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.
2. Begonia ‘Black Magic’
- Begonia ‘Black Magic’ has shiny variegated leaves of black and lipstick red. This is one sexy beast of a begonia.
3. Camellia x williamsii ‘Night Rider’
- Camellia x williamsii ‘Night Rider’ what did I say? Less goth and more classy and sophisticated. Every early Spring when I see this in bloom I tell myself I must get one. Such a beauty.
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.
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?
6. Acer palmatum ‘Purple Ghost’, Japanese Maple
- Acer palmatum ‘Purple Ghost’ is one of the Ghost series developed by Talon Buchholz at Buchholz Nursery in Gaston, Oregon. According to Dancing Oaks Nursery it gets deeper purple foliage veined in black in Summer when grown in sun. Oooh.
7. Athyrium ‘Ghost,’ Ghost Fern
- Athyrium ‘Ghost’ is another “ghost” plant and the pale greyish fern would make a cool pairing with all your dark foliage plants.
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.
9. Helleborus x hybridus ‘Black Diamond,’ Lenten Rose
- Helleborus x hybridus ‘Black Diamond’ is Oregon bred by Marietta O’Byrne and has got to be one of the darkest, most luscious flowers on earth. Imagine it underplanted with a bed of chartreuse sedum or other groundcover, or can we handle that level of impact? Maybe not.
10. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Ghost,’ Snake Plant
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Ghost’ would be a good one for me since I tend to murder houseplants and snake plants are about as tough as they come. Aren’t the colors so cool on this variety? It not that ghostly to me but rather reminds me of an old-fashioned lemon-lime flat taffy.
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.
12. Sempervivum ‘Pacific Devils Food,’ Hens & Chicks
- Sempervivum ‘Pacific Devils Food’ is dark and rich and glossy and is said to be hardy to -30. What a great plant and I would love to congratulate whoever named it. There are a surprising number of devilishly named plants.
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 .