With Halloween decorations in ready supply, homeowners flock to stores to fill their yards full of faux gravestones, skeletons, witches and cobwebs to frighten neighborhood children. With all that commercial flash, it’s easy to overlook the natural spookiness that can be designed into your Knoxville landscaping for Halloween.
Here’s our list of scary plants that will give your landscaping a creepy feel this fall:
Weeping Evergreen Trees
Weeping trees such as Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar, Weeping Black Pine and Weeping Norway Spruce add a spooky feel to any landscaping with unpredictable growth patterns that send these trees twisting and turning in chaotic directions.
While the Weeping Black Pine and Norway Spruce trees have dense, light and dark green foliage, the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar boasts a blue color that adds a silvery coolness to the landscaping. Its airy foliage also makes this plant a great choice for use with landscape lighting to highlight the spooky nature of this tree during the witching hour.
Whether you choose to plant a weeping tree at the corner of your house or in a courtyard space or circle driveway, you’ll need to plan for a lot of space to accommodate their unpredictable size and form. We recommend planting these trees with a low-growing ground cover or perennials to provide a simple backdrop that will allow the trees to be the focal point of your space.
Big Twister Juncus
This plant, with its wild, twisted shape, makes for another scary landscaping choice. Big Twister Juncus likes moist soil and spreads well. Because of that, we like to plant it near a water feature or drainage area, but only if we can create limits or barriers so it doesn’t spread out of control. This plant is also a great choice for a large pot. Big Twister Juncus pairs well with Elephant Ears (mentioned below) and will die back in winter weather to return in the spring. It’s a great choice for busy (or lazy!) landscapers since it doesn’t require much maintenance, although you can divide it if it becomes too dense.
Black Magic Elephant Ears
While Black Mondo Grass, some Heuchera varieties or Black Diamond Crape Myrtles are great options for incorporating spooky color into your landscaping, one of our favorites — for its size and color — is Black Magic Elephant Ears from Monrovia. Growing up to 5-6 feet tall and wide, these monsters have dusty purple-black foliage and will do well in moist soil at the edge of stream beds or water features. Like Big Twister Juncus, Elephant Ears will spread easily and can become invasive if you let it run rampant. For that reason, consider incorporating Elephant Ears in large pots around sitting areas. Wherever you plant it, make sure it has partial or filtered sunlight to keep it looking spooky into the fall. Like Hostas, this plant can be cut back when the foliage starts to look tattered and will return in late spring.
As the name suggests, Contorted Filbert is on our list of scary plants because of its frightening form. During the spring, summer and fall, this plant will grow low and look heavy with some spooky foliage that creates the shape of a monster in your landscaping. A large deciduous shrub, Contorted Filbert is a fantastic winter interest plant that will show off its twisted growth pattern once the leaves have dropped in the fall. Throughout winter, you’ll also see its catkins that decorate the branches with small, long ornaments until spring. Like the weeping trees mentioned above, consider pairing Contorted Filbert with low-growing plants or ground cover such as Liriope, English Ivy or succulents so that it can be the spooky star of your planting bed.
If you need help incorporating these scary plants into your Knoxville landscaping, fill out our contact form or call 865-765-5550 and we’ll schedule a free consultation to come out a take a look at your landscaping (however frightening it may be).