The Nature of Color: Halloween Inspired Gardens

Combine Black Diamond Crapemyrtles into containers with contrasting white blooms and silver foliaged plants.
Combine Black Diamond Crapemyrtles into containers with contrasting white blooms and silver foliaged plants.

Halloween is coming! So, there’s no better time than now to explore plants with dark and mysterious foliage. Deep purples, orange and black make a striking combination anytime of the year, but it’s in October that they really speak for the season.  Whether you have sun or shade, a large garden bed or a few colorful planters, there are a variety of plants to choose from in a spooky color scheme. For added contrast, add plants with silver foliage or white blooms that “glow" at dusk for a ghostly effect! Purple Sweet Potato Vine ‘Black Heart’ is perfect for pots or directly into the garden. Let its gorgeous foliage spill out from container plantings or retaining walls. A perfect companion to orange marigolds and fall mums.

Black Diamond Crapemyrtles have striking deep black foliage with blooms in shades of crimson red, blush and white. Plant in full sun to keep the foliage dark. Looking for a truly unique shrub for the urban garden? This is your plant! Plus, they are Texas tough water-wise plants. Because of their semi-dwarf size, they can also be planted as unique container specimens.

Cannas are tough, tropical looking bloomers that can provide you with striking dark burgundy foliage. Some varieties sport foliage that’s almost black combined with bright orange flowers. Tropicanna Black is stunning with black foliage and bright red-orange blooms. ‘Australia’ is another that has glossy almost black leaves with orange-tinged blooms. Cannas bloom summer through fall and can be planted in containers.

Pansies & Violas Nothing says “Happy Fall” louder than pansies and violas! You can choose from a rainbow of colors, but we think you’ll make an even bigger impact by keeping the colors limited to two or three. What about a combo of bright, vivid orange and deep, rich, velvety black? Viola ‘Black Magic’ is perfect for Halloween planters. Combine with Iceland Poppies and sweet potato vine in planters for an even bigger impact.

Iceland Poppies in bright orange look stunning combined with dark foliage plants such as ‘Red Bor’ Kale.  Planted now, poppies will bloom sporadically through the winter. They do best planted in October and November, which allows them to fill in and put on an even more impression show in spring. As mentioned above, orange Iceland poppies are showy when combined with black violas.



Elephant Ear ‘Black Coral’ is a large, stunning tropical foliage plant for our area. Elephant ears can be planted in sunny locations, but can also take part shade, especially in the afternoon. ‘Black Coral’ is perfect for containers and provides great contrast for bright green, chartreuse or gold-colored foliage. Mix with orange marigolds, mums and lantana for a Halloween inspired combination.

Coleus is another very versatile plant with varieties that perform well in either sun or shade. Plus, coleus comes in colors that range from deep purple to orange to neon green. Both upright and trailing varieties are available and are perfect as either the “filler”, or “spiller” for your porch containers. Varieties like ‘Vino’ offer the darkest foliage of the bunch!

Coral Bells ‘Black Beauty’ and ‘Obsidian’ are beautiful perennials with shiny black foliage perfect for shady gardens. They are mounding and low-growing, so be sure to plant them front and center as a border in the landscape or in a container on your patio.

Black Mondo Grass is an elegant, low-growing foliage plant perfect when used as a border around the garden. It offers deep black foliage year-round and is incredibly tough once established. Plants like a bit of late-day shade. While it’s traditionally used in the landscape, Black mondo grass is a great plant to use in containers. Combine with any of the plant we’ve mentioned above for striking Halloween planters!

Ready to add some mystery to your landscape? Let us help you design your perfect fall landscape. If you have questions about combinations of plant care, feel free to chat with us on Facebook or call us directly to schedule a consultation!