Skip to main content

Spook out friends and family by growing these plants for Halloween

Plants that will add spooky flair to your landscape

There are plenty of directions you can go in when planting a spooky garden. There are fascinating but difficult-to-grow fungi like octopus stinkhorn. You could grow Halloween plants that are classically associated with witches, such as hellebore and wolfsbane.

For a more general Halloween atmosphere,e you could plant black cultivars of classic garden plants, like Halloween pansies or black elephant ears. However, if you’re looking for the spookiest, most spine-chilling plants to grow this season, then these six plants will have your garden looking scary good.

Oxalis plant with flowers

Oxalis triangularis

Oxalis triangularis is a type of wood sorrel, an edible plant that’s often found growing as a weed in lawns. However, this particular variety makes for an excellent Halloween ground cover. The dark purple leaves will give your yard or garden the appearance of an inky pool, while the bright flowers provide contrast. You could even use it to make your yard look like the night sky, with the flowers acting as stars!

Oxalis is a hardy plant, and it can tolerate most conditions. It prefers indirect light or mixed light and shade, with moist but not soggy soil.

Bat plant Tacca chantrieri
guentermanaus / Shutterstock

Bat flower

Tacca chantrieri, also called bat flowers or bat plants, are unique-looking plants for any season. However, as the name suggests, they fit in particularly well during Halloween. Bat plants have large, dark green leaves that grow around the base of a tall stem that bears a black flower. The flower resembles a bat with outstretched wings.

Although this exotic flower looks intimidating, it’s fairly easy to grow. Bat plants are native to the continent of Asia, where they grow in tropical jungles. They’re adapted to partial shade, heat, and humidity. In drier or colder climates, you may have better luck growing them indoors.

Carrion plant or starfish plant
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Carrion plant

Carrion plants are a group of succulents in the Stapelia genus. They’re sometimes called starfish plants, since the flowers are distinctly star-shaped. These flowers are a big draw for some gardeners, as they look very unique in shape and color patterns. The flowers smell like carrion, or rotting meat, making them perfect for a zombie-themed Halloween display.

Different varieties of carrion plant have different smell strengths, and some gardeners are more sensitive to the scent than others. However, if you’re growing the plant outdoors, then you should be fine. Carrion plants need lots of bright, indirect light and warm temperatures. As succulents, they’re drought tolerant and need only a little water. Just keep in mind that they are sensitive to the cold.

Bumblebee in snapdragon
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Black prince snapdragon

Snapdragons are a fairly common garden flower, but they can be an impressive addition to Halloween decor as well. Snapdragon seed pods strongly resemble skulls, which is spooky enough on its own. A good way to bolster the fear factor is to start with black prince snapdragons. Black prince snapdragons have dark red-purple blooms.

Snapdragons enjoy rich, well-draining soil and a sunny spot. Let the soil dry out between watering and avoid getting the flowers wet. Wet flowers and leaves are more likely to burn or rot than dry ones are.

Voodoo lily growing by a mossy wall

Voodoo lily

Voodoo lily, devil’s tongue lily, snake palm, konjac — no matter what you call it, this plant is stunning. It’s tall, with a pitcher or cup-shaped flower that has a single long spadix protruding from the center. These flowers come in a variety of colors, but for Halloween, we recommend the classic dark purple-black flowers. Similarly to the carrion flower, these lilies produce a smell like rotting meat, to attract pollinators. However, when grown outdoors, the scent is rarely unbearable and can add an unsettling atmosphere to your Halloween garden.

Plant voodoo lilies in rich soil with plenty of organic matter. It’ll tolerate most light amounts, but, for best results, plant your voodoo lily in partial shade. Voodoo lilies are more tolerant of too much water than not enough water, so take that into account when watering your lily. They need a lot of nutrients, so if you have poor soil you may need to supplement with fertilizers.

Doll's eyes or white baneberry
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Doll’s eyes

If you want your Halloween visitors to feel unsettled, then doll’s eyes, or white baneberry, might be a good choice for you. This plant is fairly ordinary looking, until it begins producing berries. The berries are white, oblong, and have a black spot on the end. They look remarkably like eyes. They’re also toxic to most creatures except birds, which seem to enjoy them. Doll’s eyes are native to North America, where they grow at the edges of woodlands.

Doll’s eyes enjoy rich, thick soils, with consistent moisture. They thrive in partial shade, especially afternoon shade and morning sun. Their toxic nature means you don’t need to be concerned about deer or rabbits, but you may want to consider putting up a sign if you have small children or live in a highly trafficked area.

These six plants may be frightening to look at, but they aren’t scary to grow. Any of these plants would make an excellent, low-maintenance addition to practically any garden. Whether you’re looking for a short-term addition to your yard for Halloween or you want a year-round spooky garden, these six plants are a great place to start.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Cayla Leonard
Cayla Leonard is a writer from North Carolina who is passionate about plants.  She enjoys reading and writing fiction and…
How to clean silk flowers for beautiful arrangements
Tips for tidying up and repairing your silk bouquets
White and pink silk roses with dark green leaves

Silk flowers are a beautiful way to add elegance to your home. They make wonderful gifts, can brighten up areas where houseplants don’t typically thrive, and won’t wither if left unattended. They are not, however, immune to dust, dirt, and stains. So what do you do when your indestructible flowers start to look a little less lively? We have the answers, from brushing away natural dust buildup to storing your flowers for longevity. Without further ado, here's your guide on how to clean silk flowers and keep them in flawless condition.

Where can you buy silk flowers?
Commonly found at weddings and memorials, silk flowers are made of silk, so they're a bit more elevated (and more realistic looking) than the plastic flowers that you might find at your local dollar store. Start at specialty floral shops and home goods stores to find silk flowers for the occasion.

Read more
How to grow pomegranates from seeds
Tips and tricks for growing your own pomegranates
A fruit-bearing pomegranate tree

Pomegranates are delicious, but have you ever thought about using their seeds to grow a tree? Not only do they produce fruit, but the trees also have beautiful orange flowers that add a nice pop to your garden. If you're wondering how to grow pomegranates from seeds, the process is pretty easy. All you need are some seeds from the fruit, time, patience, and a willingness to experiment.

Getting the seeds for your pomegranate tree
Gathering seeds from the fruit of a pomegranate tree is fairly simple. Cut your pomegranate in half and remove the berries inside as if you were going to eat them, and wash the berries gently under cold water. Clean the pulp off of the seeds and set them out to dry. This is where a willingness to experiment comes in.

Read more
Can you grow a bird of paradise from a cutting? Here’s what you need to know to grow your dream plant
Tips and tricks for successfully propagating a bird of paradise plant
Bird of paradise plant

Whether they're found in their natural habitats in the wild or as the centerpiece in an indoor garden, bird of paradise plants are eye-catching and perfect for adding some color and tropical flair to your home. This plant is native to South Africa and is well-known for its lush foliage and attractive tropical blooms with vividly colored flowers. The plant gets its name from the stunning flower's resemblance to a colorful bird in flight.

With how stunning this plant is, it's no wonder that so many gardeners want to grow their own. However, growing one from seed can take a long time, and mature plants can be expensive if you want more than one. For most plants like this, propagation is the fastest and most cost effective way of adding them to your garden. So can you grow a bird of paradise from a cutting? Yes, and this guide will tell you how!

Read more