Looking for a way to spook-ify your garden this Halloween? As well as a pumpkin out front and dressing up in a creepy costume, there’s nothing scarier than having a garden full of plants that look more like floating eyeballs!
If you’re wondering what scary plants are associated with Halloween, here are 10 top picks for your garden that will scream ‘enter if you dare!’.
1. Orange Marigolds
Want a garden that looks terrorized by burning flames? Orange Marigolds are scary-looking plants that will match your pumpkins this Halloween.
They’re highly resilient to heat, drought and pests, without the need for much maintenance. You can sow them indoors in the New Year, plant them outside in spring and have a garden full of fiery plants by Halloween.
While they may send kids screaming, they’ll lure all sorts of healthy insects and pollinators – leaving you with a garden full of creepy crawlies in no time!
2. Doll’s Eye
Also known as White Baneberry, Doll’s Eye is aptly named after their eerie-looking blossoms that look more like eyeballs! Since these scary plants do well in wet, well-drained soil with partial shade, they’re great for adding a creepy vibe to any dark corner of your garden.
But plant if you dare.
Being alone in your garden at nightfall is sure to create an unnerving feeling of being watched. Plus, the berries are known to cause dizziness, stomach cramps, throat pain and even hallucinations if ingested. It’s best to keep kids and pets well away!
3. Ghost Pipe Plant
Ghost Pipe Plants are sure to send shivers down your spine! Since they have no chlorophyll (which makes plants green), they grow a ghoulish white and look more like a pile of bones than plants!
The only exception is just before they’re about to die. Their pale colour will transform into a bloodcurdling black.
If you stumble upon these plants in the depths of a forest (they love dark, wet places), beware. Their mildly toxic qualities can lead to illness. Only grow these skull-like plants if you’re sure the habitat is right and they can be left to their own devices.
4. Devil’s Claw
Devil’s Claw has a name that’s creepy enough. But when you see what it looks like, it’s even spookier! This red sprawling plant has hairy leaves and pods that resemble the hands of Satan. Fully grown, your garden will look more like it’s covered in gnarly fingers than flowers!
Devil’s Claw is easy enough to grow (especially in warm, dry climates). But be warned! They can grow large and give off a rotting smell when in full bloom. If scaring your guests is worth more to you than a rose-smelling garden, you’ll love these plants at Halloween.
5. Japanese Blood Grass
Forget about green grass! Who needs it when you could have a sinister lawn with phantom red spikes?
Japanese Blood Grass is a species of perennial that grows in swathes of red the more sun it gets. It loves moist and shady conditions and is perfect for planting in the UK.
If you live in warmer climates, check before you plant. Some hotter areas ban the growing of Japanese Blood Grass for its ability to spawn quickly in the sun. Even though it’ll make your garden look blood-splattered, your neighbours (and local authorities) won’t be best pleased!
6. Bat Flower
There’s nothing scarier on Halloween than a bat invasion in your garden! With the Tacca Bat Flower, you can give your outdoor space the creepy vibe you’ve been looking for. The flower is aptly named, with deep purple petals (that look like wings) and long, white whiskers.
Despite their scary vibes, it’s a beautiful flower that’s easy to look after. They love shady areas, like under trees or next to walls, that are warm and moist.
7. Bleeding Hearts
If you’re looking for a plant associated with Halloween, the Bleeding Heart is it! These drooping plants blossom in small, heart-shaped flowers that appear to be dripping in blood.
Springtime is when these plants look their best outside. Bring them indoors in early autumn if you want to see them bloom for Halloween.
Just be careful when handling these blood-red plants. Rashes are known to appear on people with sensitive skin. Always wear gloves when pruning and keep kids away.
8. Queen of the Night Tulips
With a deep purple flower, Queen of the Night Tulips look like black orbs ready to haunt any passer-by!
Despite their scary vibe, these plants love full sun and bloom their ghoulish colour in the springtime. If you have pets, you can relax when planting these tulips in the garden. Cats, dogs and birds are safe around them.
Just make sure kids don’t accidentally consume them, as the same can’t be said about humans.
9. Sorbet Black Delight Viola
Nothing says scary like Sorbet Black Delight Violas! These all-year-round pansies have an unearthly dark flower with a vibrant yellow centre. Scattered across your garden, they’ll look like creepy cats’ eyes following you wherever you go.
These hardy plants do well in almost any conditions – including the depths of winter. They can be planted in full sun, partial shade and even full shade. Plant these under your bushes or shrubs and even the local cats will fear there’s something evil lurking within!
10. Deadly Nightshades
Also known as Atropa Belladonna, Deadly Nightshades are one of the scariest plants anyone can have in their garden. These phantom plants have long, thin branches that look more like witches’ fingers. Plus, their berries are so dark, they resemble the eyes of a demon!
Deadly Nightshades are named as such for a reason. The gruesome berries are highly poisonous to humans. They’re even rumoured to be the secret ingredient of Shakespeare’s many potions and poisons.
If that doesn’t scare you off planting these sinister plants, I’m not sure what will!
If creepy is the vibe you want for your garden, these plants will do the trick! Just make sure you plant with care. With good research about what plants work in your environment, you can create a habitat the local wildlife loves – but any human is too afraid to visit!