While houseplants have been popular in the past, there has been a sudden surge in their demand during the last few years. This is all a result of social media hype, primarily the kind created on Instagram, for making certain houseplants go viral. This increase in demand causes prices to go up as well. There are multiple reasons for their pricing, including how rare they are, their unique beauty, and, of course, the very high demand for them. Before we look at some of the most luxurious and expensive houseplants in the world, we will first discuss why they are so expensive, why people pay so much for them, and where you can find them.
What are the most expensive plants in the world? Here is the list of top 11 most expensive house plants:
- Variegated Monstresa Delicosa
- Monstera Oblique
- Alocasia Azlanii
- Shenzhen Nongke Orchid
- Variegated Philodendron Minima
- Juliet Rose
- Half Moon Philodendron Pink Princess
- Gold of Kinabalu Orchid
- Kadupul Flower
- Saffron Crocus
- Tulip Bulb
Now, let us check in details:
Why do people pay so much for house plants?
Some people are genuine, die-hard plant lovers, and this passion causes them to buy a plant regardless of its price. They look at the plant’s quality and beauty, and that’s all they need to convince them to buy it.
Another reason could be that plants can sometimes be considered a status symbol; this isn’t something new, and it has been practiced for generations. Take the example of the Tulip Bulbs in 17th-century Netherlands. These were purely a status symbol and purchased by many.
However, the reason people today pay so much for house plants is a little different from what it was in the past. The recent Instagram trend has led to mostly millennials who would never buy a plant to now buy the most expensive ones. Influencers have taken to Instagram to feature certain plants, which has made a huge impact on the plant market.
These plants are considered ‘in fashion.’ Therefore, their prices have escalated to ridiculous rates during the last few years. One example of a plant that has gone through this price increase is the Variegated Monstera Delicosa.
According to the 2019 National Gardening Survey, $52.3 billion was spent on American garden retail sales last year, out of which a quarter was seen to be spent by 18-34-year-olds. They have been the ones to increasingly spend on plants for the last 5-6 years. Now, the question remains: is this just a phase, or will sellers continue demanding crazy amounts for them?
Even though it may seem like just another trend, keeping house plants is here to stay. This is because millennials are reaching their milestones much later on in life, mostly due to financial reasons. Also, individualistic perspectives on life, like focusing on oneself, are also gaining popularity.
This includes getting married and having children at a much later time in life. However, humans are made to nurture, and it is only natural for them to want to look after something. Therefore, young people are found turning to plants in the meantime.
Plants are way easier to look after than pets or kids; however, plants still provide their owners with an opportunity to look after them, giving them a sense of purpose in their fast-paced life. The process of looking after them is also inspiring and motivating.
Just by taking care of this little species, it grows into something so big and beautiful, and watching this growth is heartwarming to see.
Another major factor for the sudden plant demand is the self-love and wellness movements, which encourage millennials to spend heavily on themselves or on things that will make them happy and fulfilled. If a $5,000 plant makes you happy, go for it!
Also, the benefits plants have on mental and physical health is another reason millennials love them so much; they are therapeutic and bring a sense of calm into people’s hurried lives. It only makes sense, then that the prices will rise as demand increases, especially if people are buying them regardless of the high prices.
Furthermore, there is a whole plant community that exists in today’s world. Plant accounts on Instagram have millions of followers. It seems to be all the talk, and people are deeply interested in inquiring about and buying plants regardless of the prices. It gives them something to connect over in their isolated lives.
Look at the example of the variegated monster as once again. In a short time, the price of it went from $200 to $750-$1000 today, and that’s not stopping people from buying it. It’s doing just the opposite. Sometimes, people may even choose to buy it just to fit in with the trend and make their homes look trendy and “instagrammable.”
What makes these plants so expensive?
Before check out the list of most expensive plants, let us find out what makes these plants so expensive in the world.
