Goths are members of a subculture that prides itself on seeing beauty in the dark side of life. And what’s more beautiful than black houseplants?
That’s right. You can apply the goth, emo, or dark chic aesthetic to your favorite indoor (and outdoor) plants.
Many succulents and other houseplants naturally come in shades so dark they appear black. Many lush green plants have darker varieties, as well.
As a bonus, the black varieties of everyday house plants often have cool, gothic names.
Some of our favorite black house plants include:
1. Zamioculcas Zamiifolia Raven
The “Raven” variety of the Zamioculcas zamiifolia or ZZ plant has impressive, dark-colored leaves.
Like you, it thrives in the darkness (prefers partial to deep shade).
Keep in mind that the Zamioculcas zamiifolia Raven is trademarked, so it can only be sold by licensed sellers. It usually sells for about $30 to $40. Don’t get ripped off.
If you can find a Raven ZZ plant at a good price, you should have no problem keeping it alive. The ZZ plant is one of the hardiest houseplants available, and many hobbyists recommend it for beginners!
LEARN MORE: ZZ Plant: Care Guide, Growing Advice & Best Tips
2. Black Begonia Varieties
When I think of begonias, I think of vibrant red, pink, and orange flowers, which are not very goth.
Nevertheless, some goth begonias come in a variety of darker colors and patterns.
For instance, consider the begonia “Black Fancy,” begonia “Black Magic,” begonia “Black Mamba,” and begonia “Jurassic Silver Swirl.”
The Black Fancy looks like it has teeth.
The Jurassic Silver Swirl is dark and hypnotic.
It doesn’t get more gothic than that!
3. Colocasia Esculenta Black Magic
Speaking of black magic, the Colocasia esculenta “Black Magic” is a popular goth houseplant.
Also called Black Magic Taro or Black Magic Elephant ear, this plant is known for its large, deep purple leaves – so dark they appear black.
4. Colocasia Black Coral
If you like your leaves black, don’t miss the Colocasia esculenta “Black Coral.”
This patented variety boasts the deepest black hues available.
The icy blue veins on the jet-black leaves are truly a sight to behold.
For best results, keep your Black Coral in full sun. Otherwise, the colors may fade. Be sure to give your plant plenty of water, as well. (Colocasias can grow in shallow water alone).
5. Sansevieria Black Coral
Can’t get enough Black Coral? Try the Sansevieria Black Coral (Black Coral snake plant).
This dark-colored snake plant doesn’t need too much light and can add some stylish darkness to your goth aesthetic. It also cleans the air and is pretty much impossible to kill.
In other words, it’s a great choice for a newbie goth gardener. (We have a complete guide on caring for snake plant here.)
If you like the Sansevieria Black Coral, you might also try the Sansevieria Banded Nelsonii.
6. Aeonium Black Rose
There are approximately 35 species of succulent in the Aeonium genus, and many species appear black.
In particular, we love the “black rose,” variety for its deep black and purple leaves.
The only thing to be aware of is that Aeoniums (also called tree houseleeks) do not like temperatures below 50°F. So, unfortunately, they cannot be as cold as your gothic heart.
7. Chinese Jade Succulent
Sinocrassula yunnanensis or Chinese Jade succulent, is a rare houseplant that only grows in shades of dark blue, black, or gray.
If you can get ahold of one – and keep it alive – it will make a perfect addition to your goth garden. Chinese Jade is difficult to care for but certainly worth it for its dark colors.
8. Black Air Plants
Air plants come in all sorts of colors. I have a pink one, a purple one, and a crimson-red one. Plenty of varieties come in black, too.
If you want a black air plant, try the Tillandsia harrisii (pictured), the Tillandsia Houston, or the Tillandsia Montana.
Air plants are cheap, versatile, and easy to keep alive. You can even put them in interesting, gothic pots to enhance your overall aesthetic.
9. Alocasia Black Velvet
The Alocasia Black Velvet is another popular variety of black houseplants. This time, the leaves are so dark green they appear black.
