Some people believe in the philosophy that when it comes to their home, one can’t have too many house plants, even if they are expensive house plants. And as we spend more and more time at home because of COVID-19 restrictions, it totally makes sense to turn your indoors into a paradise. According to one research conducted by NASA, house plants can actually remove up to 87 percent of toxic air in a day. Moreover, studies have also shown that house plants help improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress, and boost mood.
Expensive house plants can add aesthetic and market value to your home.
With the rest of the family staying in place and breathing the same air, the more greens, the better. House plants are perfect for everyone, especially those who work from home or learn through online school. And if you happen to be an avid gardener or a hobbyist, you will probably not blink an eye when it comes to finding the rarest, unique house plants on the market today, even if they cost thousands of pesos. Some millennial gardeners and even celebrities are quite proud of showcasing these coveted variegated, elongated, or dark-hued varieties on their social media feed, and are styled in a way that can also inspire the home decorator in you.
Beauty Beyond Detail: Top Expensive House Plants and Why They Cost More
1. Variegated Monstera Delicosa
The rare and elusive Variegated Monstera Delicosa can also be the star attraction of your home, and even amplify your home decor theme. Image sourced from Lucid Monstera / Instagram
Before we talk about this rare and elusive plant, you will encounter the term variegated. Variegation simply means coloration in the leaves and stems of a plant. The coloration is due to the lack of chlorophyll (the pigment or chemical compound that causes which causes the green color) in plant cells due to cell mutation. Some plants also tend to show off different colors in their foliage because of fungal diseases. Variegation can either be two-tone, tri-colored, or quadri-colored; and are displayed in patterns like blocks, dots, splotches, or stripes, or a combination of them.
Expensive plants like Variegated Monstera Delicosa (or Borsigiana) are favored not only by house plant enthusiasts but also collectors, because the variegation of the Monstera Delicosa comes in so many shades and shapes. Also called the “Swiss Cheese Plant”, the leaves of this expensive house plant tend to split at the sides. First beloved in New Zealand, it quickly gained Instagram craze thanks to its unique features. Moreover, the Variegated Monstera Delicosa, which produces leaves that are 18 inches wide, tends to take time to grow, that is why it is so rare. Even if you purchased a clipping, the slow propagation rate might discourage even the most committed green thumb.
The price range for a rooted Variegated Monstera Delicosa fetches Php1,000 to a whopping half a million peso price tag.
2. Fiddle Leaf Fig
The Fiddle Leaf fig plant, which is surprisingly native in harsh jungles, is quite popular in many homes. Image sourced from Wikipedia
Ficus Lyrata, also commonly known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is a species of flowering plant native to Western Africa, where it thrives in lowland tropical rainforests. They resemble a lyre, a fiddle or, a violin, which is why this house plant is given such a name. The leaves tend to vary in shape, but always have a broad apex and narrow middle characteristics. In the last decade, the Fiddle Leaf Fig has become an “it” houseplant among interior decorators because they can grow as tall as 10 feet in proper condition indoors. The leaves are also bold looking and tend to be glossy so that they can easily be statement home decor pieces. Prices for this particular house plant start at Php2,500.
On the other hand, the unique characteristic of this expensive house plant is that it can really grow very well. If left in a tropical forest, the Fiddle Leaf Fig can grow up to 50 feet tall! Indoors, it can grow up to 10 feet, which is a perfect piece in a grand receiving room or any high-ceiling room of a luxury home. However, it is extremely sensitive to air quality, so make sure that the Fiddle Leaf Fig grows in areas where there is no dry air circulating or drafts. The Fiddle Leaf Fig will benefit from a humidifier. They also do not respond well when exposed in areas where there is too much direct sunlight, such as an outdoor receiving area. While a mature tree may look like a majestic thing to have at home, it can be difficult to manage unless you hire a professional gardener who can tend to it.
3. Hoya Carnosa ‘Compacta’
The award-winning Hoya Carnosa is a dainty house plant popular for its waxy foliage and sweetly-scented flowers. Image sourced from Wikipedia.
The Hoya Carnosa, also known as the porcelain flower or wax plant, is a flowering house plant that is collected by many plant enthusiasts for its distinctly attractive waxy foliage and its sweetly scented flowers. As such, this house plant is perfect as a hanging plant or a pretty decorative potted plant in a living room or lanai. It is also dainty enough to decorate a little girl or teenager’s bedroom.
The Hoya Carnosa has been around for over 200 years, which results in a variegation of all foliage forms and flower colors. The variegation, regardless, keeps the house plant’s distinctive cream or yellow coloration on the inside of the leaf. This award-winning house plant is so expensive that it can go as high as USD6,500 or Php315,672.50 a plant.
4. Variegated Alocasia
Jinkee Pacquaio flaunts her massive Variegated Alocasia in a social media post. Image from Jinkee Pacquiao / Instagram.
Also known as the Elephant Ear Plant, Variegated Alocasia is an award-winning flowering plant that is known to be expensive because of its cultivation and rarity of variegation. Tuberous in nature, they are increasingly popular as potted house plants but can grow better in luxury homes that have their very own greenhouse. The climate control offered in a greenhouse provides the right conditions for growing Variegated Alocasia plants as they do not do well in the dark and require much lighting.
