Getting ready for Halloween doesn’t just have to mean getting out the spooky décor. If you want to get really invested, adding some scary looking plants into the mix is a great way to show your love of the holiday.
In this article, we’ll suggest our top picks for the best Halloween plants. Most are things you’d plant yourself but there are also options for scary looking plants that you could buy for decoration.
Where better to start than with the humble pumpkin? You’ll need plenty of room to grow a pumpkin plant, so this is only really an option for larger outdoor spaces. Seeds must be planted in May if you want them to be ready for the holiday.
If you’re growing on a balcony or in a small outdoor space, consider opting for mini pumpkins instead. It’s possible to grow them up a trellis, providing you give them enough support.
Did you know turnips were the original Halloween plants? British children used to carve them for the holiday, and if you haven’t seen them, look them up because they’re horrifying!
You can grow them in pots or directly in the ground. Sow seeds in late summer for a Halloween harvest.
Snapdragons should probably be number one on the list of scary looking plants. Their flowers are lovely, but after they’ve died off is when the scary magic happens. The seed pods look like skulls, and you can even get the mouth to move if you squeeze them in the right place.
4. Evening primrose
Evening primroses aren’t scary flowers, but they meet the Halloween vibe because they open at night. Better yet, they smell amazing, so they’re a welcome change from everything else that grows in fall.
5. Japanese blood grass
Japanese blood grass is another great pick for Halloween plants. The stems are blood red, adding a good sense of horror to your backyard. Make sure you always grow it in pots, though, because it’s very invasive. So much so that it’s banned in some parts of the US.
6. Voodoo lily
Voodoo lilies have scary flowers and a scary name! Also known as devil’s tongue, the flowers have long purple spike (presumably the devil’s tongue). They look similar to calla lilies except they’re purple.
Note, however, that the flowers give off a horrible smell similar to rotting meat. Going this hard on the Halloween brief is a matter of personal preference, but few things say scary season like rotting meat!
7. Doll’s eye
The doll’s eye plant is up there with the hardcore scary looking plants. As the name suggests, its fruit look like eyes. Combined with the red stem, they’re almost perfect Halloween plants.
But they’re also incredibly poisonous. An alternative would be to make fake ones using fake decorations with black dots painted on them.
Like evening primrose, moonflower works as Halloween plants because it blooms at night. They grow on vines, so they make a great plant for balconies and patios. The flowers start in late summer and continue through fall. So, if your climate is warm enough, you should have some left by Halloween.
Batflowers are scary looking plants that, surprisingly, don’t look like bats. However, they look like something out of a Lovecraft story, so don’t worry about them being boring. Batflower is a type of orchid, so you’ll probably need to grow it indoors. Even so, it should add a bit of spook to the room.
10. Toad plant
Much like the voodoo lily, toad plants are Halloween plants for the fully committed. It’s a type of succulent that produces massive star-shaped flowers when it blooms. In the wild, these are pollinated by flies so, you guessed it, they smell like rotting meat!
11. Old man cactus
Old man cacti are one of the least scary looking plants on this list. However, its appearance works for Halloween because it looks like it’s covered in cobwebs. You can enjoy an old man cactus all year round, as it’ll be perfectly happy sitting on a windowsill with minimal attention.
This list is just a taste of all the Halloween plants out there. You’ll find plenty more options with scary names, although many don’t look as scary as they sound.
Whatever scary looking plants you choose, they often make great year-round projects, meaning you can bring them out every October to scare the neighbors!