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From bats to spiders to ghosts, read on as we shine a light on our top 13 strange and dark plant selections for goth gardens.

And to be honest, most of these plants are less Miss Havisham’s macabre garden and more sophisticated plant collector, in case that’s not your style.

1. Corokia cotoneaster ‘Devil’s Smoke,’ Wire Netting Bush

  • Corokia cotoneaster ‘Devil’s Smoke’ is a Cistus Nursery introduction which they say “should be among the hardiest of the species, but who really cares cuz it looks dead anyways”. Ha! I love the “architectural” twisty silver branches and black leaves. Pretty fun. If I had this in my garden I would nickname it Skeletor. 
Goth looking spindly bare silver branches on low bush against green evergreen shrub.
Corokia cotoneaster ‘Devil’s Smoke’ gives off that dead look in the most charming of ways. Photo by Cistus Nursery.


2. Begonia ‘Black Magic’


Close up of veined lancet-shaped leaves in glossy black edged in dark red.
Begonia ‘Black Magic’ is certainly one of the most goth plants around. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.


3. Camellia x williamsii ‘Night Rider’


Close up of dark burgundy red flowers with yellow tipped anthers.
The yellow tipped anthers of Camellia Night Rider really stand out against the dark glossy petals. Photo by Cistus Nursery.


4. Hosta ‘Ghost Spirit’

  • Hosta ‘Ghost Spirit’ has got to be one of the most high-contrast hostas and how striking with its nearly white leaf markings. Imagine it providing some bold structure to an ethereal white-themed garden, perhaps interplanted with some white-flowered Goat’s Beard.


A birds-eye view of plant with large ruffled leaves that are nearly white and edged in dark green.
Hosta ‘Ghost Spirit’ has large ruffled leaves that are nearly white and edged in dark green, lending it an ethereal look. Photo by Sebright Gardens.


5. Tillandsia magnusiana, Air Plant

  • Tillandsia magnusiana looks webby and spidery and there’s something creepy to me about an air plant in general. Plus, it looks a bit like Cousin It to my eyes. I love it. Is it a pet or a plant?


A small pale grey-green spidery plant sitting on a wood surface.
The air plant Tillandsia magnusiana seems to be eerily floating almost like a tumbleweed. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.


6. Acer palmatum ‘Purple Ghost’, Japanese Maple


Close up of foliage on an oak shaped leaf in rich shades of purple.
Acer palmatum ‘Purple Ghost’ beguiles and spooks with otherworldly shades of purple. Photo by Karl Gercens III.


7. Athyrium ‘Ghost,’ Ghost Fern


Detail of greyish green fern leaves.
Athyrium ‘Ghost’ is a fern that will standout in shade with it’s pale grey-green leaves. Photo by Far Reaches Farm.


8. Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’, Japanese Aralia

  • Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’–how can a plant this stunning be this tough? Somehow this variety is even more tropical looking than your average fatsia but it’s just as tolerant of dry shade. A really, really good plant. And very useful too for lightening up a dark area of the garden.


Large leaf with veins of yellow and edged with white specks around green leaves.
Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’ has leaves that look spray painted in white along the edges. Photo by plant lust.


9. Helleborus x hybridus ‘Black Diamond,’ Lenten Rose


Close up of single black-purple flower with pale yellow anthers and dark greenish-black foliage.
Helleborus x hybridus ‘Black Diamond’ calls into question everything we think we know about flowers–it’s just hard to believe any could be this dark. Photo by Tim Vojt.


10. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Ghost,’ Snake Plant


A close up of a table of nursery starts containing a collection of upright lancet-leaved plants in yellow and chartreuse stripes.
Who knew there were so many “ghost” plants? Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Ghost’ may not be that ghostly but it is charmingly odd, with leaves variegated in chartreuse and banana yellow. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.


11. Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace,’ Elderberry

  • Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ has long been a pet plant of mine. When situated in the right spot in the garden it easily plays the role of star. You just can’t beat the pale pink umbellifers floating among the near-black purple leaves come spring.


Detail of fine, spidery black foliage against a large dark green leaf.
Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ is black with spidery foliage making it an obvious choice for any goth plant round-up. Photo by plant lust.


12. Sempervivum ‘Pacific Devils Food,’ Hens & Chicks


Close-up of nursery pot containing a cluster of maroon rosette-shaped plants.
Sempervivum ‘Pacific Devils Food’ has sultry maroon-colored rosettes. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.


13. Sempervivum ‘Black,’ Hens & Chicks

  • Sempervivum ‘Black’ is another dark sempervivum that would pair well with its goth friend ‘Pacific Devils Food’ and so many other fabulous naturally cobwebbed and moody colored Sempervivums .


Close up of single rosette-shaped plant in dark burgundy with chartreuse center planted in gravel.
Sempervivum ‘Black’ is another must have houseleek for those who enjoy a dark color palette. Photo by Little Prince of Oregon.


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