The spooky houseplant trend creeping into our homes this Halloween

Make a striking centerpiece with some freaky foliage

Chinese lantern plants
Chinese lantern plant
(Image credit: Alamy)

Halloween is just around the corner, and we're predicting a spooky houseplant trend as plant lovers show off more unusual varieties. Usually, we might pick up some pumpkins and other frightening decorations to make a seasonal display.

But houseplants could be your secret weapon for making some dramatic and original Halloween decorating ideas - that are also eco-friendly. From red tipped leaves, freaky fungi and a cactus that looks like a human brain, there are all kinds of options.

brain cactus in skull pot

Brain cactus

(Image credit: Alamy)

Group them together with some skulls and candles and you've got yourself a scary but sustainable arrangement for spooky season.

Garden experts at Gardening Express recently conducted some research to find out the most spine-chilling plants on the planet. The list included bleeding tooth fungi - which look absolutely vile (warning, it's pictured below) - plus bat flowers and devil's claw.

As for the scary plants that are also straightforward to grow, there's the brain cactus, the Chinese lantern plant (at the very top of this article) and witch hazel. 'These plants certainly aren’t for every gardener,' a Gardening Express spokesperson admits.

Red Chinese evergreen houseplant in black pot

Red Chinese evergreen

(Image credit: Getty)

'But they are great fun to look at in the run-up to Halloween.' Some smaller varieties, such as the brain cactus below, would look brilliant placed in bell jars or cloches, from Amazon. We think this would work brilliantly as a table centerpiece to impress guests.

Alternatively, you could display larger cacti or red tipped plants in the garden to terrify trick or treaters. As we mentioned, if you're looking for ways to have a more environmentally holiday season, incorporating plants into your decor is a great way to go.

bleeding tooth fungi

Bleeding tooth fungi

(Image credit: Alamy)

The Royal Horticultural Society says that as well as being both bold and beautiful, the use of houseplants as part of your fall décor is a great way to cut down on the single-use plastics found in many seasonal decorations.

Though looking after houseplants may seem scary if you're new to indoor gardening, it doesn’t have to be. Google low-maintenance plants like spider plants, snake plants and cacti that don't need much watering.

polka dot begonia plant

Polka dot begonia from The Stem

(Image credit: The Stem)

Anna from Plant Pet Club recommends using stripy spider plants and or ferns for a Halloween display. She says these are 'perfect for covering up with some webs and spiders.' 

The houseplant expert also suggests glueing some googly eyes to living stones, like Lithops, or lining up carnivorous plants like Venus Fly Traps.

Other plant retailers such as Thompson Morgan have some great options. Whether we're decorating a windowsill or a whole house, choosing more sustainable Halloween decorations will make a significant impact.

Millie Hurst

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.


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