Each of these plants is extremely rare and hard to find. Most of them are only available in a certain part of the world, and that too at a specific time and in limited quantities. If you own one, you can consider yourself extremely lucky.
Some of these plants are man-made hybrids and took years of time and effort to create. These are bred to perfection, and the costs of doing so were high in themselves, which explains the exorbitant prices.
Variations of plants can happen at random, which causes it to look different from other plants of its kind. These include the shades of colors on its leaves, flowers, fruit, and stems, the patterns on them, whether they are stripes, holes, shapes, dots, etc.
It can result in some variations being unique and beautiful, which makes them more expensive to others.
This one goes without saying. The biggest reason these plants are so expensive is because of them being exquisite. Let’s face it; no one spends that kind of money on something not even beautiful. The unique beauty of these plants is a major reason for their unique prices.
A lot of people consider buying an expensive plant as an investment. This is especially true if you have a plant-selling business. Your plant could end up paying for itself and much more in no time at all if you manage to successfully propagate it.
Most expensive house plants
Here are 11 of the most expensive house plants in the world:
1. Variegated Monstresa Delicosa
The most popular plant of 2020 became famous after it went viral on Instagram and featured by many different famous influencers. It is unique and has massive, glossy leaves that make it vibrant and striking. Even though this plant comes in various shapes, the most popular one is the white patchy one, which costs $750 on Etsy.
The normal Monstresa Delicosa costs $20, so you can just compare and see how in demand this variation is. It is also costly as it has a slow growth rate, limiting the supply. You must have seen pictures of its leaves on phone covers, wallpapers for screens, etc. Its big dramatic lush leaves are what made it so popular in the first place. This is one of the most expensive plant in the world.
2. Monstera Oblique
Obliqua in Latin means “lopsided.” This plant is minute with a maximum height of about 6 inches. What’s intriguing is why it’s so expensive (around $3000) when it doesn’t have great colors, beautiful blooms, or nice and big foliage. Rather, this one is about what it doesn’t have. The leaves are like lace and have holes in them, making it beautiful and interesting, not to mention one of a kind.
Like the delicosa, this plant’s price has also made a huge jump in the last decade, primarily due to its increasing demand and popularity. While a piece used to sell for only $8 a decade ago, now it could sell for over a thousand dollars. Recently, one was even sold for $3,700 on eBay! That’s why Monstera Oblique is the most expensive plants in the world.
3. Alocasia Azlanii
Also commonly known as the red mambo, this one is truly one of a kind. The azlanii is an extremely unique and rare Malaysian plant, as it is barely sold by nurseries or available online. When you look at this plant, you fall in love with it instantly and understand why it’s so expensive.
Its leaves are rich and dark green and intricately outlined by a bright green. To add to that, it’s shimmering veins come in the most beautiful shades of pinks, reds, and purples. It is truly a work of art. Even though it is rather small in size and can only fit into a 3.5-inch container, it still costs $550.
Alocasia Azlanii is another plant in the list of most expensive plants.
4. Shenzhen Nongke Orchid
This man-made flower is stunning to look at. Its price is justified, considering all the effort behind its creation; it took scientists a total of 8 years to make this flower and get it to blossom. It can take between 4-5 years to bloom but is well worth the wait as it has the most beautiful aroma and looks. To top it all is even edible and has a specific flavor that won’t be found elsewhere.
Somebody who purchased the orchid at an auction paid a ridiculous amount of $200,000. After that purchase, the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid received the title of the most expensive orchid ever sold.
5. Variegated Philodendron Minima
This plant was sold for $8,150 on New Zealand’s largest trading website Trade Me, breaking the record of being the most expensive plant sold on that site. You must be wondering what all the hype is about since the normal Philodendron minima sell for around $20 to $50, and the price difference is incomprehensible!
Its leaves are the utmost perfection being light green with a gloss to them. It comes in different variations with spots, blocks, and streaks. The one that sold for $8,150 one had half-and-half variegation on its leaves, with yellow on one side and light green on the other. In total, the plant had only 4 leaves.
