There are some plants that seem like Mother Nature would probably use for Halloween decoration at home. With a special kind of haunting aura, these flowers and plants make up for a fitting strange but beauteous work of art. While it will take some care and time investment to develop a truly eerie garden with special specimens, the end result will be one of a kind. Grow them throughout the year and you will always be prepared for the October holiday season.
If there’s a plant that’s going to join you for the holiday dinner, it’s venus flytrap. Not only that it has pointy hairs that trigger a snapping grip around the flesh of the unaware fly, its clutches also produce a small electrical current just in case something tries to escape.
Place a pot of Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) on the table and your guests won’t be the only ones enjoying the feast. When the plant’s trigger hairs inside are touched, its elegant “eyelashes” turn into teeth that snap shut. If that isn’t enough for your creepy Halloween decoration, know that the plant’s jaws produce an electrical current to shock their prey. However, apart from the weird leaves that look like tentacles with pointy teeth at their ends, the flytrap also has beautiful white colours, which, if you take care of them well, appear twice during the year.
How to grow: Venus flytraps need medium light and higher humidity. Drought kills them quickly. You can also grow them outside, but only if the climate where you live is mild and lacks freezing temperatures.
Monkey cups (or Nepenthes, as it is their scientific name) are droopy pouches whose main function is to break down insects into a liquid for the plant to digest. It’s pretty much like a hotel from a horror movie, where you check in but never manage to check out.
You can throw in some Spanish moss together with those pitcher plants – and you have a natural tangled cobweb out of vegetation.
How to grow them: they come from tropical regions, so the monkey cups need plenty of light and moisture as houseplants.
Here is another ploy of Mother Nature – the black bat lilly possesses a special kind of Halloween vibe. While in dormant state, its flowers resemble sleeping bats. They go by another eerie name – devil flowers. If that isn’t enough to scare off the trick-or-treaters, their whiskers look like giant insect legs – therefore you get two different blood-curdling species with one pot!
How to grow black bat lily: bat flowers are also a tropical plant, therefore favour mild temperatures. However they like shade and moisture, therefore provide them with filtered light.
If you want to create a burning surreal setting, you should use the brightly-coloured flamelike leaves of the cobra plants and the “Sticks on Fire” euphorbia. It’s going to take a lot of research to find something scarier than fiery poisonous snakes that creep out of a pot. The pierced leaves of Monstera plant can easily fit this blazing landscape.
How to grow cobra plants: you need a mild climate if you will situate the plants outside and bright light if you are going to raise them as houseplants. However, mind the temperature, as cobra plants enjoy cooler conditions.
Dead Bride’s Bouquet
If you are ever going to give flowers at Halloween, give out “Hot Chocolate” callas – they are dark and gloomy enough to fit in a situation where you seek a sinister effect. A dead bride carrying a bouquet of calla lilies costume seems a fitting one.
How to grow callas: the plant loves high air humidity and plenty of sunlight. When the warmer days come, grow the calla lilies from rhizomes.
Deal with the Devil
Devil’s hands is a tree which is also called Monkey’s hand or Monkey paw, but it sure as hell doesn’t look like a monkey’s front limb. However, it definitely fits as a handy part of a dreadful Halloween decoration. Throw in a couple of dark callas and glaring bat-face cuphea flowers for the ultimate unforgettable monstrosity.
How to grow devil’s hands: Sadly, it’s almost impossible to get your hands on this staggering flower and its seeds. Also, there’s little information on it on the web. You have to stay alert and scour the famous online shopping sites, in order to obtain the deal you want. If you do manage to find one of the rarest flowers in the world, know that although devil’s hand comes from the tropics of Central America, but unlike the rest of the tropical plants it’s sturdy and grows quite fast.
If you are seeking a grassy effect for the Halloween decoration, you should go with a sticky, carnivorous, tentacle-like stalks of grass. Depending on the type of sundew you buy, you may have one that closely resembles venus flytraps, while other kinds look more like the green sod you are used to see in fields. All of them, though, are predatory plants and feast upon the flesh of unknowing insects flying by.
