restoring color of Hot Cocoa

chibimimiSeptember 15, 2012

I planted a Hot Cocoa this spring that is doing well. However, the color of the blooms has gradually shifted to a rose red and I'd like to regain the dusky overtones it originally had. I'm pretty sure it's due to the chemistry of my soil -- can anyone tell me what to add to get the chocolate tones back?

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seil zone 6b MI

More likely it's due to the weather temps and/or the amount of sunlight it's getting. Mine is a different shade each time it blooms from a bright orange to almost cocoa colored.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:19PM
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I'm not sure what effects pH or any nutrient issues may have, but Seil is right. Cooler, damper temps encourage Hot Cocoa (and all the other 'brown roses') to provide the russet tones. Brown Velvet, even in brilliant sun, provided the chocolate velvet petals as long as it was cool to cold. Ramp up the heat and the color quickly shifted to bright orange. Leonidas does similarly as do Jocelyn, Edith Holden, Iris Web (more taupe than orange), Black Tea, Brown Study and Victoriana. As long as you're feeding it a properly balanced fertilizer and the rest of the plant appears normal, just wait until your temps cool off and you should see the desired coloring reappear. You COULD try cutting a flower just beginning to open with a short stem, then put the whole vase in an enclosed plastic bag in your refrigerator (frost free units dry out the flowers) and try opening it where it's cool to see how the pigments respond to temperature. It worked well with the others listed above. Kim

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:34PM
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TNY78(7a-East TN)

I agree with Seil and Kim. Try moving it to partial shade while its dorment. Mine is in the shade of a weeping willow, so it only gets dappled sun and stays a nice russet/brick color. :)


    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:29PM
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Thanks, everyone. I'll either try moving it out of full sun or learn to love the seasonal variation.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:35PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Or stretch a shade cloth canopy over it during the summer. Mine would revert to that beautiful color and double the petal count in any overcast conditions, in lots of sun it was a rather ordinary orange-red semi-double.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 2:50AM
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Campanula UK Z8

Feh! Mine has died (and you have to be a bit negligent to see off a rose in the UK and this is my second one this year).

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 6:40PM
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