Indoor gardeners love this plant because it tends to stay small over its lifetime. In fact, the Alocasia Black Velvet may be the perfect pick for a goth terrarium.
For best results, make sure your plant gets plenty of filtered, indirect light, avoid overwatering, and keep it in a humid environment.
The Black Velvet is a smaller Alocasia variety, but if you like this one, you can also check out:
- Alocasia Cuprea, also named Red Secret Alocasia after its almost-metallic leaves.
- Alocasia x Amazonica or Amazonian Elephant Ear, featuring dark green leaves and a skeletal, spiderweb pattern.
- Alocasia Infernalis, also called the “Black Magic” variety. It’s named after hell and known for its burgundy-black foliage and purplish-red stems.
10. Anthurium Ace of Spades
Goths love the Anthurium Ace of Spades for its dark green, velvety leaves.
The leaves start a deep red and grow greener and darker with age.
Keep in mind that Ace of Spades is an exceedingly rare (and expensive) Anthurium variety, and even if you are able to find one, it will cost you.
11. Burgundy Rubber Plant
Many black or dark-colored houseplants are jewel varieties, meaning they are small and vibrantly colored.
Not the burgundy rubber plant. This dark-colored plant grows to be the size of a tree!
However, remember that leaf color may vary, especially if you don’t meet this delicate plant’s care needs. The Ficus elastica “Burgundy” is low maintenance, but it does not like to be moved, and it can be vulnerable to parasites, like aphids and mealybugs.
12. Philodendron Black Cardinal
Philodendrons are popular houseplants, and hobbyists often recommend them for beginners.
The “Black Cardinal” variety might be more difficult to find, but it will certainly fit in a dark, dangerous houseplant collection.
These plants like shade and moisture. Without the proper lighting or moisture levels, Philodendron Black Cardinals will experience drastic color changes.
For example, low light may cause the leaves to turn more green, and direct sunlight can burn the leaves and turn them brown.
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13. Black Mondo Grass
Black mondo grass is exactly what it sounds like – easy-to-grow grass with deep purple, almost black blades.
Because it needs full sun, black mondo grass might do better outside, but you can also use it to fill out a goth window box or even a goth greenhouse.
14. Black Velvet Petunias
Black velvet petunias are the perfect flowers to add to your goth garden.
As flowers, they are not very fussy and can add a pleasant fragrance to your dark houseplant collection.
You can also plant them outside. They grow well both in the ground and in containers.
Bonus: Adding Color to Your Gothic Garden
While blackest black and palest white are the primary colors of the goth subculture, deep, regal shades are staples of the gothic styles.
In addition to deep greens and purples that appear black, some houseplants take on burgundy hues.
If you still need more inspiration, you can even add some purple houseplants to your gothic indoor garden.
15. Peperomia Caperata
Peperomia caperata is related to the black pepper plant, and it is an ideal houseplant.
The plant thrives in fluorescent light, making it a popular choice for offices and desks.
If you want to add a bit of dark chic to your workplace, try the “Schumi Red” variety (pictured) or the “Burgundy Ripple.”
Goth gardeners also love the Peperomia Metallica with its dark, leathery leaves, red undersides, and silver stripes down the middle.
16. Rose Painted Calathea
Calathea plants, or “prayer plants,” are some of my absolute favorites. They are non-toxic to pets, and I have found them easy to care for.
Additionally, it is just stunning when they fold up their leaves at night and unfurl them to meet the sun in the morning.
If you want your prayer plant to draw the underworld to mind, opt for the Rose Painted Calathea.
Within this variety of Calathea, there are many sub-varieties.
Our favorite is the “Dottie”, or “Black Rose” Rose Painted Calathea (pictured). The dark leaves and pink stripes are not unlike a fashionable goth’s eye makeup.
Read more: Calathea Dottie Care Guide
Get Your Goth On
No matter what kind of houseplants you prefer, you can find a dark-colored plant that matches your aesthetic.
Adorn your gothic garden with an easy air plant or grow upwards with a burgundy rubber tree. There are black houseplants for every care level and preference.
No matter what you choose, we can’t wait to see what you come up with in the comments.