I really like Halloween. There’s a certain gloomy coziness to this time of year that carries much liveliness besides also building up the mood for the upcoming festive season, our awaited Christmas and all the food, light and love that comes with it.
Since every special date cannot pass without proper celebration, what could be better than hunting down some peculiar indoor plants for this Halloween and treating ourselves and our friends to them?
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Starting with the simplest choice for a houseplant, it’s the spider plant. With such a name, I guess we all agree that it deserves an invitation to come in and crash any Halloween party.
Its foliage is sleek and usually variegated, but the characteristic that makes it stand out is the crawly, extended inflorescences filled with tiny clones of the mother plant. If you hang it from the ceiling or against the wall, you’ll be able to see these branches dive down, cluttered with tiny plantlets like antsy spiders hanging on a thread.
Staghorn Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)
This horned specimen is very peculiar. It’s native of Australia and grows naturally on tree trunks without any concern. At home, you might want to expose it to guests by implanting it on a simple living wall, commonly used for ferns. It’ll hang neatly, like a symbiote eager to find its way into you.
Urn Plant (Aechmea fasciata)
Could you ask for one with a more ghoulish name? However, this bromeliad is anything but dead looking. Just admire how that big inflorescence head erupts from the centre of such huge silvery leaves. I bet one could even use it as a weapon to extinguish the cold life within the most unfriendly vampire — if only you’re brave and stick the neon pink spikes right in the heart.
Despite how dangerous I just made this plant sound, its looks are impressive. The colour contrast forbids anyone from overlooking it. In short, your indoor garden can never be complete without a couple of vase plants like this epic one.
Tiger’s Jaw (Faucaria tigrina)
The pointy sets of teeth lining the meaty jaws of this succulent are bound to set your own teeth on edge, shivering with fright.
A crocodile plant such as this wouldn’t be expected to ever display any hints of cuteness, yet it does! In the core of its thick foliage will eventually rise a bright yellow bloom that should show up right in time for Halloween.
Fight no more the urge to get one, for once it finds comfort in your pleasant flowerpot, it’ll start clumping like freaks. So much that next year, you’ll be the new plant dealer in town, stocking everyone’s spooky collection with this special baby.
Cobweb Houseleek (Sempervivum arachnoideum)
Another succulent owning a fair share of spookiness is this webby houseleek. Because these plants, like cacti, are so easy to maintain with little to no effort, there are few plant species that’ll grow on you so instantly.
With an all natural mass of fine threads covering the center, this one won’t need you to spray it with those canned webs for Halloween. As long as you give it some sun, the webby blanket will last a whole season at least, until its pink flower ruptures it, rising high in a bloom for all to see.
Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa)
Did you know this plant can be called Adam’s Rib, too?
Whether your first thought is of ribs of a green and floating trilobite, this plant needs only a firm pole to grow against and promptly the leaves will grow larger and more monstrous.
Having a slender body almost disproportionate to its magnificent leaf size, this climbing monster is very easy to grow. The only luxury it will demand is that you sprinkle it every once in a while and keep the leaves clean and lustrous… or else it might bite back!
Carrion Flower (Orbea variegata)
Disclaimer: this plant’s flower does have a hideous smell, so you might have to keep it outdoors when it blossoms.
Ignoring this detail that’s far from enough to turn a gardener blind to its obvious beauty, the flower itself also looks like rotten meat while the succulent stems are so green and simple, as if not to draw too much attention to themselves.
So, may anyone call this nice plant “sickening”, “obnoxious” or “repugnant” and it’s your job to show them to the door, complimenting this little creature for having just won first place for Creepiest Flower on Halloween.
Lady’s Purse (Calceolaria x herbeohybrida)
First of all, this group of plants starts off being a hybrid created from the amalgamation of three different species of Calceolaria. That’s already cool enough. Secondly, look at the shape of the flowers. They look like a chickenpoxed bib about to fuse into the neck of anyone who dares try it on.
For a plant whose leaves couldn’t look more vanilla, the blossoms turn up looking beautifully undefinable in their shape, colors and secret intentions.
Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica)
Mimosas are indeed as pudic as their scientific name tags them. The leaves will respond instantaneously, closing as you touch them, which can be a little eerie or lovely. You decide.
Leave a pair of vases with these plants by a most luminous hall and watch the changing faces of those unused to such magical moving plants, when they mindlessly rub their sleeves on the soft leaves. Then pretend you saw nothing and it’s all in their heads, and they might get cold feet or a chill down the spine. These reactions alone will make you an accomplished Halloween host.
Mock Strawberry (Duchesnea indica)
This fake strawberry is the only berry on this list, and this single plant is all you need if you lack a specimen that gives out a wild and poisonous vibe to anyone who comes across it.
Being a crawler, it can hang or sit on a window sill just like the spider plant, easily decorating a lonely corner with its plain lushness. Besides, the fruits are actually edible although tasteless, so you can always instigate a curious visitor to try one and you’ll see who’s really brave and who’s just talks.
Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus senilis)
This cactus looks old even before it has come of age. The hairs coating its body look fluffy and snowy but don’t touch it too comfortably, because beneath the hazy cover there are the usual spines that really mean it when they sting.
Even though these plants grow to reach a few meters in height, while young they are very manageable and will blend in your cacti garden without a problem.
Chain Cactus (Rhipsalis paradoxa)
One more cactus will seal the deal for this Halloween show of most mysterious plants you can grow indoors.
The segmented limbs of this seemingly convoluted plant are built to root randomly into the bark of trees in tropical forests, as our bromeliads and staghorn do too. Whether you let it drop down from a suspended flowerpot or simply keep it next to the lamp on your desk, that’s your choice.
Truth is it’ll look just as good anywhere you place it — plants are simply that way — so let’s also add this one to the shopping list and set everything up right in time for the night of Halloween.