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What Is A Chocolate Soldier Plant

Ask the Expert: have you ever heard of a chocolate soldier  it has bright blooms and is similar to African violet but larger  Janice Goode


The problem with common names is they are often used for many different plants. However by your description, I think the plant belongs to the genus Episcia and are in the same family (Gesneriacea) as African Violets. You might look for it under the common name Flame Violet or the botanical name Episcia cupreata.

Chocolate Soldier Plant From Logees Greeenhouse

Chocolate Soldier Plant From Logees Greeenhouse

I found a picture of Chocolate Soldier at Logee’s Greenhouse in Danielson Connecticut which is a go-to source for these plants.  In fact, I spoke with Margaret at Logee’s to find out more about these wonderful plants.  Although, Chocolate Solider is a little difficult to propagate, they are fairly easy to take care of and make wonderful indoor plants.  Margaret said, all of the Episcia plant are wonderful and a delight to have in your home.  They carry another Episica called Fire ‘n Ice that has a lighter leaf than the Chocolate Soldier.  Episcia are in the same family (Gesneriacea) as African Violets  If you need care instruction for the Chocolate Solider, Logee’s has a great Episcia care page.


  1. I have been trying to find a choclate soldier plant every where can you help me………I live in saskatoon saskatchewan.

  2. I would first try on of the local Saskatoon SK Florists. They may carry them or have a source to get one.

    What sources have you tried? A local garden center is a good place to start – try to find one that has a growing operation as well as a retail business. They are more likely to know of an unusual plant like Chocolate Soldier. I wish I could be of more help in this area but I am not as familiar with the Canadian Nursery Industry as I am with the U.S.

    You might contact Logee’s above, they ship to Canada.

  3. Everlyn Chisholm says:

    I just got my first chocolate soldier plant from a start and it took off fast and is blooming, i\’ve only had it growing for close to 2 months. the best looking plant i ever saw.

  4. Shirley Elliott says:

    I have a Chocolate Soldier plant that has light green leaves with beautiful and bright pink blooms. Can you tell me why it’s how it got it’s name?

  5. That’s a great question; where did the chocolate soldier plant get it’s name? I was unable to find anything official in our resources, but I did find something that could be the origin. “Chocolate Soldier” is an expression referring to a good-looking, but useless warrior, popularized by George Bernard Shaw’s 1894 play Arms and the Man. The term originates as a derogatory label for a soldier who would not fight but would look good in a uniform. I think this term kind of fits with the chocolate soldier plant.. It’s not a fighter, it just looks good in uniform. Hope this helps!

  6. I would like to know how to start a new plant from my old chocolate soldier?

  7. Carolyn,

    I think you’ll find all the information you need right here! http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/propagating-chocolate-soldier-plant/



  8. I have what I was told is a chocolate soldier and it’s been a beautiful plant until this winter. I’ve always taken runners and replace the main plant with them, year after year. This winter, without blooming for the first time, the new leaves, when they are still under an inch long, turn a dark brown instead of the 2-tone green, (silver green/dark green). They aren’t really dead as they grow but I can tell that something is not right. And like I said, this is the first winter without my happy little flowers. What do you think could be wrong? I would appreciate some advice.
    I have taken new runners and am currently rooting them…….I will plant them in new potting soil. So far they look healthy.

  9. The plant is probably root-bound. Transplant the plant into a large pot.

  10. Andrea Pedersen says:

    Are they poisonous to dogs?

  11. Jamie Woods says:

    Chocolate Soldiers are a member of the Kalancoe species which is considered toxic to dogs. According to the ASPCA toxic plant list, if ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and rarely, abnormal heart rhythm.

  12. Andrea Pedersen says:



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