Create a Festive and Spooky Planter for Halloween

Spotted: A brewing witch’s cauldron of a planter in Brooklyn. Festive neighbors filled their typically staid black planters with combinations of plants that look positively spooky for Halloween. Filled with orange, purple, and green, these are planters that even Glinda the Good Witch could approve of: they’re spooky and stylish. Here’s how to get the look:

Above: Wispy grasses and bright orange bittersweet offer a sophisticated antidote to the polyester cobwebs and pumpkins that have taken over other stoops in the neighborhood.

Above: Sticking up like so many feathery wands, fronds of Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris); $14.95 for a 4-inch pot from Park Seeds. Photograph by Marie Coleman via Flickr.

Above: Peeping over the edge of the planter, violas! If you can find them for sale at nurseries near you, cold-hardy violas will last until frost. Look for Viola Black Magic (currently sold out at White Flower Farm) for an almost-black look, or choose a lighter variety like Viola Blue Moon.

Above: Best found foraged; Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) lends twisting vines of classic autumn color to the containers; it’s also available for $4 from Direct Gardening. Photograph by Per Verdonk via Flickr.

Above: There’s no mistaking the otherworldly Purple Beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma); $25 from Pernell Gerver. Photograph by Peacock Modern via Flickr.

Above: In the back of the planters, tall purple spikes look like they could be Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum); $5.95 from the Growers Exchange. Photograph by Mwms1916 via Flickr.

Above: Spilling out of the side of the window box like Frankenstein’s lost wig, Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Fubuki’); $9.99 at Hirt’s Garden. The acorn branches look to us like Holm oak (Quercus ilex) branches stripped of their leaves. As with the bittersweet, rooting around in your yard for fallen oak branches might be the best way to get hold of those.

Getting in the spooky spirit? See 10 Easy Pieces: Best Pumpkins to Plant for Next Halloween.

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Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K.2 years ago

Thanks. The color scheme was awesome. Have a great Halloween.

Spencer Young
Spencer Young2 years ago

Wonderful colors, wonderful beauty, and a wonderful imagination of what's scary

Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago


Arild Warud
Arild Warud2 years ago


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

thanks for sharing

Mary L.
Mary L.2 years ago

I am sorry but this is lovely not scary to me.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.2 years ago


Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson2 years ago


Nils Anders Lunde


Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton2 years ago