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16 of the Priciest Houseplants in the World

They’re rare, they’re exotic, and they’re fabulous. Of course, we’re talking about the most luxurious houseplants in the world. The houseplant market has boomed in 2020 while most of us spent all that time indoors, and it continues expanding now in 2022.

Surveys suggest that people are willing to spend upwards of six hundred dollars in an attempt to add coziness and fresh air to their homes and gardens. And if that figure seems steep, wait until you see the price tags for the plants featured in this article.

Believe it or not, each of these houseplants costs thousands of dollars!

Variegated Monstera (Monstera Deliciosa)

*All prices are listed in US dollars

The Priciest Plants Variegated Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)

A regular Swiss cheese plant is extremely common. These gentle giants can easily survive indoors for decades and are quite easy to propagate - hence, their low cost (around $20). So, it may surprise you that the variegated kind of Swiss cheese plant is on the other extreme of the price spectrum.

Variegated monsteras are among the rarest and priciest plants in the world. These speckled plants cost thousands of dollars per piece, and the price keeps climbing due to social media-fueled demand.

Why is there such a staggering price difference? It has everything to do with variegation - the appearance of different colors in foliage, especially in irregular patterns. Monsteras can have either white or yellow variegation that appears as colorful spots, marbling, or whole white sections on the leaves (see image below).

The Priciest Plants Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation (left) and Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata (right)
Monstera Deliciosa Thai Constellation (left) and Monstera Deliciosa Albo Variegata (right)

In monsteras, this type of pigmentation cannot be achieved through seed - only through cuttings. This considerably slows down the speed of propagation and explains why variegated monstera plants are so rare in stores.

On top of all that, variegated monsteras are also quite tough to grow. All variegated plants require more sunlight because the yellow or white blocks don’t photosynthesize, so the green areas have to get double the energy from the sun, plus they can only be watered with filtered water!

Pink Princess (Philodendron Erubescens ‘Pink Princess’)

The Priciest Plants Pink Princess (Philodendron erubescens ‘Pink Princess’) $1,000-2,000

The 'Pink Princess' Philodendron is another one of many variegated plants on this list (and one of many philodendrons too). Combining deep green leaves and pink variegation results in a beautiful houseplant; and the brighter the variegation, the higher the price!

The sad story of this philodendron is that it’s notorious for reve back to its non-variegated form - the regular Philodendron erubescens.

Although all variegated plants can stop growing colorful leaves, those with sectorial variegation (e.g., Philodendron 'Pink Princess' and the Monstera 'Albo Variegata') are more likely to revert than others. And for people who spent a thousand dollars on their beloved Pink Princess, watching it revert to a form that costs no more than $15-20 is truly heartbreaking.

The Priciest Plants propagating Pink Princess

And if that wasn’t terrible enough, reports of fraudulent Pink Princesses on the houseplant market are circulating too. For example, the leaves of the 'Pink Congo' Philodendron can be artificially modified to turn pink. Since this plant is unable to grow pink leaves on its own, it will revert to a regular green color in no time.

To keep your Princess pink, provide the plant with bright filtered light. Otherwise, the pink variegated leaf may darken to a burgundy color, and the new leaves will be pure green. You can try and cut back the foliage right above the last variegated leaf to keep the plant from reverting.

Related Article: 
Why Are These Flowers the Most Expensive in the World?


Philodendron Patriciae

The Priciest Plants Philodendron Patriciae

The elongated pleated leaves of this vining philodendron look impressive, and even more so once you know that each leaf can reach 48 inches in length under optimal conditions. As the plant grows and climbs up a moss pole, the leaves hang down like live ornaments. Honestly, it’s easy to see why these statuesque aroids are as sought-after as they are. And their nickname - the aristocrat of houseplants - is definitely well-deserved.  

People are willing to sign up on a year-long waitlist and travel to plant shows to snatch one of these rare houseplants. Although defined as a moderately fast-growing houseplant, it’s tough to create the perfect climatic conditions for Philodendron Patriciae, so it often takes a long time for it to grow and mature. As a result, the demand and the price for these plants remain high.

