Spook Up Your Garden With Bulbs

By Bonnie Grant | October 31, 2021
by Bonnie Grant
October 31, 2021

I am endlessly fascinated by horror movies. I know many people can’t stomach them, but I am aware they are fake and the more blood and gore the better. I have this in common with my 12-year-old neighbor. When I ordered bulbs last year I wanted to try some horror movie themed varieties and cater to my love of the macabre. Enter Voodoo Lily and Bat Plant and some other cast of characters.

Bulbs For Halloween

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, probably due to my love of the horror genre. Whether a current favorite or a classic B thriller, I can’t get enough of scary movies. Few things are as comforting as darkening the living room, making some popcorn, and watching a terrifying movie in the gentle peace of my home. So when I was thinking about what bulbs I wanted to get last year, I remembered some fun ones about which I had read and even written that carried into my favorite movie group. 

Voodoo Lily is a gorgeous plant with an absolutely electrifying flower, which is actually its spathe and spadix. It is also known as Devil’s Tongue, a moniker that conjures up even more spooky images. To get the bulb, you have to act early and order online. It is a greenhouse plant in many zones and reminded me of the Corpse Flower, which is in the same genus. 

Amorphophallus. I had seen the Corpse Flower in bloom at our university conservatory. It is an awe inspiring, huge plant with a huge flower that stinks as much as the name would indicate. Voodoo Lily isn’t quite as big, but it is hardier and would live in my zone 6 region. I planted it as soon as all danger of frost was past, and got a good sized plant but no flower this year. Never fear, it will get mulched heavily and possibly next year I will get a magenta cupped flower with semi stinky power. 

Next, I ordered a Bat Plant bulb. I’m going to have to lift this one because it isn’t hardy in my zone, but no matter, the plant produced! A spectacular tropical looking flower that had a long whisker-like stamen. The bloom was deeply purple, almost black, and unique– flanked by bat wing-like bracts. Next year I will try to grow this indoors; I’ll hope to get more blooms and will keep the plant foliage longer. 

More Spooky Plants

In my opinion, no home is complete without a Venus Flytrap. I will admit I have a devil of a time keeping mine alive for more than a couple of seasons, but it’s a fun plant to have near an open window.  I also catch flies for it to consume. This is another plant my young neighbor and I have bonded over, and I have given him the names and info on other carnivorous plants. I also have Devil’s Thorn growing in the gravel which is as scary as it sounds, with a 5-sided spiked thorn that can pierce a mountain bike tire. Not so fond of this one but it is actually quite pretty. 

When I get fixated on something I don’t stop. I have plans to acquire other spooky plants. On the roster are Ghost Plant and Doll’s Eyes. I’m sure with a little research I will come up with many more Halloween themed plants to adorn my home and landscape, and bring that touch of the macabre home.

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