Haunt Your House with These 7 Beastly, Halloween-Approved Plants

updated Oct 30, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Halloween is the best day of the year: It’s finally acceptable to wear black every day, and there’s finally an excuse to decorate your home in a witchy, ghoulish way. Bring on the fake spider webs, black pillar candles, and spooky skeleton figurines!

But not every piece of scary decor needs to be taken down come Nov. 1. One of the best ways to celebrate is by giving weird plants time to shine—and then letting them spook your house for the rest of the year, too. I’ve always been attracted to the bizarre and unusual, and bringing these slightly freaky plants into my home solidified my love for botanical eccentricities. The plants that made it on to this list—all available to order online—can leave even the steeliest of souls shaking in fear. Proceed with caution (but also with glee).

Venus Fly Traps (Dionaea muscipula)

These freaky carnivorous plants have been a longtime staple of many garden centers and plant shops. The leaves of the Venus Fly Trap have little “trigger” hairs on them that set the trap into motion. When the hairs are touched the leaves clamp shut, trapping the prey. The plant then secretes digestive fluids that dissolve the prey and help the plant ingest the nutrients. In order to thrive, Venus Fly Traps need tons of humidity and bright, indirect sunlight. They prefer to be damp at all times. To increase your odds of success, try planting your specimen in a terrarium. If you’re growing it inside, you’ll need to feed it a couple of times per month; use slugs, flies, or bugs you find hanging around (sorry, your VFT won’t eat pizza). Good news: This plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs.

Credit: Logee's

Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)

This beauty is native to Southeast Asia and is truly as creepy as the name suggests. The foliage grows big and plentiful, but once the plant reaches maturity it will bloom in an extraordinary, grotesque example of how amazing nature can be. The flower emerges in the shape of a bat’s face, whiskers and all. These plants bring a spooky element to any time of year, but seem particularly fitting around the Halloween season. Black Bat Flower likes indirect light and for the soil to be visibly dry on top before watering again.

Credit: Plant Desert

Medusa’s Head (Euphorbia flanaganii)

This euphorbia truly resembles its namesake. Native to South Africa, the Medusa’s Head plant produces serpentine-like stems from the center of the plant, giving it a mythical appearance. Give it bright to direct light but be cautious about watering. Unlike most other euphorbia, the Medusa Head plant does not do well in long periods of drought. Water it when the soil is dry to the touch. You can tell when it needs water as the “limbs” will start moving towards the center of the plant. Take note: Most euphorbias are toxic to both cats and dogs, and this one is no exception.

Frizzle Sizzle  (Albuca spiralis)

This plant is extremely unusual and looks like something that could be found in a mysterious, magical forest. Its tightly curled leaves on short stems arise from a submerged bulb. It may be a compact plant, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t eye-catching. Frizzle Sizzle needs bright, indirect light. Be sure to let the soil dry out between waterings.

Credit: Fabricent

Brain Cactus (Mammillaria elongata f. cristata)

When it comes to beastly-looking plants, the Brain Cactus takes the cake. This cactus is an easy-growing dude that gets its shape from natural damage that happens to the plant in its youth. When that happens, the new cells grow faster than normal, creating a twisty “brain” shape. This cactus will draw the “oooohs” and “ahhhhhs” from all your company. Give it bright light and water sparingly. You won’t need a lot of room for this guy as it stays compact for its entire life. A fun display idea: Pot in a skull-shaped planter for extra frights.

Credit: Logee's

Living Stones (Lithops)

These succulents look like they’re from a different planet. They’re also called “Living Stones” because they look like small, colorful pebbles. They are extremely drought tolerant and can grow in any sunny window. They don’t need much space, either. Lithops are dormant during the summer months and then flower in the fall. In the winter months you will see your plant shed its outer leaves, creating the illusion that the plant is “exploding” open. Lithops are nontoxic to both cats and dogs.

Resurrection Plant (Selaginella lepidophylla)

The Resurrection Plant, also known as the Rose of Jericho, will definitely put you in the mood for Halloween! This plant has fascinated people for decades with its ability to return to life over and over again. It is usually purchased in its brown, shriveled stage, when it looks like a dead weed. After it’s placed in a dish of water the plant will resurrect itself, unfurling to display an oasis of verdant fronds. You can’t bring most murdered houseplants back from the dead, but you can certainly get your fix with this plant!