(WHTM) – Celebrate spooky season by planting these “scary” plants. There’s no need to purchase decorative, artificial plants from chain stores to decorate your home for Halloween – you can grow your own creepy plants.
Although, disclaimer, they won’t be as scary as Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.
What’s scarier than a carnivorous plant? Venus fly traps eat insects and arachnids including spiders, ants, flying insects, and more, meaning they can be useful for insect control. It does get some nutrients from its soil like most plants.
Venus flytraps are perennial plants, meaning they will bloom every year and you can own a living Halloween decoration for years to come. In fact, it is estimated that the plant can live for 20 years or longer.
To care for a Venus flytrap, you will need moist, acidic, nutrient-poor soil. Venus flytraps enjoy the sun. Venus flytraps usually don’t like tap water and need either distilled water, reverse osmosis water, or rainwater. The plant’s soil needs to be kept moist and humid, but be careful not to overwater.
This almost completely black plant is also known as a “devil flower” It has two big leaves that look like ears and has long strings, also known as whiskers, jumping out from the middle of it. It is native to Southeast Asia but can be grown in North America if given the proper care. The flowers can grow as big as 20 inches in diameter and the whiskers can reach up to a foot.
It needs a shady area to grow and relatively high humidity conditions and can be grown as a houseplant.
Another carnivorous plant, the Cobra Plant has tubular leaves with curled “heads” that make the plant look like a snake. This plant, also known as the California pitcher plant, even has a part that grows out from under the head that is divided which resembles the tongue of a hissing snake.
It needs full sun or partial shade while ensuring the roots stay cool in order to thrive. If outside, it really only needs rainwater, but if your area experiences a drought treat it to distilled or purified water.
To keep the roots cool, use a medium such as peat moss, perlite, lava rock or pumice.
As a note, the cobra plant usually blooms from April to August.
Growing a corpse flower requires a lot of dedication. It is the biggest flower in the world, growing to an average of six to eight feet, It smells like rotting meat or trash when in bloom and it takes seven to 10 years for just one flower to bloom.
The investment will pay off if you eventually want a large, outdoor Halloween display; there’s no need for inflatables with this scary flower in your yard.
The corpse flower features what looks like the middle of a daffodil, but is gigantic, with a green and white ombre outside color and an ominous-looking deep purple on the inside. A thick pointed pole structure, which is usually white, off-yellow, or off-green, bursts from the inside reaching toward the heavens while looking like something from the underworld.
For most people, going to visit one on display from a university or professional garden is how they will get to interact with this rare flower.
In contrast to the Corpse Plant, black pansies are much easier to grow. They can be grown inside, in window boxes, in pots on the porch, or outside in the garden. They are also hardy and can handle colder weather, which is great for those in central Pennsylvania.
What makes these perfect for Halloween is their ominous look. They are completely black with some light purple coloring with just one dot of yellow in the middle. It will make it look like your garden has eyes.
They are annuals, meaning they will not come back year after year.
Although this plant doesn’t look scary, it has a function that is almost like magic. When touched, the tiny, grouped leaves of a Shameplant close up into themselves. This introverted plant folds its leaves together in a prayer-like motion, which looks pretty magical.
Before you consider planting a Shameplant, also known as a Sensitive Plant, remember it is a tropical weed. This means it will grow a lot. For best practices, plant this in a pot or inside. It will be fine inside as long as it has light and access to a warm environment.
White Baneberry (Doll’s Eyes)
White Baneberry is commonly called Doll’s Eyes for its eerie resemblance to the eyeballs of dolls. The white balls at the end of the stems have little black dots on them resembling pupils. To make it even scarier, the “eyes” grow out of thick, red stems that resemble the optic nerve that attaches human eyes to the brain.
These can easily be grown in a home garden and are perennials, meaning they will bloom every year. White Baneberry does best if planted in the late fall with moist, well-drained soil in a partly shaded location.
However, planters beware! White Baneberry is very toxic to humans and many animals. So be sure to plant this where little ones and wildlife won’t be able to interact with it.
Bat face cuphea
Another bat-themed plant, the bat face cuphea is named as such for its uncanny resemblance to a bat. There is a dark purple flower that makes up the “face” of the bat while the red leaves stick out like two large “ears”. This plant does best in the heat and is tolerant of dry conditions.
Best of all, the shrub attracts bees and hummingbirds, which means you will be helping pollinators if you plant it.