The Dark Foliage and Flower Garden!

The Dark Foliage and Flower Garden!

dark foliage

Welcome to all the spooks and darklings who are looking for something more … Gothic in their gardens. Perhaps you are conjuring your inner Addams Family? 

Looking for the opposite of a Moon Garden?

It’s not just a phase! Many people associate black and dark hues with formal occasions, seriousness, confidence, tenacity, or power! Others welcome the darkness as it is comforting, matches everything, and quite slimming and sleek! Or you may be just looking for a garden that is upscale, unique, and chic!

Whatever your reason, black-foliage plants and black flowers are considered the epitome of plant breeding achievements and add that extra layer of depth a garden needs! There are a TON of plants for the gardener that haven’t grown out of their Goth phase in high school!

Besides, even your garden will love having the plant version of a little black dress!

Dark and Mysterious Foliage Plants!

Black is unfortunately not a natural pigment found in nature (at least not TRUE black in plants). Leading to a range of dark purples, deep burgundy, bruised reds, glowering greens, and midnight blues. Luckily, flower and foliage choices that edge into the color of black are widely available these days and add dramatic impact to your landscape!

dark mondo grass

Black doesn’t help pollinators because it absorbs ultraviolet light instead of reflecting it and it blends into the shade or shadow - becoming invisible to a hungry bee. So plants really don’t have much use for it. So the race for a black flower is purely for our own desires!

Every bright color needs a bit of shadow to enhance it! Sunny gardens need some shade. And bright colors seem to pop when there is something there to use as a backdrop!

Often, dark leaves or near-black leaves are simply the result of a genetic mutation or years and years of cross-breeding! But plant breeders are constantly striving for new and improved leaf color and variegation to give your landscape an edge!

Do Plants With Black Leaves Need Special Care?

Caring for a plant with black foliage isn’t any different than a plant with green or variegated foliage. They need no extra or special care. The color is often a bit more dramatic when planted in more sun, but shade can bring out this unique color better for some shade plants as well!

Check for your growing zone, select plants for your sun availability, and then go from there!

You will be sure to find the right shade of the night for your landscape!

Perennials With Near-Black Leaves

Full Sun Perennials

Defying the sun and glowering as dark as night, these dark foliage perennials add their mystique to your landscape! Morticia herself would swoon over these darklings!

  • Hardy Hibiscus like Mars Madness, Starry Night, Cherry Choco Latte and Kopper King
  • Penstemon like Midnight Masquerade, DAKOTA™ Verde, Dark Towers, and Blackbeard
  • Cape Rush
  • Black Truffle Cardinal Flower
  • Amazing Red New Zealand Flax
  • Sedum like Night Embers, SunSparkler® Plum Dazzled and Proven Winners® Rock 'N Grow® Back in Black

perennial flyer

Partial Sun Perennials

Coral Bells seem to have the corner market on dark foliage of all kinds, like the Midnight Rose, Blackout, Plum Pudding, Northern Exposure™ Silver, Northern Exposure™ Purple, Carnival Plum Crazy, Obsidian Coral Bells, and Palace Purple Coral Bells!

Other gorgeous part sun/part shade perennials include -

  • Dark Side of the Moon and Chocolate Shogun Astilbe
  • Black Mondo Grass
  • Pandora Ligularia
  • Black Scallop Ajuga
  • Black Coral Colocasia
  • Hillside Black Beauty Bugbane
  • Black Adder Phormium
  • Black Magic Violet 

A bit of shade won’t stop these shadow-leaved beauties!

partial perennials

Shrubs With Near-Black Leaves

Incredible backdrops to the garden, or absorbing all the sunlight and color wavelengths around them, black foliage shrubs also draw all the attention!

  • Black Diamond® Crape Myrtles
  • Firefly™ Nightglow™ & Kodiak® Black Bush Honeysuckle
  • Forest Rouge Blackhaw Viburnum
  • First Editions® Crimson Fire™ Fringe Flower
  • Diabolo, Summer Wine® & Summer Wine® Black Ninebark
  • Weigela Bushes like Tuxedo™ Electric Love® & Minor Black
  • Almost All Smokebush!
  • Ever Red & Jazz Hands Night Moves™ Loropetalum
  • First Editions® Love Child® Sweetspire
  • Blackhawks Big Bluestem
  • Black Lace®, Black Tower™, Laced Up® Elderberry Bushes - black berries too!

