2023 is a fantastic year for houseplants collectors; you can buy more rare, unusual, exciting plants than ever before and have them delivered straight to your door. It's an exciting time for many plant collectors as the choice and availability of rare houseplants have grown yearly.
It can be enormous fun to find a rare plant or specialise and collect all the hoya, anthuriums or carnivorous plants available in the hobby.
Rare houseplants available from your regular online houseplants shops based in the UK are typically grown by smaller growers who specialise in the unusual or a specialist niche of the market, such as terrarium or paludarium (an aquarium with terrestrial plants as well as aquatic plants) houseplants or simply, plants new to the market, available in smaller quantities. They are bought at auction or through networks established over many years, often before they even come to market.
New rare houseplants become available all the time; some are successful and sell in sufficient quantities that the growers decide to propagate more the following season, and they become established favourites. Other houseplants cultivars will appear briefly and will never become widely available. They sell poorly or prove too challenging to grow in a home environment, usually requiring specialist care.
Those more unusual and demanding rare houseplants still have a market and can still be sold by specialists, but usually to collectors willing to provide the extensive care they need. Orchids are good examples, with a large, vibrant and knowledgeable group of hobbyist collectors willing to give the care they need to thrive indoors in a greenhouse environment. The Orchid Club of Great Britain is a great place to start if you want to keep Orchids, or join the British Cactus Society if you prefer dry and spikey plants!
Other rare houseplants are those in high demand; they are produced in large quantities for the home market each season, but the time it takes to grow the plants can't keep up with the high demand. The Variegated Monstera has been in production for years but usually sells out each season, so the demand and slow propagation keeps prices high.
The most expensive houseplant sold is this variegated Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, which was sold in 2021 for NZD27,000. Fortunately, it came with free shipping. While this is impressive, the most expensive Bonsai tree reportedly sold for USD2m, so houseplants have a long way to go.
So what makes a houseplant rare is the time it takes to cultivate, high demand and the availability-it does not mean it is rare in the wild.
Some of the rare houseplants we sell are listed below and change regularly for all the reasons above!
Maranta Fantasy or Maranta Prayer Plants are hardy indoor plants with stunning variegated foliage, which make them easy care houseplant statement pieces. This is a beautiful rare plant form that's hard to find. Maranta Fantasy or Maranta Prayer Plants are hardy indoor plants with stunning variegated foliage, which make them easy care houseplant statement pieces. This is a beautiful rare plant form that's hard to find.