Goth Gardening

We’re in the midst of gardening season and I thought I might share with you my experiences with Goth Gardening.

The term “Goth Gardening” has come to refer to any kind of plants displaying black blossoms, or even black leaves/fruits. Some of these plants are actually quite easy to get your hands on, they can be found in your local garden centers if you are a little bit lucky, while others are very hard to find, depending on where you live, particularly since many online shops for plants/seeds do not deliver to other countries.

Sadly, I do not have an actual garden – but out apartment has a little balcony, which is exposed to direct sunlight from ten in the morning until the sun sets. This can be a difficult environment for some plants … Anyway – here is my little collection of “goth” flowers:

Black Velvet Petunia:

IMG_20160527_212825Black Velvet Petunias are quite new to the market – they made their first appearance in spring 2011. Yet they were developed using all natural breeding techniques. With Petunias being quite popular anyway, the black ones, too, are quickly sold old. I had to call like a dozen of garden centers in my area until I found one still having at least a couple of them for sale. In my opinion, they are “the blackest” among the goth flowers, for their blossoms are a true, deep black (whereas black lilies or tulips, for example, are more like a very deep burgundy or purple). Also, petunias are very easy to take care of: You water them every day (unless it did rain anyways), and even if you forget about it once in a while they won’t mind.

Black Forest Calla Lily:

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Lilies are my favourite flowers!  I found my Black Forest Calla Lily in a nearby supermarket for only 5 Euros. They like to get some sunlight, yet not too much of it, and you mustn’t water them too much or their bulbs might start to rot. Otherwise they are not very demanding and just look stunning!

Bat Flower:

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The Tacca Chantrieri, commonly known as Bat Flower, is quite a complicated case. The plants look absolutely incredible with their big, somewhat bat-shaped black blossoms, but unfortunately they are hard to take care of in our climate. Bat Flowers are native to tropical regions and can be found in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Thailand). They prefer a shady place to grow, but require a high humidity and loooots of water. I used one of these watering aids and it turned out I had to refill the 250 milliliter container every day, which I found was a lot. This, unfortunately, makes the Bat Flower susceptible to pests. Only a couple of weeks after I bought the plant (at a Dutch florist, btw) teeny tiny white worms started to crawl out of the soil. I tried to rescue everything, planting out the flower, carefully removing every bit of the bad soil in my bathtub (what a mess!), but it didn’t work out – the flower died after only a month.

Queen of the Night Tulips:

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I bought bulbs for Queen of the Night Tulips last August and planted them in a zinc tub  in September, I think. I let them overwinter in our basement – which was a bad idea, for it is way to humid down there. As a result, most of the bulbs rot, and only a single one made it to bloom the next spring. It was a beautiful sight, still, and I think I’ll give it another shot next year, this time letting the bulbs overwinter outside on the balcony, with the tub wrapped in coconut fibre.

Anybody else here with a black thumb?

Of course, there are many more plants with black blossoms available. You can find more information and inspiration here and here.

Lisa v. D.

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