Before you decide to get this luxury plant, make sure that you can provide it with the right growing conditions. Since Philodendron Patriciae comes from Columbian rainforests, it requires a humid environment and filtered bright light to thrive. Under suboptimal conditions, this plant will put out new leaves very slowly, and they will be much smaller and less ruffled.

Variegate Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma)

The Priciest Plants Variegate Mini Monstera (Rhaphidophora tetrasperma) $700-8,150

Despite its common name, this plant has very few things in common with a true monstera. The so-called 'Mini Monstera' hails from a different part of the world altogether - Thailand and Malaysia as opposed to Central America. 

Still, Rhaphidophora tetrasperma looks quite similar to a regular monstera, which makes this mini version of the Swiss cheese plant perfect for smaller spaces. Mini Monsteras have a climbing habit, and they will look and feel great grown against a wall.

While a regular Rhaphidophora tetrasperma costs around $20-30, rare variegated plants go for thousands of dollars. The record price was sold on the Trade Me website for $8,150 in August 2020. The tiny four-leaf specimen had yellow spotted variegation.

The Priciest Plants variegated mini monstera
Like the Pink Princes, the variegation on Rhaphidophora tetrasperma is considered rather unstable. Still, the high price for the plant remains, as very few growers in the world cultivate these rare plants.

Philodendron Gloriosum

Let’s take a break from the head-spinning prices and explore a plant from a slightly lower price tier. A single leaf can reach up to 36 inches in length. Compared to many of its premium brethren, Philodendron Gloriosum costs “merely” hundreds of dollars.
The Priciest Plants Philodendron Gloriosum $100-700

This stunning plant is famous for its massive heart-shaped leaves with prominent contrasting veining. Each leaf has a plush velvety texture and a deep emerald-green color. And unlike many philodendrons, this one is a terrestrial plant that naturally grows on the understory of the Colombian rainforest instead of climbing up trees. 

Even though small Philodendron Gloriosum plants can be purchased for around $100, mature and full-bodied plants can easily cost $500 or more. The huge jump in price is caused by P. Gloriosum’s slow growth habit. Believe it or not, it takes a month or two for a single leaf spike to unfurl into a brand-new leaf.

Philodendron Tortum (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

The Priciest Plants Philodendron Tortum (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) $100-400

A look at a picture of the Philodendron 'Tortum', and you may start asking yourself, “Why would a plant that’s mostly holes and air cost hundreds of dollars?” The rarity of the plant accounts for the costliness, and the plant also has a fascinating history to explain it.

Just a few years after the P. Tortum’s discovery in the Brazilian rainforest in 1957, the local government banned cultivators from harvesting cuttings across most of the plant’s habitat by proclaiming it a protected area. Hence, the number of plants available for propagation was very small, to begin with.

As a result, the strange plant became somewhat of a novelty on the rare houseplants market. And we must admit, a low-maintenance philodendron that looks rather fern-like has a certain allure. P. Tortums have thin leaves that unfurl like a corkscrew, so these alien-looking plants are sure to become the center of awe and discussion for guests.

Jewel Alocasia (Alocasia Azlanii)

The Priciest Plants Jewel Alocasia (Alocasia Azlanii)

A rising star among luxury houseplants is Alocasia Azlanii, also known as 'Jewel Alocasia' or 'Red Mambo Alocasia.' This scarce plant only grows in Malaysia, so sourcing it or tracking it in your country can prove challenging. 

Jewel Alocasias are gorgeous plants with large glossy leaves. In their natural habitat, the leaves of this plant can grow to be 12 feet tall. Indoors, however, these plants usually grow to be around two feet tall with leaves up to a foot long.

Young plants have bright green leaves, but they deepen to a light pink or even a dark burgundy or chocolate hue when the plant matures. To successfully grow this gorgeous plant, you’ll need to maintain an indoor humidity of at least 55-60% and a warm temperature.

Apart from sourcing issues, Jewel Alocasias is also infamously tough to propagate - hence the high price tag.

