Halloween plants that’ll add some spook to a yard

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Updated Oct 6, 2023

All Hallows Eve is upon us today, so bust out the candy and get ready to play. With this holiday in full swing, outside you will want to stay, so take a look at a few plants that are sure to keep tricksters at bay.

Voodoo lily (Sauromatum venosum)

Photo: Cillas/WikipediaPhoto: Cillas/Wikipedia

Voodoo lilies spring up from the ground and look like snakes escaping the dirt. These are shade-loving plants that can multiply by producing new bulbs underground. They can typically grow to be 3-4 feet tall, and the name comes from the plant’s ability to blossom without soil or water. The flowers boast a pattern that slightly resembles reptilian skin, and it gives off an odor that smells similar to rotten meat.


Photo: Orchi/WikipediaPhoto: Orchi/Wikipedia

Dracula orchid (Dracula sergioi)

Named for the ever-popular Halloween icon Dracula, the Dracula orchid looks like it has an actual small mouth at its center. While there are no real teeth on this plant, it does a convincing job of giving the appearance of vampire-like fangs. These plants are native to Central America and are rare in the United States.


Photo: Robert E. Wright/WikipediaPhoto: Robert E. Wright/Wikipedia

Doll’s eyes (Actaea pachypoda)

Closely resembling eyeballs on a stick, the doll’s eye plant has globular white fruit with a small, black iris. This perennial is also called white baneberry, and it is highly toxic. If the stems or berries are ingested, it can lead to cardiac arrest or even death.




Photo: Meneerke bloem/WikipediaPhoto: Meneerke bloem/Wikipedia

Black bat flower (Tacca chantrieri)

Ghosts, ghouls, and bats are traditional parts of Halloween, and this black bat flower is a perfect decoration for the trick-or-treating season. With its unique set of ear and whisker-like appendages, the bat flower shows off its dark coloring that only adds to its spookiness factor. This flower requires well-drained soil, temperatures no lower than 30 degrees, and careful watering.




Photo: che/WikipediaPhoto: che/Wikipedia

Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)

Growing in popularity after the movie Little Shop of Horrors, the Venus flytrap is carnivorous and eats insects that are foolish enough to wander into its mouth-like leaves. When an insect lands on its leaves, the jaws will snap shut within a fraction of a second, and the prey is unable to escape due to the long fringes. These plants are cultivated worldwide, and they are native to North and South Carolina.


Photo: Jrg1000/WikipediaPhoto: Jrg1000/Wikipedia

Ghost plant (Monotropa uniflora)

Contrary to the black bat flower, what the ghost plant lacks in color it makes up for in ghoulish appearance. With a nearly translucent stem and white flowers, the plant doesn’t have chlorophyll and does not produce energy from sunlight. It is, in actuality, a parasite that gets its sustenance from other plants. This allows it to grow in dark areas, and it is difficult to propagate domestically.




Photo: All-American SelectionsPhoto: All-American Selections

Pepper Mad Hatter (Capsicum baccatum ‘Mad Hatter’)

Commonly used in Peruvian and Bolivian cuisine, this pepper features a unique three-sided shape that boasts a sweet taste. With a citrusy, floral flavor that remains sweet, the pepper also can on occasion give off mild heat near the seeds. These plants are easy to grow and can quickly become robust and vigorous.





Photo: All-American SelectionsPhoto: All-American Selections

Pumpkin Super Moon (Cucurbita maxima ‘Super Moon’)

While traditional pumpkins boast bright orange outsides this time of year, the Super Moon shows off its stark white outside while keeping with the classic orange inside. With its ghostly white coloring, these pumpkins can grow to weigh up to 50 pounds, and they are known for their early fruit development and vigorous growing.


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