Although a tropical plant, Variegated Alocasia requires attention just like any other house plant as you will need to care for its massive leaves every week. The Variegated Alocasia also requires frequent fertilization and medium to high humidity, as this house plant cannot survive cold temperatures or dry heating. However, plant enthusiasts can help acclimatize their very own Variegated Alocasias from their garden to the house. Once they acclimatize, reduce watering and check for spider mites or red spiders.
A potted Variegated Alocasia is around P200-P800, but a rare Variegated Alocasia is more expensive. The bigger the Variegated Alocasia is (like Jinkee’s), the more expensive it is (starting at P20,000!).
5. Monstera Obliqua
It may look like it has been attacked by leaf-eating insects, but the Monstera Oblique’s leaf structure makes it an interesting piece to have at home.
The Monstera Oblique is quite different from the rest of the expensive house plants on this list – largely because of what it lacks. Unlike a typical leaf, the leaves of the Monstera Oblique have prominent holes in them. Plant enthusiasts love the expression on them, declaring this plant a unique must-have home decor.
Native to Central and South America, Monstera Oblique and its other variations tend to be more known for the sizes of the holes in the leaves. The bigger the holes, the more rare and exquisite the plant is. It is also quite expensive to cultivate, and therefore qualifies as an expensive house plant on our list. Should you wish to own one, this particular house plant starts at a jaw-dropping P140,000.
6. Variegated Philodendron Minima
A Variegated Philodendron Minima was sold in a New Zealand trading site for approximately P274,784! Image from PlantedShack.com.
The Philodendron Minima is a vining plant that is characterized by its small glossy green leaves. And just like the Monstera Obliqua, the leaves develop fenestrations or holes as they mature. Also known as Mini Monstera, this particular plant is sought after by collectors because of its beautiful split leaves as if someone has cut and curved them with precision. They also grow fast and are fairly easy to take care of, which is why they can also be great housewarming gifts for people who do not have the talent to care for house plants. Owners can simply place them under a well-lit place indoors with plenty of indirect and natural sunlight at typical household temperatures. However, you may want to avoid gifting this to people who have pets, as the plant is poisonous for them.
The popularity of the Philodendron Minima is quite high among enthusiasts as shown by a New Zealand trading website, a yellow-green variegation with an eye-catching split was sold to a buyer for NZ$8,150 or approximately P276,784. The plant technically has four leaves, so imagine that!
7. Alocasia Azlanii
This shimmery, chocolate-colored houseplant with purple veins is a great addition to serious plantitas. Image sourced from Africa-Seeds.com.
Alocasia Azlanii is a one-of-a-kind house plant featuring waxy, chocolate color with its distinct iridescent purple to pink veining. Originating from Malaysian, the shimmer effect that it gives off thanks to its waxy texture and colored highlights makes it a coveted aesthetic home decor.
Alocasia Azlanii, in a way, is literally swan-like. At its early years with new leaves, the colors of the foliage are green with purple veins. As they age, it transforms into that shiny, luxurious plant that it is known for.
Although they can thrive under a bright light like the sun outdoors, it is recommended that you place Alocasia Azlanii under a shade to avoid overexposure. Because it was cultivated from a single location in Sarawak, Borneo, it thrives well in high humidity (around the 60-86 degrees range) and with good soil drainage. Should you wish to collect this expensive house plant, you need to shell out at least P2,000 minimum to P15,000.
8. Shenzhen Nongke Orchid
Shenzhen Nongke Orchid is surprisingly a human-made flowering plant that fetches offers of up to $200,000 in auctions. Image sourced via Wholesale Flowers / Facebook.
If you have this particular house plant, you have probably dropped serious cash to get it. Scientifically developed by the Shenzhen Nongke Group of China, the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid is a flowering plant is known for its cultivation difficulty, beautiful appearance, background, and rarity. Born out of an experiment, scientists spent eight years growing and observing this human-made orchid breed, with flowers that look fresh and amazing to the human eye.
When the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid was first auctioned off, it secured an initial offering of 1.6 million yuan or approximately 11.855 million pesos. Owners need to wait for 4-5 years for flowers to truly bloom.
Create A Personal Sanctuary At Home With Expensive House Plants
Before buying an expensive house plant, it’s worthwhile for you to know if your home offers the perfect environment for them.
Introducing house plants into your home helps recreate a perfect green haven. If you are on the lookout for expensive house plants, it pays to spend a little bit of time understanding the house plants you are looking to buy and whether your home provides an optimum environment for it to grow and thrive. Luxury condos may have a sizeable footprint but can be a little small for a house plant that tends to grow tall. Luxury homes with both sizeable space and height will have more room for bigger plants as statement pieces, and luxury homes that are located in cooler locations with a lot of natural sunlight are perfect for you to dedicate a room specifically for your prized possessions.
For luxury homes, expensive house plants are also seen as Intentional displays of art, especially if you are into minimalism. Although they do not take up that much space, these green treasures can be positioned individually or grouped together into a composition that itself becomes an art installation.
Plants can be placed together or in areas that can otherwise complete a vast room such as this living room.
Expensive house plants may be a little bit too much, but choosing the right ones that inspire you will definitely help enhance, and even transform your current living space into the haven you wish it to be.