Mature Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (Ficus Lyrata)

The Priciest Plants Mature Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (Ficus lyrate) $80-400

Fiddle Leaf Figs are the darlings of interior designers, and it’s easy to see why. These tropical rainforest plants have large sculptural leaves that are oh-so-easy to fall in love with, but the plant’s capriciousness is certainly less appealing. To increase the plant’s likelihood of survival, many people choose to opt for a more mature and established Fiddle Leaf Fig tree. And that’s where the price issue comes into play.

Just a few years ago, these plants were in such high demand that buying a small Fiddle Leaf Fig would be valued at $100 or more. Prices have dropped considerably, but a big tree remains quite pricy even today.

For those not familiar with this plant, Fiddle Leaf Figs are native to West African tropical forests, where the heat and high humidity make them thrive and grow up to 45-50 feet tall. If you can maintain similar conditions in your home, water it sparingly but consistently, and keep it away from draughts, your Fiddle Leaf Fig will reach 6-10 feet in height even indoors.

Ring of Fire Philodendron

The Priciest Plants Ring of Fire Philodendron $100-350

Here’s yet another interesting-looking philodendron cultivar. The 'Ring of Fire' Philodendron is a hybrid between the already familiar Philodendron Tortum and Philodendron Wendlandii, although it looks nothing like either of its “parents.”

The 'Ring of Fire' Philodendron has thick and sturdy pointy leaves with deeply cut edges. The glossy and deep green leaves have one-of-a-kind variegation that ranges from a fiery yellow to orange and a deep terracotta hue.

Depending on the seasons, the hue of the leaves tends to change, being more saturated in the summer and paler in winter. 'Ring of Fire' Philodendrons tend to have more stable variegation patterns, so they’re a great pick if you’re looking for a variegated houseplant.

Prices begin at $100 for a small pot and increase with the plant’s maturity and size. Like most variegated plants, the 'Ring of Fire' Philodendron takes longer to propagate commercially due to the slow growth rate, limited use of propagation methods, and the fact that a percentage of plants do not have enough variegation to make it to the market.

Anthurium Luxurians

The Priciest Plants Anthurium Luxurians $275-1,000

You may know Anthuriums as flowering houseplants. Indeed, the Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraeanum) has heart-shaped, glossy leaves with red or white flowers. 

However, many breathtaking Anthurium species are grown for their foliage alone. The prime example of such a species is the dazzling Anthurium Luxurians. This houseplant has large diamond-shaped leaves with a glossy finish and exaggerated veining and texture. Moreover, the color of each leaf changes from deep green in the winter to burgundy in the summer.

Since this specific Anthurium species naturally grows near streams in the Amazon, it demands little light but more humidity (up to 80%) and watering. It’s up to you to decide if all these impressive features warrant the outrageous price tag, but let’s end by stating that there is a silver lining - Anthurium Luxurians tend to live longer than other species in the family.

Related Article: 12 Indoor Plants That Can Live in Your Home For 10+ Years


Anthurium Crystallinum

The Priciest Plants Anthurium Crystallinum $100-200

Compared to most houseplants on this list, Anthurium Crystallinum is rather low on the price spectrum. But like most rare and sought-after plants, the price tag for these plants still rarely dips below the $100 mark, even for small cuttings.

The pictures of the stunning Anthurium Crystallinums above explain why every plant collector wants to snatch one of these beauties for themselves. The dark, emerald-green leaves are decorated with intricate white veins, and each leaf has a velvety texture. As each leaf emerges, you will watch it unfurl and change in front of your eyes from a brick orange to a dark green.

Philodendron Paraiso Verde

The Priciest Plants Philodendron Paraiso Verde $100-300

Believe it or not, we’ve reached the last (but definitely not the least) rare Philodendron on this list. The 'Paraiso Verde' Philodendron - which means “green paradise” in Spanish - marries mottled variegation with the elongated and textured shape of the Philodendron Patriciae, although the borders of the leaves are a bit more irregular than in the Patriciae. This species is also known as 'Marina Ruy Barbosa.'

Usually, variegated plants cost more than single-colored ones. However, a 'Paraiso Verde' Philodendron is somewhat less expensive than the Patriciae; namely, a small plant with a single leaf will cost about $100.

