If your home is already full of common houseplants and you’re looking for ways to add more drama to your garden or living space, there are rare exotic flowers you get.
Although exotic flowers can be trickier to look after, they are gorgeous to look at and are great for plant-lovers looking for a challenge.
In the following article, we’ll talk about nine rare houseplants you can add to your home. We’ll also tell you about how to take care of each and what type of gardener they’re suitable for. Let’s begin.
Our Picks for the Best Rare Houseplants
If you’re a serious gardener, you might want a new challenge or perhaps you simply want to bring more exotic plants into your home. Here are nine rare houseplants that are the envy of gardeners everywhere.
1. Monstera Obliqua Peruvian Form
If you love Monstera plants, perhaps because of their “Swiss cheese” appearance, you’ll want to get your hands on the rarest variety: the Obliqua Peruvian Form.
It has so many large holes in its leaves that it looks as delicate as lace. In fact, it has more empty space than foliage! Monstera Obliqua grows to a height of about nine feet (3 meters) and is a beautiful climbing plant that’s sure to be a statement in your home.
This plant is beloved by experts as it’s quite tricky to look after and requires special care. It’s, therefore, not ideal for beginner gardeners. It needs a lot of bright, natural light, although you have to be careful not to give it too much that it scorches its fragile leaves. It also craves a lot of moisture, requiring a spot in the home that gets 85% humidity!
If you want to own this Monstera variety, you’ll have to find it through collectors, as it’s not available at your local nursery or botanical shops. Note that it’s often confused with Monstera Adansonii, so if a seller wants to sell you this variety for less than three figures, this is an indication that they’re not selling you Monstera Obliqua.
2. Philodendron Pink Princess
The pretty pink and green foliage of the Philodendron Pink Princess is a rare and quite visually striking tropical plant that hails from Columbia.
It comes with a hefty price tag because it’s so rare and can only be grown from tissue culture in a lab. In addition to that, there are only a few plants from every batch that develop their pink color. A cutting of this plant can easily cost you three digits. If you have your heart set on one, you should check with rare plant shops to find out if they can source a Pink Princess plant for you.
If you’re lucky enough to own it, you have to ensure you look after it correctly to maintain its pink appearance. This plant requires several hours of bright, indirect light per day; otherwise, it will start to lose its variegation.
It also requires light and well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter and wants to be in warm conditions. Wherever you place it in your home, make sure it gets temperatures between 65 and 75°F (18-24°C).
3. Monstera Albo-Variegata
This is another rare Monstera plant worth owning if you’re looking for an exotic houseplant. While Monstera plants are always renowned for the fenestrations, or holes, on their leaves, this variety is, even more special because it has green and stark white leaves.
Although the white parts of the leaves look painted on, they develop on the plant naturally because it has less chlorophyll. This also means that the plant engages in less photosynthesis.
While you might find other Monstera plants with variegation, such as the Monstera Thai Constellation, the two shouldn’t be confused. Monstera Albo-Variegata’s color is naturally produced, whereas the other one is created in a lab.
Small plants can sell for several hundred dollars as a result of their high demand. What further makes them so rare is that they’re slow to propagate. You might have luck sourcing it from exotic botanical shops or plant collectors.
When caring for this pretty plant, ensure it receives at least six hours of filtered light daily, let the top two inches (5.08cm) of its soil dry out between waterings, and encourage its growth with well-draining soil. You can add natural fertilizers to the soil, like worm castings, to give it extra nutrients. It also wants warm temperatures of around 65-80°F (18-27°C).
4. Desert Rose
Although it’s called a rose, Desert Rose is actually a succulent. When you first see this plant, you’ll be amazed at its bright pink or red flowers. The trumpet-shaped blooms on the Desert Rose are saturated with color around their edges, which further adds to their unique appearance. This plant has been hybridized to a great degree in order to achieve its stunning colors.
Desert Rose originates from Africa, Madagascar, and the Middle East. Some people use it as a bonsai due to its thick trunk and delicate leaves. The Chinese named this plant the “flower of wealth” because it’s thought to bring good fortune, while its swollen stem base is symbolic of fertility.
While you might find it online, such as on sites like Etsy, it can be a bit costly with a double-digit price tag – and you have to be careful to ensure that it’s the correct plant because ‘desert rose’ is a name sometimes given to other plant varieties.
Looking after Desert Rose entails letting its soil dry out between waterings and ensuring it gets full-sun conditions. It should receive between 65 and 90° (18-32°C) temperatures and can die if exposed to temperatures lower than 50°F (10°C).