Offset these dark leaves with bright flowers, plants with silver leaves, and chartreuse foliage if you want to cut through the gloom with a knife!

shrubs banner

Trees With Dark Foliage

Darken things more with these dark-leafed trees and let your garden stand out among the neighborhood's green acres! Include a few dark-needled evergreens too!

  • Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Tree
  • Black Pearl™ Redbud
  • Red Dragon Contorted Filbert

trees banner

Deeply Mysterious Flowering Plants

Plant breeders have competed to achieve the holy grail of flower colors - Black! And they’ve nearly done it! Rose breeders are leading the charge to try and develop the first black flower, with Iris breeders close behind!

Full Sun Perennials

  • Pardon Me Daylily
  • Pristine Lilac Purple Penstemon
  • Blue Marvel and the dark May Night or Bodacious® Rhythm and Blues Salvia
  • Summer Nights Delphinium
  • Twilite Prairieblues False Indigo
  • Bela Lugosi or Rainbow Rhythm® Nosferatu Daylily
  • Black Gamecock Iris
  • Odessa® Red Dianthus
  • Tall Bearded Iris like Bubble Bubble, War Chief, and Sorbonne
  • Black Charm Asiatic Lily
  • Black Parrot Tulip
  • Cherry Brandy Black-Eyed Susan
  • Night Flyer Lily
  • Magic Fountains Dark Blue White Bee Delphinium

Mix these dark blossoms among dark foliage plants for an incredible display that defies the daylight!

full sun flyer

Partial Shade Flowering Perennials

Throwing a bit more shade into the dappled garden border simply adds to the drama! Conjure your own Elvira Mistress of the Dark by adding these vampy blooms!

  • Blackcurrant Ice Columbine
  • Warsaw Nike Clematis
  • Queen of the Night Tulip
  • Giant Black Knight Canna
  • Black Pearl Amaryllis
  • Black Chrysographes Iris
  • Black Jack Dahlia

partial shade flyer

Shrubs With Dark Flowers

Every Yin has a bit of Yang, so every garden needs a touch of the dark side to make the light that much brighter!

  • Rose bushes like the Intrigue, Twilight Zone™, and Ebb Tide Rose
  • Rose Trees like Drop Dead Red™ and the Burgundy Iceberg Rose Tree
  • Adonis Blue™, Black Knight, and the Buzz™ Midnight Butterfly Bushes
  • Beyond Midnight® Bluebeard

dark flowers flyer

A Black Tie Affair

Want a garden full of contrasting tones of formal white and black? Try mixing these blooms that embody both sides of the spectrum! Lily Munster would approve!

  • Two-fer® Burgundy Iceberg & Iceberg Rose Tree
  • Whirlwind Japanese Anemone
  • Festival Star Baby's Breath
  • Primo® Black Pearl Coral Bells
  • Royal Wedding Oriental Poppy
  • Black Beard Mondo Grass
  • Dwarf Goat's Beard
  • Frosted Velvet Tall Bearded Iris
  • Black Eye Asiatic Lily
  • Tuxedo™ Weigela
  • White Snowberry

Add some blood red Roses and your garden will stand out big time!

black tie flyer

Setting The Mood With Dark Plants!

Ebony, shadow, onyx, black velvet, twilight, midnight, and brooding hues can complement any home and landscape by adding their own depth and drama!

Especially if your home has a dark or black roof and shutters, asphalt driveway, and evergreens planted all around as a backdrop, these black beauties will enhance your curb appeal in a welcome yet unexpected way! 

Contrast these dark flowers with white flowers to set them off. Then add plenty of landscape lighting to your plan and you’ll turn some heads!

You don’t have to be Wednesday to love all things about the color of night! Head over to Nature Hills Nursery and find your own way to make a statement this year by including dark flowers and dark foliage plants in your garden today! 

Happy Planting!

Want to make things spookier? Check out some Halloween Plant and Garden Ideas!

shop black diamond crape myrtles

← Previous Next →