October means spooky season! For gardeners, that means finding the perfect Halloween plants.
The real question is, how much time do you have to prepare? Some spooktacularly creepy plants need to be sown or transplanted months in advance. Other Halloween plants are easy to find off-the-shelf, even days before the 31st.
Whether you’re a last-minute shopper or a long-term planner, we have options for you! Here are thirteen of our favorite Halloween plants.
Easy Last-Minute Halloween Plants
If it’s already after October 1st, have no fear. You can still find plenty of halloween plants a few weeks before the big day! Choose full-grown plants for your seasonal decor. When Halloween is over, you can keep them as houseplants or plant them in your garden for next year!
1. Venus Flytrap
One of the best-known carnivorous plants, the Venus flytrap is fun to watch. They’re a terrific centerpiece or accent at a Halloween party.
The trigger hairs that surround their large, hinged leaves resemble a toothy monster or alien. Play up the decor to remind your guests of Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors. If a fly gets too close, this Halloween plant will treat your guests to dinner and a show!
It’s not easy to grow Venus flytraps from seed, so most enthusiasts purchase theirs full-grown. You can find a small mature Venus flytrap on Amazon!
Orange chrysanthemums are a classic Halloween plant. Line your porch or front steps with them for a Halloween-themed entrance. Or try fall color mums from Fast Growing Trees for a variety of color!
Even though these are an easy last-minute purchase, you don’t have to throw them away like cut flowers. Garden mums can be planted in-ground after Halloween is over. They’ll appear again next year just in time for fall!
3. Purple Pitcher Plant
Another carnivorous variety, the purple pitcher plant is a terrific Halloween accent. The curled purple and green leaves look right at home in a haunted house.
The leaves’ function is even spookier. These Halloween plants have a “pitfall trap.” The cupped leaves are full of a sweet-smelling nectar. Unsuspecting insects are lured in by the scent and then drown. Creepy!
Find your own purple pitcher plant on Amazon.
Wrap up your last-minute Halloween plant shopping with one more carnivorous plant. The drosera has long, hairy tendrils, perfectly spooky for Halloween!
Just like the Venus flytrap and pitcher plant, the drosera is also terrific for insect control. The red hairs at the end of the drosera stalks are very sticky. When they catch their prey, the stalk will curl up as the plant digests.
Get your own “Cape Sundew” drosera plant from Amazon!
You’ll need to plan ahead in order to have these creepy classics ready by Halloween. Start planting in the summer to give pumpkins, gourds, and annual flowers time to grow!
Sure, you can find plenty of decorative pumpkins for sale right before Halloween. But there’s something extra special about watching these vining giants take shape.
Maybe growing our own pumpkin patch reminds us of It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Or maybe we just love having a pick-your-own pumpkin vine right in the backyard. Whatever it is, there’s no denying that pumpkins are the quintessential Halloween plant.
To grow the best jack-o-lanterns on the block, check out our complete guide to caring for pumpkins. You’ll need lots of space and nutrient-rich soil to support these heavy feeders. But in the end, growing your own pumpkins is remarkably easy to do.
Hoss Tools has a pumpkins seed collection that’s sure to have the variety that’s right for you, whether you want pumpkins for growing big, eating, decorating, or carving!
6. Halloween Pansies
Pansies are a favorite cool-weather flower, but they’re usually available in bright, cheery colors, like yellow or purple. However, some specialized varieties of pansies have black petals around the small, golden yellow center. What could be more appropriate for Halloween than flowers that bloom orange and black?
Pansies may be cold-hardy, but they’re still a little too tender to sow directly in-ground. Start your seeds in seed-trays at least three months before the big day. Since they’re usually considered spring blooms, you might want to transplant into containers that can be easily carted inside in case of frost.
Seeds for these black pansies, aptly named Halloween II, are available from True Leaf Market!
7. Bloody Butcher Ornamental Corn
Ornamental ears of corn are popular autumn decorations. Kick it up another notch for Halloween with all-black or dark purple varieties. Harvest these in mid-October and dry the husks for the perfect Halloween plant decor.
You’ll need to invest plenty of time and space to grow your corn, so start early. Ornamental corn should be planted by July in order to be ready to harvest in October. For a truly creepy corn haul, try planting Bloody Butcher ornamental corn with seeds from True Leaf Market.
