Thomas J. Story

Skip the fake cobwebs this year and add some haunt to your house with these spooky specimens

Lauren Dunec and Heather Arndt Anderson  – November 1, 2017 | Updated August 25, 2019

Whether you love Halloween or are a year-round goth, spooky plants add instant edge and visual interest to home decor. Why add pops of color when you can add pops of black and fangs? Here are some of the most exquisitely creepy-looking houseplants around, sure to add a touch of Maleficence to to your Halloween party (or just your everyday aesthetic). 

Photo: Aya Brackett

Dyckia

With edges like shark teeth, dyckia threaten anyone who comes too close. Plant in black square containers with a top-dress of dark gravel for a sleek, modern look.

Photo: Aya Brackett

Bat Face Cuphea

Can you spot the little bat faces with red ears in the flowers?  Bring a sprig of this perennial indoors to frighten your dinner guests. 

Photo: Aya Brackett

Venus Flytraps

Place a bowl of these carnivorous plants on your windowsill and wait for them to snap closed on unsuspecting insects—or trick-or-treaters.

Photo: Aya Brackett

Bat Lily

These bold specimens resemble their namesake winged creatures of the night. With dark blossoms and strange whisker-like tendrils, a trio of Bat lilies (Tacca chantrieri) will make a statement as a Halloween table centerpiece. This spooky plant can be fussy to grow, but in the right conditions will add spectacular terror to your home.

Photo: Aya Brackett

Pencil Tree

The wavy branches of a potted Pencil tree (Euphorbia tirucalli) look like a hand reaching up from the grave. Grow these South African plants in a sunny window and watch them arch towards the light. For added spooky flair, try potting them in containers shaped like human skulls

Photo: Aya Brackett

Split Rocks

These strange-looking succulents (Pleiospilos sp.) evolved in arid, desert landscapes to look like speckled rocks. Place in a container of potting soil topped with black sand and they’ll look like the rotting flesh of a deadman’s fingers or tiny granite tombstones.

Photo: Aya Brackett

Can’t get enough spooky inspiration?  Check this out for a full line-up of ‘Freaky Flora.’