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10 Rarest Houseplants in the world

  • collecting houseplants has exploded among millennials, giving rise to “plant influencers.” Many young people are choosing to raise plants instead of children. As with any collectible items, the rarest houseplants are being sold for thousands of dollars and sparking bidding wars on trading sites. In general, the rarest houseplants are variegated, meaning that the leaves and sometimes stems have different colored stems that typically do no occur naturally. Cultivating variegated plants is incredibly difficult and tends to make the plants harder to care for. On top of that, the current high demand for certain variegations leads to rarity and high prices. As of November 2020, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

1 Variegated Echeveria Lola

Reason for Rarity: Difficult to cultivate variegation Country of Origin: California, USA Scientific Name: Echeveria lola


As with most of the other rare houseplants on this list, the variegated version of the Echeveria Lola is an expensive plant. The Echeveria Lola is a hybrid between the Echeveria lilacina and the Echeveria derenbergii , cultivated by the famous echeveria breeder Dick Wright in 1980. While regular Echiveria Lola are already beautiful, variegated versions have a unique look and highly desired.


Did You Know?

When Echeveria Lola is exposed to brighter lights and colder temperatures, its leaves develop a pinkish color on the edges.

2 Alocasia Azlanii

Reason for Rarity: Difficult to cultivate variegation Country of Origin: Malaysia Scientific Name: Alocasia azlanii


Alocasia Azlanii or Red Mambo is the rarest and most beautiful The Red Mambo is prized for its leaves, which leaves that appear almost dark purple with red/pinkish veins. The veining can even be hot pink or bright purple. The Alocasia Azlanii is native to Malaysia and despite the demand, its in short supply.


Did You Know?

The back of Alocasia Azlanii leaves are a deep red.

3 Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata

Reason for Rarity: Difficult to cultivate variegation Country of Origin: South Africa Scientific Name: Cotyledon orbiculata cv variegata


This plant is a succulent native to South Africa. There are a wide variety of cultivars of Cotyledon Obiculata and certain variegations are rare and sell for a few hundred dollars. Cuttings from Cotyledon Orbiculata Variegata are difficult to import and often take a long time to root. Unfortunately, Variegated Cotyledon Orbiculata are prone to rot, which makes selling cuttings even more difficult.



Did You Know?

The different varieties of Cotyledon obiculata vary greatly in appearance; some have flat leaves, others have long leaves, and “Oophylla” have round leaves that look like grapes.

4 Philodendron Pink Princess

Reason for Rarity: Difficult to cultivate variegation Country of Origin: Colombia Scientific Name: Philodendron erubescens.

The features of this plant are leaves with a striking pink color mixed in with the plant’s natural dark green. Of course a plant like this is extremely photogenic, which makes the Philodendron Pink Princess one of the hottest plants on Instagram. The high demand along with the difficulty of propagating Philodendron Pink Princess cuttings has made its price go up in recent years,


Did You Know?

Non-variegated Philodendon erubescens have deep red flowers, which is where the Philodendron Pink Princess’s genetic mutation stems from.

5 Variegated Monstera Deliciosa

Difficult to cultivate variegation Country of Origin: Auckland, New Zealand (this particular plant) Scientific Name: Monstera deliciosa albo variegata


In general Monstera plants seem to be selling for a quite a lot on various websites. However, at the beginning of 2020. The seller from Auckland New Zealand said she only expected the Variegated Monstera For reference, standard Monstera Deliciosa plants typically sell for about 200to 400


Did You Know?

Because of its signature holes, the Monstera Deliciosa’s popular nickname is the “Swiss cheese plant.”

6 Reverse Variegated Hoya

Reason for Rarity: Difficult to cultivate variegation Country of Origin: Hamilton, New Zealand (this particular plant) Scientific Name: Hoya carnosa compacta.

Currently, hoyas are very popular among the plant community, but this variegation that had a cream/yellow color on the inside of the leaves attracted over 20,000 views on the trading site . The seller described this particular variegation as “not commonly see,” which only increased people’s desire for the plant.


Did You Know?

According to plant enthusiasts, keeping a Hoya in a small pot encourages the plant to flower quicker.

7 Gold of Kinabalu Orchid

Reason for Rarity: Only about 50 mature individuals left in the wild Country of Origin: Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia Scientific Name: Paphiopedilum rothschildianu



The Gold of Kinabalu Orchid or Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid is unfortunately a critically endangered species. However, this doesn’t stop avid plant collectors from seeking out the Gold of Kinabalu Orchid and stems are very good. The Gold of Kinabalu Orchid is a protected species that only grows on Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia. Although it is absolutely illegal to pick the Gold of Kinabalu Orchid, smugglers do sometimes manage to steal some specimens. Unfortunately, the Gold of Kinabalu is incredibly popular and prized for its beauty, which only encourages smuggling.


Did You Know?

The Gold of Kinabalu Orchid can take up to 15 years to bloom, which adds to its rarity.

8 Variegated Philodendron Minima

Reason for Rarity: Difficult to cultivate variegation Country of Origin: Auckland, New Zealand (this particular plant) Scientific Name: Rhaphidophora tetrasperma


A few months into COVID-19 lockdowns, a this plant sparked a bidding war on many website . The unique plant was cultivated and sold by a botanist from Auckland, New Zealand. This Variegated Philodendron Minima only had four leaves, but each leaf had the yellow variegation (the leaves are typically just a bright green).


Did You Know?

Although the botanist showed a picture of the Variegated Philodendron Minima’s stems and said that the variegation was most likely stable and would probably produce more variegated leaves, there is always a chance that the plant might revert back to its natural non-variegated form.

9 Monstera Obliqua

Reason for Rarity: Difficult to propagate Country of Origin: Central and South America Scientific Name: Monstera obliqua


Monstera have taken the internet by storm and these unique-looking plants are currently one of the most popular houseplants in the world. While most Monstera are affordable, the Monstera Obliqua is incredibly pricey and considered the rarest Monstera. The Monstera Obliqua has delicate, lace-like leaves and has more holes than typical Monstera. It is rare because its delicate leaves are so difficult to care for, which makes it hard to propagate cuttings to sell. Additionally, Monstera Obliqua grows very slowly and it takes many years for its barely-there leaves to truly develop.


Did You Know?

Monstera Obliqua is often confused for Monstera Adansonii, which also have larger holes than other Monstera. Unfortunately, shady sellers use this to their advantage and often try to pass of Monstera Adansonii as the Monstera Obliqua.

10 Shenzhen Nongke Orchid

Reason for Rarity: Completely man-made and takes years to bloom Country of Origin: Shenzhen, Guandong, China Scientific Name: N/A

This plant are not available anywhere, but a specimen was sold at auction in 2005 for a 1.68 million Yuan (about $202,000), making it the most valuable and rarest houseplant in the world. Understandably, not much is publicly known about the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid as it’s creation is a closely guarded secret. This rare plant is completely man-made and was in development for eight years by agricultural researchers of the Shenzhen Nongke Group.


In addition to being pretty impossible to find, adding to the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid’s rarity is the fact that it only blooms every 4 – 5 years! Reportedly some people also received seeds for the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid and are selling them, but you can’t just find any with a simple google search.

Did You Know?

According to some sources, the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid has a delicate and lovely taste.

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