5. Queen Anthurium
This plant gets its regal name from Belgian plant enthusiast M. Waroqué, but it hails from tropical rainforests in Columbia. It’s an evergreen perennial climbing plant that’s a bit tricky to grow, but the effort is worth it.
Queen Anthurium is praised for its beautiful statement leaves, which are deep green, long, and oval-shaped with silver veins across the top. The leaves feel leathery and can grow up to about 35 inches (90cm) in length. This plant doesn’t produce flowers per se but inflorescence, which is a modified leaf. Still, it’s so striking and beautiful because of its leaves that it doesn’t need to display flowers.
Make sure you give your plant enough moisture, as it won’t tolerate dry conditions. It also needs medium indirect light. Avoid keeping it in an area of the home or garden that gets too much direct light, as the harsh UV rays will burn its leaves. You must not overwater it as that can be disastrous for the plant, so it can be challenging to ensure you give it enough water. Give it a light watering on a regular basis.
If you’re interested in purchasing this beautiful plant, you will have to seek out specialized nurseries that provide exotic and rare houseplants.
6. Philodendron Ring of Fire
If you’re a fan of Philodendron plants, you’ll love the Ring of Fire variety, which is highly rare and a hybrid between two other Philodendrons – the Philodendron Tortum and Philodendron Wendlandii.
Philodendron Ring of Fire gets its name because it has serrated leaves that look like someone cut them with scissors. These grow in a variety of colors, such as cream, orange, and red.
It’s so rare because it grows slowly, requires manual propagation, and can display up to five different colors. The variegation can vary a lot from one plant to the next, which can result in different patterns, such as stripes or specks.
To look after your Philodendron Ring of Fire, you need to give it moist but well-draining soil to prevent root rot that can be fatal to the plant. You should keep it in a sunny area of the home as it requires moderate sunlight.
Since it’s quite rare, you’re unlikely to find it in your local nursery. Online shops, however, are worth a try.
7. Albuca spiralis
The unusual Albuca Spiralis (“Corkscrew Albuca”) is a succulent with thin green leaves and a tight corkscrew pattern at the top. It originates from South Africa and can grow up to about eight inches (20.32cm) in height. It’s a creative plant to add greenery to your home.
It blooms in green-yellow flowers that have a gentle vanilla smell from late Winter to Spring. To ensure your Albuca Spiralis grows and maintains its unusual appearance, place it in a sunny spot but ensure that it’s sheltered from hard rain or harsh winds. When the plant gets enough light, it will maintain its curly experience. You should also water it every two or three weeks or when its soil has dried completely.
You can find this plant at specialized nurseries or search for it online.
8. Reverse Variegated (Hoya Variegata)
This houseplant is semi-succulent that has waxy leaves and flowers that smell sweet. It has full heart-shaped bright green leaves with creamy white or yellow centers, although the variegation can vary.
It’s quite a rare form of the succulent Hoya Kerrii ‘Sweetheart’, which has heart-shaped leaves that stick out from the plant a bit more. What further sets this plant apart from the variegated type is that it has variegation in the middle of the leaves instead of around the edges.
It’s such a beautiful plant that it actually doesn’t need any flowers to make a statement. Its striking leaves can reach up to four inches (10.16 cm) in length and three inches (7.62cm) in width.
When looking after this plant, give it warm, humid conditions and well-draining potting soil in order to make it thrive. It doesn’t want to be in soggy soil, and it likes pots or hanging baskets.
You can find this plant online or from specialized flower shops.
9. Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata
The Cotyledon Orbiculata succulent originates from the Karoo region of South Africa. It grows up to 24 inches (60cm) in size and has thick, beautiful leaves.
While the regular Cotyledon Orbiculata boasts green-gray leaves and comes in five varieties, the variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata is quite rare because it has plump, long, oval-shaped leaves with pinkish-red tips. The leaves are blue-green and have splashes of white variegation. The plant also boasts red or orange blooms that appear on the plant in late spring or early summer.
Make sure you give your plant enough light – it wants morning sun but provide it with 40% shade cloth so that it will maintain its beautiful colors and not get scorched by the intense afternoon sun. Well-draining soil is best, as Cotyledon Orbiculata succulent doesn’t want to sit in water. You should water it when its soil becomes completely dry.
You can find this type of succulent online, but be careful that you get the right one with the reddish-pink tips, as it can be tricky to find.
We hope that our list of rare houseplants gave you some ideas and inspiration on how to brighten up your home with something extra.
Each one of those houseplants is a statement, indeed. However, keep in mind that they require extra care and attention. If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting with something less extravagant. But if a challenge is what you’re looking for, look no further.