Spooky Plants – A Trick or Treat for Gardeners of All Ages
By Laurelynn Martin
Experience the spooky or tricky side of plants. Plants can do some pretty weird things. The Sensitive Plant will bend its leaves downward after it’s touched. The Venus Fly Trap will close its leaf lobes with fine hair triggers around a fruit fly or other insect. White Bat Flower has large, 5-8” flowers with long tendrils that make it look like a flying albino bat. A plant that tricks your taste buds is the Miracle Fruit since after you eat the berry anything sour tastes sweet. Finally, a true spooky and rare plant is the Tillandsia tectorum with its white spidery look and tarantula-type fuzz on its slender leaves. This October, have some fun with these spooky plants that trick and treat gardeners of all ages…
The Sensitive Plant actually moves when you touch its leaves. The fine leaflets open in the daylight, yet when touched will collapse downward. Give them an hour or so and up they’ll come again. As plant matures, it forms small pink flower puffs. Small spines form along the stem so you have to be careful when you handle it. Watch the short video below to see the Sensitive Plant in action:
Witness the revenge of the plant kingdom! We all know that bugs eat plants, but it seems almost a violation of natural order for a plant to eat bugs. The reddish interior of the lobes serves as the main attraction to the insects which the Venus Fly Trap devours. No insects around the house? See what happens when you touch the inner lobe with a pencil point. Keep in a saucer with water at all times to mimic its natural wetlands habitat and grow in a bright location.
One of the largest flowers of all Taccas, the White Bat Flower looks like a flying albino bat with long tendrils that hang from it. Each flower is about 5-8″ across. Once the plant matures, flowers will bloom successively for months. They can be grown successfully indoors and need conditions similar to a Phalaenopsis orchid or a Spathophyllum (Peace lily). Originating in Southeast Asia, White Bat Flower is one of the most tropical and exotic plants we grow.
The miracle of the Miracle Fruit is in the berry that tricks your taste buds. Once you’ve eaten the small red fruit (about the size of a gumdrop), everything sour eaten afterwards tastes incredibly sweet, including sour citrus. From tropical West Africa, it flowers profusely with fruit setting during the summer months in northern climates. This slow grower must be planted in an acidic soil mixture of half sphagnum peat moss and half perlite. It makes an ideal container plant since it remains modest in size.
The white, fuzzy, tarantula-like texture makes Tillandsia Tectorum a unique and rare species from Central America. Place around the interior of a garden room where there is bright light. In its native habitat, it grows on rocks or in the tops of tall trees. Mature plants bloom in spring with a spike of reddish-purple flowers. Mist or water once a week.
Thanks for visiting Logee’s and learning about some of my favorite spooky plants! Before you go, please be sure to request your free Logee’s catalog. You can learn more about the plants mentioned in this article below: