Most Expensive Houseplants: Very Rare Plants With Very Big Price Tags

(Image credit: Firn)

Orchids, aroids, and other species of plant are hot commodities in the botanical world. Rare houseplants offer the opportunity to study, raise, and own a unique piece of the world's flora. The hobby has become even more prevalent in today's market, with exciting new offerings around every corner. Even botanists new to the pastime are energized by unusual varieties that create wild diversity in home collections. 

Collecting certain species of plants is a common habit amongst serious gardeners. Exotic houseplants top the list of favorite varieties for acquisition. There are plant groups that exchange rare plant cuttings and other ways to source very rare plants. Depending upon the availability, some of these sought after flora are expensive houseplants. 

Prices of Very Rare Plants

Supply and demand are rules of commodity and influence the prices of things. This one law of commerce is not singular to auto or home purchase but is also reflected in the buying of houseplants. Many exotic houseplants are so one of a kind that their value skyrockets due to their difficulty of acquisition. Another factor that affects plants' worth is how easy they are to propagate, slow growth rates, and availability. It is not unusual for diehard plant collectors to pay hundreds or even thousands for a single specimen. With the outlay in funds comes bragging rights to a rarely seen variety. 

About Expensive Houseplants

Unusual houseplants are not only for collectors but make a matchless gift for a plant lover. Few things would indicate a plant person's value more than an exclusive cutting, bulb, or mature specimen. Rare houseplants are not generally found at nurseries or big box stores. Instead, they are sourced at auctions and in forums online. The species and subspecies are very specific. Hybrids and spots are also highly collectible. Supply is very limited which also drives prices higher. An example is Philodendron bicolor, which can fetch $1,200.00 U.S. in price. A variety of Monstera recently fetched $38,000.00 in an online auction. 

Attainable Rare Plant Cuttings

If you do not have the means to spend thousands on a single plant, there are ways to get cuttings that are more affordable. Plant forums are a great way to source cuttings. Owners of rare plants often put these on the market. They will still cost a bundle but can be more affordable than auctions. Setting one's sights on an unusual rather than rare specimen brings costs to a more manageable space. Cactus societies, orchid grower groups, and rare plant catalogs will often show the way to rare plant cuttings. There are numerous varieties of Philodendrons, Aroids, orchids, Anthurium, Monstera, and other tropical beauties. Each is unique, special, and might be the affordable road to that one of a kind plant in your collection. 

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.