No carving required.

As fall rolls around, pumpkin patches pop up across the South, full of an orange harvest ready to be carved into jack-o'-lanterns and set on our front porches. While they are pretty, the unfortunate reality is that a carved pumpkin's lifespan is notoriously short. If you carve them too soon, they're likely to succumb to squirrels or rot before Halloween, and that's no fun.

pumpkin tree
Credit: Getty Images

As carved pumpkins are, at best, viable for a week or two, hardier plants are often the solution to our fall décor conundrum. Let us introduce the pumpkin tree, also known as pumpkin on a stick.

You may have seen them popping up at the grocery store—they've created a notable frenzy at Trader Joe's. And how could they not? Seemingly lilliputian pumpkins dangling adorably from autumn's branches have seen few resist their charm, and for good reasons.

The pumpkin tree plant, which is (newsflash!) actually an ornamental eggplant, lasts a whole lot longer than your traditional carved pumpkin. Buy yourself a bundle, place them in water, and they'll last between two and four weeks. Start now, and your pumpkin tree will thrive until Halloween and maybe beyond if you're lucky. The added bonus? No carving is required. With the help of a pretty autumn vase, you have an instant tablescape which you can easily enhance with a candle or beautiful wreath.

Whether you want a change from the typical jack-o'-lantern or you're looking for something with a longer shelf life, give the pumpkin tree a try. Scoop up a bunch on your next grocery run, and say hello to your new favorite piece of fall décor.