The first year we grew Chocolate Lace Flower, Dara, I was pleasantly surprised by it’s soft romantic colours in antique pinks and muted chocolates. It resembles Queen Anne’s Lace but with a larger flower and chocolatey colouring, although it does have some white flowers as well. Learn how to grow Chocolate Lace Flower, so that you can have this wonderful flower in your own garden.
What’s In A Name-Dara Flower
Just like many other plants and flowers, Dara has many other aliases.
- The botanical name for Dara is Daucus carota. It’s a member of the carrot family!
- It is known as Chocolate Lace Flower, which describes it’s appearance perfectly.
- Dara is also a member of the Ammi majus species, and is one of three different types of ammi that we grow in our garden.
- Common names for this flower include Ornamental Carrot, Wild Carrot, False Bishops Weed, False Queen Annes’s Lace, Lace Flower, and Lady’s Lace.
In this post I will be using the botanical and common names Dara and Chocolate Lace Flower interchangeably, because we call them by both names in our garden!
Is Dara A False Queen Anne’s Lace?
- Dara is also known as False Queen Anne’s Lace. It’s not hard to figure out why.
- The blossoms are disc shaped and flat when mature, with the same lacy appearance as Queen Anne’s Lace.
- The flowers add an airy touch and sparkle to any bouquet they go into.
Dara Flower Zone
Dara will grow in any zone during the summer months and is planted as an annual flower.
In warmer zones it can be planted in the fall, as it is a cool hardy annual and prefers cooler temperatures.
Is Dara A Perennial?
- Dara is a hardy annual flower.
- It will reseed however if left to go to seed, so it may reappear again in your garden next year from seeds released in fall.
Chocolate Lace Flower Season
Chocolate Lace Flower will bloom throughout the summer months, until the frost.
Time from seed to bloom is almost three months, so we start our seeds indoors before they are ready to be planted out into the garden.
How To Grow Dara From Seed
Dara is fairly easy to start from seed.
- Many gardeners sow Dara directly into the garden.
- Dara requires light for germination, so should not be buried in the soil.
- As with other hardy annuals, Dara seeds benefit from a chill and exposure to cooler temperatures for several weeks prior to planting.
- We sow our Dara seeds indoors to give them a head start on the season, and to help them survive the weed pressure in our garden.
- We usually start the seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before our last frost.
- Dara does not like to be transplanted because of their long tap roots, so it’s important to be careful with the roots when transplanting.
We have had great success starting Dara indoors.
How To Grow Chocolate Lace Flower-The Seed Starting Process:
- We placed our seeds in the fridge for a couple of weeks prior to sowing.
- Then we planted the seeds into cell trays with a good seed starting mixture.
- The seeds were then covered lightly with some vermiculite. This will allow light to penetrate to get to the seed, but also helps to keep the soil moist during germination.
- We used a heat mat to help germinate the seeds, and once they germinated the trays were placed under grow lights.
Chocolate Lace Flower Germination
- Dara seeds germinate usually within two weeks.
- When they first germinate the seedlings are very tiny and wispy, however it does not take long for them to grow and develop.
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Chocolate Lace Flower Seedlings
- The seedlings will be ready to plant outside when the risk of all frost has passed.
- You can use this great tool from the Old Farmer’s Almanac to determine the last frost date in your area!
- Make sure you harden off the seedlings before planting them out.
- Gradually expose them to outdoor elements and temperatures over a period of about a week.
- We harden off our seedlings on our covered deck to allow them to gradually feel the wind and have some early morning sunlight before being completely exposed to the outdoor environment.
Where To Plant Dara
Plant in a sunny location in average soil with good drainage.
In our first year growing Dara the seedlings were planted in heavy clay soil without amendments, and they grew very well!
The next year they were planted in a different location with great amended soil, and they did equally as well.
Since they grow fairly tall, if growing in the garden they would do best at the back of the garden or border.
Once established the plants can tolerate dry soil. We often have a dry spell in our garden in August, and the Dara did well and did not require irrigation.
Chocolate Lace Flowers Unique Characteristics
- The flowers on Dara can grow large, from 3 to 5 inches in diameter, and have a slightly rounded or flattened shape. The blooms at maturity are umbel shaped and scentless.
- As the seed head forms the flowers start to curl upwards and eventually close up.
- The stems can grow quite tall, up to 4 feet, and may require some extra support in windy areas.
Bees And Other Pollinators Love Dara Flower
- We are so happy that bees and pollinators love Dara flower, and are attracted to the garden with this planting.
- We are always in search of flowers that attract pollinators, and this one fits the bill!
Using Dara As A Cut Flower
- Dara is a great filler in a bouquet.
- Although not a focal flower, it adds a dimension of airiness and romance, along with that unique chocolate colour.
- It is a great design element, and is always appreciated.
Dara Can Also Be Dried
Dara can also be dried to use in everlasting flower arrangements.
The flowers and seed heads can be hung upside down to dry.
I hope that you found this post on how to grow Chocolate Lace Flower, Dara helpful. Any questions or comments are always welcome!