“Creepy plants” are a fun, whimsical twist on a typical garden or houseplant. They’re perfect for a Goth garden, Halloween décor or even a kid’s garden. They’re a long-lasting alternative to dead roses for a revenge gift or decorating for a 40th birthday party. Whatever your attraction to creepy plants, we’ve got 13 suggestions for plants, fruits and flowers that you’ll want to consider when a dark mood inspires you to unleash your “black thumb.”
1. Black Mondo Grass
This unnatural-looking, black-leaved plant will bring a grim touch to your landscape year-round. The dense, evergreen leaves of black mondo grass make a perfect groundcover to surround your gargoyle statues or to add a bit more gloom to a shaded space.
Be careful where you plant this one! The cockscomb plant has been known to attract zombies when they confuse the velvety, rippled flower heads for fresh brains. The blooms are the result of a natural genetic mutation and no actual humans were used in its creation.
3. Chenille Plant
Chenille plant’s long, fuzzy flowers look like caterpillars crawling all over the leaves. If you’re a person who’s squeamish about bugs and writhing, worm-like creatures, then this plant will probably have your skin crawling too.
4. Eyeball Plant (Spilanthes)
Ever get that eerie feeling that you’re being watched but there’s no one around? It may just be your eyeball plant…quietly keeping an eye – or two – on everything you do…
5. Old Man Cactus
No one knows what sort of dark magic was used to turn an old man into a cactus, or what offenses may have caused him to be cursed to live this way for eternity. But you’re sure to enjoy the old man’s quiet, ghostly presence lurking in the corner of your cacti and succulent collection.
6. Monstera Plant
Monstera starts as an innocent-looking houseplant. Quiet, and easy to please – you’re sure he’s the best roommate ever! Then one day, you notice that he’s grown over the end table and half the chair next to it. His leaves are getting so big he’s blocking your flat screen. He gets demanding; wanting more water, more food, a new pot, a feather-dusting… and finally it hits you – your roommate has become a real monster!
7. Hens and Chicks ‘Cobweb’
The webbing on ‘Cobweb’ hens and chicks plants looks so real you’ll fear that spiders are going to crawl out from beneath the leaves at any moment. This easy-care succulent plant adds a neglected, haunted feeling to any setting. Looks especially creepy growing in a vintage ceramic planter or dilapidated metal container.
8. Blood Sorrel
Vampires are especially fond of blood sorrel with its enticing blood-red veins running throughout the green leaves. It’s a versatile plant; ideal for creating a decorative edge around the family mausoleum, adding a bit of creepiness to the flower garden, or growing in pots on a castle balcony.
9. Blood Leaf Plant
Take a stab at this easy, innovative way to add bold color to your garden or containers without the need for flowers. Blood leaf’s intense, blood-red foliage is all it takes to instantly infuse your landscape with rich red to burgundy masses of color.
10. Ghost Pepper
The ugly, contorted skin of a ghost pepper is your warning that this is no ordinary pepper. These are some of the hottest peppers on earth, with a rating of 1,000,000 + on the Scoville Heat Units scale. This pepper should only be consumed by those souls willing to laugh in the face of danger and bear the painful consequences. Remember, there’s a reason they call them “ghost” peppers…
11. Purple Basil
You’ll want to use purple basil in everything. Mix it with eye of newt, bat wings and lizard tongue in a cauldron of stew, toss it with some fresh toadstools in a quick sauté, or infuse it in an oil to drip, dip or drizzle on your favorite foods (a few sweet drops in your magical potions should take the edge off of any bitter brews).
12. Black Tomatoes
Black tomatoes represent the ghosts of gardens past. Heirloom varieties, grown by generations long departed, are being summoned back into circulation as people become possessed by their unusual color and unique flavor. Once you give black tomatoes a try, their dark sweetness will surely haunt you too….
13. Coral Bells, Heuchera
Whether your ideal creepy-plant color-palette features blood-red leaves and flowers, red-veined leaves or simply the darkest foliage possible, coral bells has something to offer everyone. Grow it in aged, cracked pots and place around a deck, patio, porch or balcony to create an antiquated, Goth garden effect. Very popular for combining with white or orange pumpkins in an autumn-themed display.
Nighttime is the best time for a creepy garden. Strategically placed lighting can take creepiness to the next level by causing eerie shadows to emerge in dark corners of the landscape. Determine which lighting options are best for your space with our Guide to Lighting Your Garden.