8. Ghoulish Gourds
True, we usually associate gourds with acorns, pumpkins, and Thanksgiving decor. However, there’s no denying that some gourds are ideal Halloween plants. Imagine a bowl of dried white egg gourds, or carving an extra-creepy Jack-O-lantern from a warted gourd.
In order to get enough gourds for a truly spooktacular display, you’ll need a fair amount of yard space. At least four months in advance, clear enough land to plant your gourd seeds two feet apart. Space out your rows by 5 or 6 feet. It’s an investment of time and space in the middle of the summer, but you’ll reap the rewards by Halloween!
Plant a small gourd mix with seeds from Hoss Tools!
9. Spooky Sunflower
The bright, cheerful yellow sunflower is a popular fall bloom, but it doesn’t exactly scream ‘Halloween.’ Plant a darker variety with orange or burgundy leaves for a truly spooky sunflower patch.
Plant dozens and leave them up for a creepy twist on a traditional corn maze. Or, cut them and use the flowers as Halloween decor inside. Either way, these dark sunflowers are the perfect Halloween plants.
Plant Velvet Queen sunflower seeds from True Leaf Market!
If you’re truly committed to spooky season, choose perennial Halloween plants! While these choices require long-term planning, many can be incorporated effortlessly into a year-round landscape.
When cooler weather arrives, most of the other perennials in your garden will have died back. As stand-alones, these cool-season plants will yield a perfectly spooky garden every Halloween!
10. Bleeding Heart
Just as the name suggests, this perennial shade flower has long, arched stems dripping with heart-shaped flowers. Why does this plant make us think of Halloween instead of Valentine’s Day? It’s the tiny tear-drop shape at the bottom of each heart.
Bleeding hearts look and sound perfect for Halloween, but there’s one catch. These flowers usually bloom in the springtime, so they can be tricky to include in your Halloween landscape. Unless you live in a humid, tropical climate, your best bet might be to keep these in permanent containers.
These blood-red bleeding hearts from Nature Hills Nursery will add a ghoulish pop of color in your Halloween garden!
11. Black Dragon Coleus
If your region is known for hot, humid weather on Halloween, the Black Dragon coleus is perfect for you! The velvety leaves and dark burgundy color would be a spooky accent to a walkway or container. This is the best Halloween plant for adding Addams Family vibes to your exterior!
In cooler climates, coleus will need to be potted and brought indoors during cold weather. Even then, these perennials would look great in a fancy urn for instant Halloween decor!
Black Dragon coleus seeds are available at True Leaf Market!
12. Fire Dragon Maiden Grass
This perennial makes the perfect spooky background on Halloween. Trimmings of this ornamental grass would also work in a floral arrangement or centerpiece.
We love this Halloween plant because of its year-round appeal. During the spring and summer, this ornamental grass is bright green. It’s not until autumn that the grass turns a vibrant orange. Paired with traditional pumpkins and mums, Fire Dragon Maiden grass will simply add a fiery fall background to your landscape. Once you add in spooky lawn decorations or extra-creepy florals, it’s perfect for Halloween!
Grow your own Fire Dragon Maiden grass from Nature Hills Nursery!
13. Deadly Nightshade
This perennial is by far the spookiest on our list. Be careful, though. The name of this Halloween plant isn’t hyperbole.
Deadly nightshade is one of the most toxic, poisonous plants in the world. If you have pets or small children, we wouldn’t risk keeping this around. Got to have that reference to The Nightmare Before Christmas? Put a fake label for Deadly Nightshade on an apothecary jar instead.
For the ultimate haunted house (around careful adults), though, you can’t beat deadly nightshade for the creepiness factor. Grow your own deadly nightshade with seeds from Amazon!
All About Halloween Plants
When it comes to choosing Halloween plants, time is of the essence. You’ll have plenty of options available at the last minute. But if you’re a huge fan of spooky season, why not plan ahead? You can have your favorite Halloween accents on hand before the holiday!
Serious Halloween fans can create the ultimate haunted house look by decorating around their perennial Halloween plants. Accent your spooktacular garden with the perfect Halloween garden flags!