Hoya Carnosa Compacta

The Priciest Plants Hoya Carnosa Compacta $40-6,500

The Hoya craze swept through the online plant community, and some collectors didn’t even mind spending thousands of dollars for a single plant. In June 2020, a Hoya Carnosa Compacta 'Hindu Rope' was sold for $6,500! This was a large plant with yellow variegation.

Like most Hoya species, the Carnosa Compacta has succulent and waxy leaves, but they’re curled and grow in long rope-like vines that are sometimes also adorned with pink inflorescences. Without a doubt, this is a beautiful plant, and not all of them are as pricy, especially if you opt for a non-variegated plant.

Hoya Carnosa Compacta comes from the forests of Australia and Eastern Asia. This plant naturally grows on trees, so it can tolerate indirect bright light and requires little watering. However, if you have a variegated Hoya plant, make sure to put it in a well-lit area.

Variegated Alocasia (Macrorrhiza Variegateata)

The Priciest Plants Variegated Alocasia (Macrorrhiza variegate) $280-350

Alocasia Variegata is a very rare elephant ear plant. This houseplant is tough to find and arguably even tougher to grow. In terms of appearance, this plant looks very much like a common alocasia; it has a strong stem that supports massive green, upright leaves. Unlike a common Alocasia, however, Macrorrhiza Variegata has white or cream blocks of variegation. Unfortunately, the variegation is considered highly unstable.

Indoors, a variegated Alocasia can grow up to 15 feet high and 6 feet wide. These plants thrive in abundant sunlight and require plenty of humidity and water. Alocasias are also very susceptible to spider mites and other plant pests.

Variegated Monstera Adansonii

Now here’s a plant that can seriously impact one’s wallet! The most expensive variegated Monstera Adansonii ever sold was a white-and-green specimen sold for a whopping $38,000. For comparison, a regular M. adansonii is priced at around $30-50.
The Priciest Plants Variegated Monstera Adansonii $6,000-38,000

Monstera Adansonii is a vining plant with dainty fenestrated leaves. Fenestrations are those small holes in the leaves of plants like monsteras. Since both fenestration and variegation reduce the area of the leaf that can photosynthesize, a variegated Monstera Adansonii is a slow grower.

On the bright side, the variegation on these plants tends to be more stable than many other species. In fact, some green M. adansonii can sometimes develop variegation spontaneously.

Finally, the M. adansonii should not be confused with Monstera Obliqua - which looks just like the Adansonii but with even more and bigger holes in leaves, to the point that it looks as fine as lace. M. obliquas are also climbing in price, with the average fee for a 4-5 leaved plant being around $2,000.

Old Bonsai Trees
$50-1.3 million

The Priciest Plants Old Bonsai Trees $50-1.3 million

Yes, you read that price right. The most expensive Bonsai tree is a White Pine Bonsai that sold for $1.3 million. The tree is said to be centuries old, and it was sold at the 11th Asia-Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention & Exhibition in Takamatsu, Japan.

The ancient Japanese practice of bonsai creates miniature trees that look just like regular-sized specimens. The Bonsai artist carefully curates the shape and size of each branch, giving each tree its unique character. This can take years or even decades, and some Japanese Bonsai planters have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. In a way, these trees are live historical artifacts.

The Priciest Plants Pine Bonsai

Needless to say, the amount of work that goes into the creation of a Bonsai tree and the high-cost materials it takes to cultivate a tree that will live for centuries is the reason why Bonsai trees are so highly-priced. 

Generally speaking, old bonsai pines and junipers are the most expensive. The price also climbs with age: a 10-year-old Bonsai can cost as little as $100, whereas a 30-year-old tree will be priced at $1,000 or more.

Image Sources: Cheesemonkeh/Reddit, Upmaaf/Reddit, JustinJSrisuk/Reddit, Melodymurdoch/Reddit, Saralentine/Reddit, Wikimedia Commons, Hexaflexagon/Imgur, Sheesh19/Reddit, Sambahla/Reddit 

References: Rural Sprout, Houseplant Central, Bustling Nest, Just Houseplants, The Spruce

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