The Q&A Archives: Plant Identification

Question: I bought a plant labeled chocolate plant. It has beautiful maroon leaves that are medium to dark almost brown in color. The leaves are about 2-3 inches and it is about 2 feet tall. I tried to research the name chocolate plant and all the information led to the cocoa plant. Can you help?

Answer: Pseuderanthemum alatum, or Chocolate Plant, is a low growing herb native to Mexico and Central America. The coppery-brown leaves with silver blotches along the midrib are broadly ovate with winged petioles. Leaves will reach up to 6 inches long by 4.5 inches wide.

From early summer to fall, the plants are adorned with purple flowers on 18-inch tall racemes. Individual flowers are up to 1.5 inches across. Very showy!

Pseuderanthemum alatum need partial shade to full shade with a moist well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mixture consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. The plants are watered and then allowed to dry slightly, but they are never allowed to dry completely. Plants are fertilized on a weekly basis using a balanced fertilizer diluted to one-half the strength recommended on the label. During the winter months, water is restricted to about once a week and the plants are not fertilized during this period.

Best wishes with your new plant!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"