Botanicus spooktacularis

For the night is dark and full of…flowers. And twisty shrubs and shadowy trees. It’s that spooky, spectral time of year! Here are 10 hauntingly seductive plants for your fall garden.

Blue Enchantress® Hydrangea

Midnight black stems and Miss Havisham-eque beauty of blue flowers fading to vintage cream-splashed green are a carbon dated reminder of summer just passed. Partial shade to partial sun. Up to 5′ tall and wide. Zone: 4 – 9

August Beauty Gardenia

Blooms into fall with unearthly-perfect, ghostly-white unfurling flowers that gleam in moonlight and ooze a bewitching, thick, hot sweetness into the night air. Traditionally used in love potions. ‘Nuff said. Partial to full sun. Up to 5′ tall, 3’ wide. Zone: 8 – 11

blackdragoncryptomeria

Black Dragon Japanese Cedar

Any plant named “Cryptomeria” is bound to make the list, but this particular one has a catawampus branching habit that looks rather spooky in moonlight. Partial to full sun. Up to 7′ tall, 4′ wide; ultimately 10′ tall. Zone: 5 – 9

Winter Jewels® Blue Diamond Lenten Rose

Hellebores were once considered a weapon against witches, evil spirits, and madness. Okay, then! Won’t flower till winter, but smoky sawtooth-edge foliage has a distinctively dark vibe. Full shade to partial sun. Zone: 5 – 9

Prime-Ark® 45 Blackberry

Erect canes make it easy to pick the berries but when the fun is done, what remains is a twisty bramble with some pretty wicked thorny canes (gothically good when wrapped around a pumpkin). Full sun. Up to 8′ tall, 6′ wide. Zone: 4 – 8

My Fair Maiden™ Maiden Grass

The sudden kinetic “what was that?” movement set off by the slightest midnight breeze. The papery sound of the rustling leaves. Grasses in fall have a gorgeous albeit edgy beauty all their own. Full sun. Up to 8′ tall, 5′ wide. Zone: 5 – 9

Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick

Look at those twisted branches and tell us that’s not just a bit haunting! After autumn’s foliage falls but before winter’s pendulous catkins appear, its nature-made for the spooky season. Full sun. Up to 15′ tall and wide. Zone: 3 – 9

Green Showers Boston Ivy

Halloween-hued, candy corn colored foliage that covers this self-clinging, vigorous, deciduous vine falls to reveal a twisty, skeletal, tracery-like pattern against bare walls in late autumn. Full sun. Spreading to 50′ long. Zone: 4 – 9

Serpents Blue Chalk Fingers

Sprawling fleshy stems produce silvery-blue finger-like leaves. When mass planted the effect is a mesmerizing combo of tranquil color and grab you by the eyeballs architectural form. Partial to full sun. Up to 2′ tall, 3′ wide. Zone: 10 – 11

Sweet Autumn Clematis

If an avalanche of fragrant summer flowers were not already almost too much to take in, the apparitional-like wall of silvery seed heads on fall’s bare branches seals the deal. Up to 20′ tall with support. Partial to full sun. Zone: 4 – 9

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If you need specific advice for a tricky spot, please leave a comment below. For even more choices, please consult with your local garden center (find one here).

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