and they were a knockout for the Halloween season, then really fun when they popped up the following spring. They are a wonderful contrast with daffodils and tulips.

  6. August 5, 2011    


    Sweet Caroline Purple Sweet Potato Vine is so beautiful.I ve been looking for this plant like crazy.Is there any source available on net for seeds,tubers,or plants ? I live in Pakistan.

  7. Anonymous
    August 9, 2011    

    Good morning, I work at a Garden Center, and the different varieties of Black Petunias were a HUGE seller this year. I have an urn at my house by the driveway with Purple Fountain Grass, Yellow African Daisies, Phantom (black) Petunias and purple oak leaf sweet potato vine draped over the edge. It is gorgeous!!! I can’t wait to see what is new next year. xoxo

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