Most studies on the benefits of nature focus on lush, green plants and bright, colorful flowers that exude peace and calm. However, home dwellers who are more into dark, Gothic plants will tell you that the sense of tranquillity, beauty, and elegance these plants exude, are second to none.
Black pigmentation is common among berries and seed coats, and it is sometimes visible in the sterile organs of some flower species. However, black leaves are extremely rare in the natural world, mainly existing among mosses like Grimmia and Andreaea, and liverworts like Marsupella.
Of course, human beings are crafty and creative, and those enamoured by darker tones have bred new species that sport mysterious hues. Doing so has not impaired leaf photosynthesis, since only green light absorption is lower in black leaves.
Red and blue light are assimilated to the same degree as they are by green leaves. If you are keen to fill your home with black and dark indoor plants that reflect your individuality to the full, consider growing the following species.
1. Burgundy Ripple
This stunning, matte black plant, scientifically known as Peperomia caperata, boats variegated foliage that with criss-crossing red stems. It makes an ideal starter plant for an indoor collection, since it needs very little water and can grow beautifully in partial shade.
This plant takes a long time to grow and is quite small in size, making it the perfect decorative element for a windowsill or desk. To make sure it grows well, place it in porous, well-draining potting soil and only water it when its soil has partially dried.
Fertilize it during growing season with a diluted solution. Keep it away from direct sunlight, ideally placing it behind a sheer curtain.
2. Black Velvet
Alocasia plants thrive in warm, humid environments, and although they tend to be grown outdoors, they can also thrive in warm areas such as the kitchen or shower. Boasting large, dark leaves with stark white or silver veins, this plant can be delicate to grow, since it is averse to both wind and the cold.
Choose coarse, well-draining soil for this plant and carefully water it so that the soil surrounding it does not become soggy. Try to make sure it is placed within an area with a humidity level of around 60-75% and expose it to moderate indirect light. The ideal temperature for this plant ranges from 59 to 80ºF.
Alocasia needs to be fertilized monthly during its growing season, and it should not be repotted or pruned frequently. Its love of humidity makes it an excellent choice for a terrarium. This beautiful plot is toxic to humans and pets, so keep it out of the reach of children and avoid it altogether if you have pets.
3. The Black Rose and Black Hens and Chicks
This beautiful plant, whose scientific name is Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwarktop’, is a stunning black succulent that grows shiny scarlet and black flower-like structures with a golden center.
Its leaves become darker when it is exposed to direct sunlight, so make sure that you place this plant close to a window where direct sunlight can reach it.
Another succulent that grows in a rich, dark burgundy hue is Black Hens and Chicks, and easy-to-grow succulent that also resembles a multi-layered flower. Black Hens and Chicks are easy to grow both outdoors and indoors, and they are excellent container plants.
If you grow your succulents in a pot with various different species, make sure to avoid succulents that can also sport purple leaves like Euphorbia Trigona, as they’re considered one of the worst indoor plants for allergies.
Like other allergy-causing plants, this species has a toxic sap that can irritate skin and even cause burning and blisters. Both these succulents are safe for pets.
4. Chinese Jade
This dark-purple/almost black succulent (Sinocrassula yunnanensis) merits a mention of its own, owing to its otherworldly, alien-like shape. Some people call it a “hedgehog” succulent because it is similar to a hedgehog in ‘defense mode’.
The plant forms clusters of leaves that seem to form claws, making them ideal additions to homes with Gothic flair. It grows well alongside other succulents and enjoys both partial and full shade.
Grow it in well-drained soil and make sure you only water it when the soil is dry. This plant is toxic to dogs and cats.
5. Black Orchids
The name ‘black orchid’ is usually used for a wide range of orchid species and hybrids, most of which are tropical epiphytes. Those who are newer to garden often fear growing orchids because of their delicate nature and specific needs, but you need not have any fear if you can offer your plant the ideal conditions for growth.
First of all, make sure your plant is in indirect light, at a temperature of between 65-85ºF and 60-80% humidity. The pot should contain a blend of orchid bark, sphagnum moss, and perlite and be watered around two or three times weekly in growing season.
Use a diluted orchid food fertilizer weekly and do not water or apply fertilizer when your orchid is dormant. Black orchid species to watch out for include Brasiliorchis schunkeana, any member of the Bulbophyllum species, Calanthe triplicata, and Coelogyne mayeriana.
One of the most beautiful black orchids in the world is the Papuan Black Orchid. This flower boasts jet black petals and a lively pink and black center that has made it a perfect subject for Instagram photos by nature lovers the world over. Unfortunately, this orchid is not only very difficult to find but also very hard to grow outside its native habitat.
6. Black Pansies
This plant is absolutely delightful to look at, boasting a strange blend of joyfulness and darkness that make it a favorite among lovers of all things dark and strange. Viola tricolor var. Hortensis should be grown near a window that receives several hours of sunlight.
These flowers are extremely easy to grow, sprouting in just two weeks and bearing their first buds after just five weeks of planting. They require little care but they are heat-sensitive, experiencing inhibition in growth if the average temperature reaches 86ºF.
Use this plant to garnish your dishes or follow the example set by Georgia O’Keeffe, who created a stunning painting of black pansies in 1926. Pansies are safe for pets.
Flowers and plants make an excellent component of the decorative scheme of beautiful homes. While most homeowners choose bright hues that lift the mood, others prefer darker plants that lend their interiors a mysterious air.
There are so many beautiful black plants that thrive indoors, including succulents, Chinese Jade, and pansies though you should always make sure that none of these are toxic to the inhabitants of your home.
Flowers and plants make an excellent component of the decorative scheme of beautiful homes. While most homeowners choose bright hues that lift their mood, others prefer darker plants that lend their interiors a mysterious air. Dark and black plants have the bonus of fitting in with other colors perfectly, and of embellishing a home’s interiors without capturing all the attention.
There are so many beautiful dark plants that thrive indoors—including succulents, Chinese Jade, and pansies, though you should always make sure that none of these are toxic to the inhabitants of your home. If you are after easy plants to grow, dark succulents are a good choice. Most require very little care and in fact, should not be watered too often. Some plants, like burgundy ripple, take quite long to make their presence felt, yet their dramatic beauty are well worth the wait!
Black plants vary greatly in the air they can lend your home. While burgundy ripples are graceful and subtle, plants like Chinese jade stun with their Gothic charm and strange beauty. Dark plants also vary greatly in how easy they are to grow. Black orchids, for instance, need specific conditions—including indirect light and specific temperature and humidity ranges. Others, like black pansies, sprout away merrily with not a care in the world. All they need is to be perched behind a sunlit window, in a zone that is not hotter than 860F.