6 Most Expensive Houseplants

Expensive houseplants are unique and make a huge statement. Which ones are the most expensive and unique?

Even before the current plant craze, collectors were willing to pay thousands of dollars to acquire a one-of-a-kind cultivar. There are several reasons for this.

Natural mutations are uncommon and occur at random in only 1 out of every 100,000 plants. An unusual mutation may have led to a unique appearance that places the plant in high demand.

Some plants are more difficult to find than others due to their geographic location. And some become scarce due to the high demand for them.

1. Variegated Monstera Varieties

When you think of expensive plants, this is certainly the first that comes to mind.

Despite being around for many years and becoming more prevalent, variegated monsteras continue to command a premium price. A large, well-established plant can cost over a thousand dollars.

Because variegated monsteras can only be grown through tissue culture, supply is usually limited. They are very difficult to cultivate.

The most common variegated monstera cultivars include monstera deliciosa and monstera adansonii.

Some of the most expensive monstera species are variegated monstera minima, monstera esqueleto, and large monstera obliqua.

beautiful variegated leaves of a monstera houseplant

2. Rare Orchids

Rothschild’s Orchid 

The Rothschild’s orchid, also known as the Gold of Kinabalu, was discovered in 1987 and is famous for its stunning horizontal petals.

Because of its exotic beauty, orchid poachers quickly decimated the plant, nearly eradicating it. It has since been reintroduced through cultivated seedlings, although it remains a rare-to-find cultivar that can cost you $5,000 on average.

The Rothschild’s orchid can only be found in the wild in Malaysia’s Kinabalu National Park. A single flower takes many years to bloom.

A very unique and rare rothschild's orchid plant

Shenzhen Nongke Orchid

This flower was developed by Chinese agricultural scientists and was named after the Shenzhen Nongke University, where it was created. This plant took them eight years to breed and study.

The orchid takes around five years to bloom, and the flower offers a distinct flavor. Its expensive price reflects not only its scarcity and complex cultivation method, but also the stunning purple and yellow coloration of its blossoms.

The Shenzhen Nongke orchid sells for an average of $202,000.

3. Variegated Philodendrons 

No houseplant collection is complete without a few philodendrons.While many types can be found in stores, others are so rare that they can only be purchased from seasoned collectors. A one-of-a-kind philodendron can easily cost ten times what you’d pay for it in a store.

A nice example is the variegated philodendron billietiae. A standard billietiae costs around $100, but a variegated billietiae can cost $6,000 to $10,000, or even more.

This variety has grown extremely valuable among dedicated houseplant collectors. The leaves are adorned with outstanding yellow to cream variegation and have the usual orange petioles of philodendron billietiae.

Among the most expensive species are philodendron ‘Pink Princess,’ variegated philodendron minima, philodendron joepii, and philodendron hastatum ‘Silver Sword.

Beautiful variegated leaves of a burle marx philodendron

4. Alocasia 

Alocasia Azlanii

Because the demand for rare alocasia varieties is high and supplies are limited, the ones that become available will sell quickly.

People worldwide want to own the alocasia azlanii, a rare plant that only grows in Malaysia. Finding a local or online vendor who sells this lovely and unique gem is tough.

The plant has recently gained popularity. The prices vary from $100 to $700, depending on size.  Their leaves are dark green—almost black—with red, purple, or hot pink veins.

Alocasia azlanii expensive houseplant

Variegated Alocasia (Macrorrhiza Variegata)

Alocasia variegata is quite difficult to find and grow. One plant can easily cost between $280 and $350.

The variegated alocasia (macrorrhiza variegata) is a very rare elephant ear plantthat resembles the common alocasia. An extraordinarily strong stem supports the large, deeply carved, glossy green, upright leaves.

This alocasia can be used as a standalone item for interior design. It is a popular indoor plant among gardeners and people simply looking for unique items to add to their living spaces.

Beautiful variegated leaves of a Macrorrhiza alocasia

5. Anthurium 

Anthurium Crystallinum

Anthurium crystallinum is popular among plant collectors because of its dark, velvety leaves and dazzling white veins. 

It has long, lush foliage that adds to its appeal. New leaves emerge orange and gradually turn green, strongly contrasting with the rest of the plant.

While you can easily pay $100 to $200 for this plant, when it comes to rare species, this is still at the low end of the price spectrum.

Anthurium plant placed outdoors

Anthurium Luxurians

This species is breathtaking, with some of the most alluring leaves available. Its diamond-shaped leaves change color as the seasons and years pass.

This species lives longer than most plants, which contributes to its popularity. It adds a charming tropical touch and charm to any home and will survive for years if properly cared for.

The anthurium luxurians’ starting price is $1,000.

Another unique and expensive anthurium type is anthurium regales, sometimes known as tail flowers or flamingo flower plants.

beautiful heart shaped leaves of an anthurium luxurians

6. Old Bonsai Trees

Collecting Bonsai trees is considered an expensive and time-consuming hobby. The older the Bonsai looks, the higher the price.

Maturity can only be attained by providing the best possible care over decades, if not centuries. As a result, the age of a Bonsai tree also impacts its value.

Old trees that have been potted for decades are the most valuable Bonsai. 

The Kato Family Juniper is one of the most precious Bonsai trees, costing more than $2 million. A well-established Pine Bonsai will cost you approximately $1.3 million.

The Juniper Bonsai at the Taikan-ten costs $180,000, while the Japanese White Pine Bonsai costs $160,000.

old but healthy old bonsai tree
Leila Haynes
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