Join Email List For Updates  

GroEdibles Blog

Oct 8

Halloween’s for Gardens Too! Plants That Will Give Your Home “Spook Appeal”

Posted by GeriMiller on 8 Oct 2015. Filed under  Garden inspiration / observation, How To Guides, Plant Resources View Comments

BOO! It’s time to make your garden SPOOKTACULAR!

I love Halloween and the fact that the modern holiday, having its roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) or All Hallows Eve, in part celebrates the harvest makes it even more meaningful for gardener-types like me. This time of year, like the spring, is a very special moment in our natural year marking the ending of one cycle and the beginning of another, marking the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half in this hemisphere. During this transition into their new year, ancient Celts and Druids also believed that this was the single time of year when the walls between this physical world and the next became thin and porous, allowing spirits to pass through. I think its only fitting that we bring a touch of Halloween into our gardens. I’ve come up with a planting list of “spooky” plants that you can add to your garden and containers. While many are available now in nurseries in the South west, the following list is a good resource for ‘Halloweeny’ edibles and “black or near black” ornamentals that can inspire your designs throughout the year wherever you are. Happy Halloween!

Black, Near-Black or Purple

Pansy: (many varietal names) Black prince, Black Magic, Black Accord, Rippling waters – These edible flowers are about as close to true black as you can get, very striking! COOL SEASON Elephant ears: ‘Black magic’ & ‘Illustris’- ‘Black magic’ are just gorgeous, solid “black” leaves, while ‘Illustris’ has green veins, nice contrast. EARLY WARM SEASON (Dig up bulbs for winter) Geranium: ‘Solstice chocolate’, ‘Aristo Black’– Rich mohagany flowers, not exactly black, but still lovely, ‘Black Velvet Salmon’ – black leaves w/ green edges and salmon blooms. Tulip: ‘Queen of Night’ EARLY WARM SEASON Columbine: ‘William Guiness’– Just plain pretty EARLY WARM SEASON Torenia: ‘Clown violet’– I don’t think these are marketed as black flowers (purplish black), but they are very close! Nemophila: “Penny black”– A true black flower, very cute little buttons of ebony with a ruffled white edge. Blooms in summer. Snapdragon: ‘Black prince’ – The foliage does have a dark cast, but the flowers are really just deep red. COOL SEASON Black Hollyhocks: This variety of this beloved biennial is a gorgeous color. My Hollies are still blooming in my Southern California garden. Alternathea: Purple Knight Aster: ‘Liliput moon’ WARM SEASON Millet Grass: ‘Purple majesty’ COOL SEASON Scabiosa: ‘Ace of spades’ WARM SEASON Chocolate morning glories WARM SEASON Husker red penstemon – purplish-black foliage w/ a pretty white flower WARM SEASON Mystic Illusion Dahlias: dark ‘black’ foliage w/ striking flowers DAHLIA Mystic Enchantment (‘Another Pet’) DAHLIA Mystic Haze (‘Dark Side of the Sun’) DAHLIA Mystic Illusion (‘Knockout’) DAHLIA Mystic Dreamer (‘Zone 10’) DAHLIA Mystic Spirit (‘Best Bett’) DAHLIA ‘Mystic Wonder’ – blackish foliage w/ yellow flowers (in my garden now) WARM SEASON Heuchera micrantha: ‘Palace Purple’ WARM SEASON Ipomoea batatas ‘Black Heart’ – beautiful spreading ground cover. I use it in containers too. (in my garden now) Ajuja: “Chocolate Chip” Lovely spreading ground cover with purplish-black leaves and a beautiful spike of lavender flowers in summer. Flowering Kale: “Osaka Red”, “Nagoya Red” Ceanothus: “Tuxedo” Sweet Potato Vine: “Blackie” Purple Smoke Bush Purple Fountain Grass Coleus: “Dark Star”

Dark, Purplish, Spooky Colored Edibles

Pak Choi, purple Click HERE to see deals from Cook’s Garden Seeds. Purple Peacock Broccoli Tomatoes: Black from Tula (Mid-season heirloom from Russia), Japanese Black Trifele-Tomato (Late season Russian heirloom) Black Crimson Heirloom Tomato: (Black Krim) Mid-season Russian (love this one!). Brussel Sprouts: “Falstaff” (Very Cool!!!!) Kale: “Redbor”, “Nero Di Toscana Kale”, “Winter Red Kale”, Kohlrabi: “Purple Vienna” Mustards: “Osaka Purple”, “Mizuna Purple” Red Cabbage: “Ruby Ball”, “Ruby Perfection” Basil: “Purple”, “Purple Ruffles”, “Red Rubin (Purple Passion)”

Other Spooky Colors – Edibles and Ornamentals

Edibles Any Green Lettuce:“Green Oak Leaf”, “Green Buttercrunch”, “Green Romaine” Any of the silvery green colored edibles:broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, cabbage: “Savoy – looks like a brain!”, cauliflower: “Snowball”, “Romanesco” Chard:Giant Fordhood Chard” (look like bones in the garden!) Eggplant:“Casper” Calendula: Various Varieties Pansies: “Orange” Peas Ornamentals Lysimachia: “Goldi” Sweet Potato Vine: “Margarita” Calocephalus: “Silver Sand” Leonotis leonurus: “Lion’s Tail” Coleus:“Royal Glissade”, “Kingswood Torch”, “Life Lime”, “Sedona”

Here’s a link to a great guide from Clemson University on how to plant a BAT GARDEN! Bwahaahhhaa! The Halloween Garden – A Very Gothic Thing! Extension Clemson University South Carolina


2 Responses to “Halloween’s for Gardens Too! Plants That Will Give Your Home “Spook Appeal””

  1. You spoke to us at Terrenea (Silver Spur Garden Club) and you mentioned the 4th Annual Garden Party on 10/28. How can I get more info about that ?

    Sure did enjoy your talk.


    Posted by Diane Parr on October 18th, 2012 at 1:37 pm Reply

    • Hi Diane! Thanks for your note. I’ll email you too but you can register for the mar’sel fall garden party at Please feel free to pass on to the other Silver Spur Garden Club members!

      Posted by GeriMiller on October 18th, 2012 at 6:08 pm Reply

Leave a Reply