How to grow sundews: There are some specifics to growing sundews. Starting from the pots, you are looking for something large enough to gather roots at least six inches long. Use peat moss mixed with silica sand – never reach out to potting soil – it contains too much nitrogen that can kill the plant. Sundews need fluorescent lights (another thing to add to the eerie Halloweeny feeling around this lovely greenery) and plenty of food – fruit flies, bloodworms and fish pellets for that matter.
Orchids are well-known for their whimsical shapes and colours. The Dracula orchid hasn’t been named in vain – the center parts of the flower, conveniently named throat and lip look like… well, throat and lips of a bloodlusted vampire. Not only that, the petals of the Dracula orchid seem like they are covered with creepy specks of the vital fluid. All things considered, nature gave its best when creating this spooky plant.
How to grow blood orchids: A difficult, but a sure-fire way to have proper orchid flowers afterwards, is to simulate their natural conditions by mounting the flower onto cork oak. In case you don’t have such, as it probably is, gather some moss around the roots which will keep the soil moist. Needless to say, you need high amount of moisture and some shade throughout the year to have a fully-grown plant.
Another type of orchid, Stanhopea tigrina, needs super accurate timing to blossom around Halloween – flowers last only around three days. However, they have a distinct shape resembling a clutching claw or ghostly hand. Be careful with its aroma – it’s sweet, but it quickly becomes irritating in a closed environment.
How to grow Stanhopea tigrinas: Grow them on your porch or, if you have any, in an atrium – do not expose to sun or leave without water for a long period of time.
Why not replace the traditional ball of fruits on the holiday table with something seemingly out of this world? Like Buddha’s hands for instance! That’s a special kind of citrus that looks plain weird and scary, in a proper setting, though they are very delicious and can fit in your Halloween recipes.
How to grow Buddha’s hands: as all citrus fruits, Buddha’s hands dislike the cold. In case of a cold winter, bring them inside the house.
Got the Guts?
With the proper setting, the stringed flowers of amaranth resemble enormous intestines hanging from the stem. Usually the colours are red and purple, the ones you need, however, you can also find amaranth in a green dye. Amaranth grains are also used in different cuisines throughout the world, as they are highly nutritional and can be used as rice replacement.
How to grow Amaranth flowers: the plant is annual and quite easy to grow. It is resistant to heat and drought – water it twice per week when the weather is dry. The flowers bloom until the first frost, so they can fit into your Halloween decoration efforts.
Seeking a spooky effect with plants, you should consider including almost any plant that sounds scary. Japanese blood grass fits into the pattern with its red tips. They colourise in the autumn season to give a bloody outlook of the plant.
How to grow blood grass: regularly water them and mind that this plant can survive even with a half shade period. Grow it in a pot.
When in dormant form, the corkscrew hazel tree looks exactly the type of vegetation that would grow in the backyard of some wicked witch. The bony gnarled stems of this shrub remain exposed during the colder months, whereas in spring and summer the plant gets covered with green leaves. Another plant that looks eerily branched is the wire netting bush. You can use both to give volume to your decoration.
How to Grow hazel tree: you don’t need to exercise much effort here, however, it takes a bit of time for the plant to fully grow – between 10 to 20 years for the ultimate height peak. The shrub grows well under full light or with a partial shade. The moisture of the soil is important, but see that it’s well-drained.
You rarely grow the sweet citrus types of shrubs for anything else but the fruits, except for the Japanese bitter orange amongst others. Its sharp thorns and twisted stems combine well with Spanish or reindeer moss to create a morbid-looking setting. The fruits are edible, although they are very bitter.
How to grow bitter orange: the Japanese bitter orange is resistant to heat and drought, as well as to pests and other harmful factors. As citrus plants, they will benefit greatly from a full sun, but their thorny and hardy stems can withstand winter temperatures down to -10°C.