14 Black Flowers & Plants To Goth Up Your Garden Bed

Springtime typically means blossoms of preppy pink, cheery yellows, and plenty of pastel purple. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes you want to let your inner dark side shine. Just like goths in the halls of any high school, dark flowers and plants can add major drama to the garden, especially when planted en masse. They can look especially striking next to colors like chartreuse, white, and magenta. If I just described the palette of the wardrobe of your dreams, read on, my gothic friend.

You don’t have to be a lover of all things strange to find beauty in black flowers, though. “One of my favorite things about gardening is that there’s so much flexibility to showcase your unique style and creativity through flowers and plants,” says Rebecca Sears, CEO and resident green thumb at Ferry-Morse, one of the nation’s largest seed companies. “Creating a goth garden, or just working black or darker-colored flowers into your yard is a great way to express yourself and add an element of drama and sophistication to your space.”

Whether you’re going for a single cauldron-plantings worth or an entire dramatic bed, here are some moody options to experiment with this spring.


Black Cat Petunia

Petunias are easy to grow and can actually help out the other plants in your garden by attracting pollinators and repelling pests. The black cat petunia has a deep purplish black flower that looks stunning against the green petals. I like to plant these in a big container with chartreuse sedum (Sedum angelina) and a large black magic elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta) at the center.


Black Devil Violas

The name “black devil violas” could be a band, and it might be reason enough for you to try these sweet little dark flowers. The good news? Violas and pansies are also super easy to grow. They can handle cooler weather, so they look great in the fall but can also be planted in early spring. They will grow anytime in areas with cool climates year round, like the Northern California coast.


Black Magic Bearded Iris

There are a few different black iris varieties out there, but black magic wins for most dramatic. The flowers are big and velvety, and the bees love them. I also love Dracula’s kiss (the name!), but the flower is redder.


Black Hollyhock

These black hollyhocks can reach up to 60 inches high, so they can really add height to the garden bed. Plant these beauties, which are a deep, near-black red, at the back or along a fence line to prevent them from dwarfing smaller flowers.


Queen of the Night Tulips

You need to plant tulip bulbs in the fall for the following spring, so order these to arrive in time for this year’s Halloween and do some ritual planting by the light of the moon. I’ve got these queen of the night tulips in my beds, and they grow quite tall, offering a very rich dark maroon-black that is the closest to a true black I’ve seen in the tulip realm.


Black Crystal Pansy

These black pansies are very near a true black and, like their viola cousins, can be planted in the early spring or late fall for cool-season color — just in time for Halloween. (In milder climates, you can grow them in summer.) Whatever you do, make sure they don’t end up in the full sun. Like many goths, the black pansies prefer partial shade. Another variety to try is “Halloween II.”


Midnight Gold Petunia

These midnight gold petunia flowers aren’t pure black but, rather, double-ruffled blooms with black petals outlined in white. They’re pretty dramatic and look amazing tumbling out of a hanging basket.


Nightrider Lily

Unlike many of the other flowers on this list, these lily bulbs are perennial and hardy as can be. Plant them in early spring for a midsummer explosion of gothic beauty. (Be sure to check when you order if you are getting spring-planting bulbs or fall-planting bulbs). As an added bonus, they have a sweet perfume. Plant in front of some “Love Lies Bleeding” (Amaranthus caudatus), which gets dramatic tendrils of red flowers against chartreuse leaves, and you will have a flower bed that will melt even a vampire’s cold, dead heart.


Black Mondo Grass

This isn’t a flower, but it’s always worth mentioning since it is one of the only true black plants. Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigrescens) grows in gorgeous, spidery clumps with blades that are truly black and opaque. It looks stunning as a border plant, but it also grows slowly, so make sure you plant it near things that won’t overshadow its gothy goodness.


Nemophila “Pennie Black”

Also known as “baby black eyes,” this hybrid of the popular “baby blue eyes” is all about dark eyeliner. The petite flowers stay low and make a perfect mounding carpet of dozens of deep purple flowers surrounded by white outlines on contrasting bright green leaves.


Love Lies Bleeding

“Love Lies Bleeding” (Amaranthus caudatus) isn’t a black flower, per se, but its name and growing habit give it a special place in the gothic flower bed. The blood-red flowers droop down and are a boon for bees and other pollinators. Plus, the chartreuse nature of the leaves makes for an amazing contrast when planted with black lilies.


Black Dahlia

Most black dahlias are a moody, almost-black deep red (“La Recoleta” is among the darkest varieties I’ve seen). Dahlias are grown from tubers and are sensitive to extreme cold, so in mild climates, they are perennial. However, in areas with cold winters, you have to dig the tubers up and store them, usually right before Halloween.


Voodoo Lily

The voodoo, or “vampire,” lily (Dracunculus vulgaris) brings some big goth drama to the garden. When it flowers, it smells like a dead animal, attracting the flies and carrion beetles that pollinate it. So, while you might not put this one in a cut vase (the smell doesn’t last that long, I swear), it looks really great in a dramatic planter, like this footed terracotta one that looks like a cauldron. Voodoo lilies are bulbs native to Mediterranean climates, so like the dahlias, you’ll likely need to bring them inside and store them for winter.


Sweet Potato Vine “Blackie”

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