I love that the millennial generation restored the houseplant to its rightful place. They reminded us all with their obsessive trend, that having green, living plants in the home is a real delight. An unforeseen consequence of that trend is a rise in interest in exotic, rare, and wildly expensive specimens. These are the ones I dream about.
Pink Princess Philodendron
This would be the pride of my collection if I was willing to spend $1,000 USD or more, maybe even only for a cutting. I have loved pink foliage ever since I got my first little pink polka dot plant for a terrarium. Until I saw it in the garden center, I didn’t know plants could be truly pink.
Now, having seen this rare and beautiful philodendron on social media, I dream about owning it one day. Unlike some pink variants that turned out to be scams, this is the real deal.
Pink Princess is a cultivar of the Columbia native Philodendron erubescens. It has the heart-shaped leaves characteristic of a philodendron with pink variegation. The pink isn’t just pinkish; it is truly bubble gum pink. The variegation isn’t subtle. Some leaves are nearly half pink. I love this plant and would be thrilled to have it in my house one day.
Billietiae Variegata Philodendron
This is another striking philodendron cultivar that puts my basic houseplant philodendron to shame. Billietiae has large, elongated, heart-shaped leaves that hang like beautiful pendants from the stem of this houseplant. The original has leaves of glossy green and is expensive enough.
The variegated form is dark green to lemon yellow with gorgeous striping and spotted patterns. This type of philodendron can sell on Etsy for over $2,000 USD depending on the size.
Like philodendrons, monstera took the rare houseplant world by storm with many unique and costly cultivars. Monsteras have long been popular houseplants, as have philodendron. The easy to find varieties are inexpensive, attractive, and easy to grow indoors.
One cultivar I have spotted online that I would love to own one day is known as Peru. This is a “Swiss cheese” plant. The leaves are full of holes. Peru is not unique in this respect, but compared to other holey plants, the holes dominate its delicate leaves that look like they are ready to fall apart. This is not a plant for a household with grabbing toddlers or nibbling pets. For a few hundred dollars you can get a cutting and for thousands you can have a larger plant.
Shenzhen Nongke Orchid
While some philodendrons and monstera are within reach, this special orchid is truly a dream. Specimens of this completely human-made orchid are extremely rare and sell at auction for literally hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I love orchids and enjoy the patience and care it takes to be rewarded with their delicate, beautiful blooms. As an orchid fan, the Shenzhen Nongke is the pinnacle. The flowers are delicate and perfectly shaped with a pale green hue and deep reddish purple interior.
Created by scientists at a university in China, this orchid took years to come to fruition through careful genetic engineering. Don’t even try to find one because you won’t. Only a few lucky people even had the opportunity to buy one.
There are only a couple things working against me ever getting any of these rare beauties. The less important one is the cost. I wouldn’t mind saving and splurging on one. The real issue is three cats with a taste for fresh leaves. Whether I will ever own a rare houseplant remains to be seen, but I can keep dreaming about them.