Variegated Philodendron Minima is another most expensive plants.
6. Juliet Rose
These are no doubt the most breathtaking roses you will ever see, but can you guess how much they’re for? $15.8 million. Yes, that’s how much they cost! Well, the cost of creating it was $5 million, so you can only imagine.
It is the most expensive flower in the world, and it took 15 years to make this hybrid rose. It looks unreal when you look at this flower as if it’s straight out of a fairytale. From its petals’ shape to the pattern that they form and its delicate pink color, every little detail is ethereal.
The Juliet Rose was created by David Austin and made its first appearance in 2006 at the Chelsea Flower Show, after which it got all the hype. Its bloom is also unique; the pale-colored buds pop into a full flower with tones of pink, getting darker towards the middle of the flower.
7. Half Moon Philodendron Pink Princess
Another pink flower, this also became popular after being featured on plant blogs and vlogs in 2019. It was even named the “must-have plant” of 2019 by Horticulture Week. Since then, the demand for it has only been increasing. At the moment, it costs $1,299 on Etsy.
8. Gold of Kinabalu Orchid
Another orchid to join the expensive club, this one is also rare as it only grows in one place on earth, which is the Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia. This fancy flower is a delicate species that only grows for a month all year round (between April-May). To add to that, it can take years for it to bloom. However, when it does, it is not to be missed.
It differs from other orchids as its green petals have red spots or freckles on them, forming a unique pattern allowing it to sell for $5000 per flower.
9. Kadupul Flower
Kadupul flower, which translates to ‘flower from heaven,’ is an all-white petal flower that is ethereal. It is no surprise that it’s considered the most beautiful flower in the world and has some serious competition with the Juliet Rose.
The Kadupul is as rare as flowers can get as it’s only grown in Sri Lanka and blooms only once in the whole year. Adding to the dramatic effect, this flower blooms in the middle of the night! It is so strikingly beautiful that people worldwide travel to Sri Lanka only to see its magical bloom, which happens just before dawn.
Unlike the rest of the flowers, this one is so priceless that you can’t even buy it. You can just have a look at it, and that’s all. If you are caught smuggling it, you can get into a lot of trouble.
10. Saffron Crocus
Growing saffron in your house is no joke. It is by far the most expensive spice in the world, $1,500 per pound, to be exact. To make these gorgeous purple flowers noticeable, you will need lots of pounds, which is a luxury only very few can afford.
11. Tulip Bulb
During the 17th century, this flower was extremely popular among the Dutch sold at ridiculous prices. The flower’s price was at $5,700, which was enough to buy a home on Amsterdam’s most posh canal at that time.
It is unique to the rest of the flowers dye to its deep colors and extraordinary shape, and this is why the Dutch went crazy after it at one point. The most popular was the Semper Augustus, with its striking flames streaked on white petals. The tulip bulb still holds its grand status.
These are the list of most expensive plants.
Where to buy such plants?
You must be wondering where you can buy such most expensive plants; they surely won’t be available at supermarkets. To buy expensive house plants, you usually need to visit bidding sites such as eBay or Etsy. The plants sold here are mostly homegrown by professionals and plant enthusiasts instead of being mass-produced by official businesses, which adds to their rarity.
Thus, Home Depot, Amazon, Etsy, and eBay are the first places you should look at. Besides these, Instagram is also an emerging platform for buying such plants. A lot of pages are selling niche plants, and you can direct message them to order.
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These are 11 of the most expensive house plants in the world today. Each will blow your mind and is a piece of art in itself. Still, we’re not sure if that justifies the prices! The trend to buy such plants seems to only increase, especially with posting on Instagram, where people see other people getting it, which makes them chase after it. This rapid increase in demand will only increase the prices of these plants, making them unimaginably expensive.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.