10 Boo-tiful Black Plants to Add to Your Garden This Halloween

By Kim Gamel, Houzz

Halloween is around the corner, and if you're lucky, soon droves of candy-seeking ghouls and goblins will be at your door. Does your entryway show your holiday spirit? If not, here are some terrific black-hued plants to make a hauntingly memorable display. 

Related: DIY Halloween Terrarium 

Black Mondo Grass

Black Plants 1
Kim Gamel, original photo on Houzz 

Black mondo grass makes a great addition to fall containers. It's near-black, strappy leaves bring texture and contrast to seasonal displays. It makes these pumpkins really pop. 

Botanical name: Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' 
USDA zones: 6 to 9 
Water requirement: Medium moisture, well-drained soil 
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade 
Mature size: 9 to 12 inches tall and wide 

Ornamental Millet

Black Plants 2
Kim Gamel, original photo on Houzz 

Could this container be more spooktacular? The foliage of ornamental millet 'Purple Majesty' evokes a corn stalk, making it so appropriate for the season. 

Botanical name: Pennisetum glaucum 
USDA zones: Not applicable; grow as an annual 
Water requirement: Dry to medium moisture; well-drained soil 
Light requirement: Full sun to light shade 
Mature size: 3 to 4 feet tall and 1 1/2 to 2 feet wide 

Black Pansies

Black pansies, such as 'Mariposa Black' add a velvety richness to container gardens. 

Botanical name: Viola x wittrockiana
USDA zones: 6 to 10
Water requirement: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full sun to light shade
Mature size: 6 to 9 inches tall and 9 to 12 inches wide

Purple Ruffle Basil

Black Plants 3
Kim Gamel, original photo on Houzz 

Purple ruffle basil has great texture and a deep color that mixes well in nearly any arrangement. Plus, it's edible. You'll need to plant it in the warm season for a display like this in fall. 

Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum
USDA zones: Not applicable; grow as an annual
Water requirements: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall and wide 

Related: Shed More Light on Your Plants on Halloween Night 

Waffle Plant

Waffle plant, with its wavy leaves, adds dimension to container displays. It has a nice habit of spilling over the edge of planters. 

Botanical name: Hemigraphis
USDA zones: 10 to 11
Water requirement: Medium to moist, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full sun to light shade
Mature size: 6 to 9 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide 

Coral Bells

'Blackout' coral bells have a most gorgeous shade. Because they are a perennial in many areas, you can keep them going in a pot or garden bed once Halloween is over. 

Botanical name: Heuchera
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water requirement: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full sun to light shade
Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall and 1 to 1 1/2 feet wide 

Ornamental Kale

Black Plants 4
Kim Gamel, original photo on Houzz 

The dark purple foliage of 'Redbor' ornamental kale is stunning. Its upright leaves with frilled edges will darken and intensify as night temperatures continue to drop.

Botanical name: Brassica oleracea 'Redbor'
USDA zones: Grows everywhere as an annual
Water requirement: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide

Ajuga

'Black Scallop' Ajuga is another perennial that works well in containers. Use it as a low-growing filler and then replant it in a partly shady spot in your garden later in the season.

Botanical name: Ajuga reptans
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water requirement: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide

Related: Ask an Architect to Draw Up Plans for a Beautiful Garden Year-Round

Sweet Potato Vine

'Black Heart' Sweet Potato Vine is easily found at many nurseries. This easy-care annual works in nearly every environment, making it a staple in planters. Bonus: It tolerates both dry soil and deer.

Botanical name: Ipomoea batatas
USDA zones: 9 to 11
Water requirement: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 6 inches to 1 foot tall and up to 10 feet wide

Coleus

Black Plants 5
Kim Gamel, original photo on Houzz

'Vino' Coleus features a dark purple leaf that turns almost black in the sun. It has a very narrow green edge for added interest.

Botanical name: Solenostemon scutellarioides
USDA zones: 10 to 11
Water requirement: Medium moisture, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Partial sun
Mature size: 6 inches to 3 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide

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