17 Unique and Rare House Plants to Consider Growing at Home

By: Matt Slaymaker
June 17, 2024
Unique and Rare House Plants
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Do you have an eye for unique plants? There’s a whole world of extraordinary botanical beauties that are exclusive and highly sought after for many reasons. 

This post will explore some of the most exotic and rare house plants you can add to your indoor greenery and make a statement. 

So, keep reading to learn about some of the most extraordinary houseplants you can grow at home or share as a gift with someone special.   

What Makes a Houseplant Rare? 

What sets rare plants apart from ordinary leafy babies that people grow? Well, it's a mix of various factors, starting with limited availability at local nurseries. 

In addition, rare houseplants are in high demand for their beauty or special physical features. Unusual leaf shapes, dark or non-green foliage shades, or eye-catching variegations make plants desirable. 

New cultivars or hard-to-produce hybrid species that collectors want also make them sought-after and thus, rare. Some unique-looking and expensive plants take a long time to propagate and grow, so their difficult cultivation process or lack of viable seeds makes them hard to get and desirable. 

Some plants boast unique growth habits, like blooming once in a lifetime. Others have extraordinary characteristics, like being carnivores!  

The combination of factors, like high demand and limited supply, often adds to their price tags. Thus, many exotic, unique indoor plants are considered luxury items that plant enthusiasts and collectors want to possess.  

17 Rare and Unique Indoor Plants to Add to Your Collection 

Now, let’s explore some of the most incredible plants, sought-after by plant lovers worldwide. Take a look at the following 17 rare and unique indoor plants:

1. Bromeliad Neoregelia

Bromeliad Neoregelia

Bromeliad Neoregelia (Neoregelia bromeliad) are beautiful rare plants with striking red or purple leaves. What’s unique is they bloom only once in their life. 

These pet-friendly plants are easy to care for and not hard to propagate. They need medium/bright, indirect light with high humidity to thrive.  

2. Japanese Bird's Nest Fern

Japanese Bird's Nest Fern

Japanese Bird's Nest Ferns (Asplenium antiquum) are rare exotic plants native to East Asian countries. In their natural habitat, these ferns grow on other plants, meaning they are epiphytes. 

Enjoy their wide, shiny leaves unfurl gloriously by giving them extra care. Ensure they get bright, indirect light, and warmth. These beauties prefer consistently moist soil and medium humidity.

3. Sansevieria kirkii 'Coppertone'

Sansevieria kirkii 'Coppertone'
Source: Reddit

Sansevieria kirkii 'Coppertone' are rare snake plants, much-desired by many home gardeners. Their stiff, long leaves have a copper or bronze color, unlike any other snake plant.

They are low-maintenance plants, ideal even for novices. It’s best to keep them in medium or bright, indirect sunlight and water them every other week. 

4. Pineapple Plant  

Pineapple Plant

Pineapple Plants (Ananas comosus) with fruits are cute and exotic additions to any home. Native to South America, they’re considered rare tropical plants that produce a single fruit only once. 

Interestingly, though, they’re surprisingly easy to care for when grown indoors in a controlled environment. They thrive in warm conditions and bright, indirect light. Regular watering and high humidity are also some of their key growing requirements.

5. String of Pearls Plant  

String of Pearls

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), originating in South Africa, have an unusual beauty. What makes them rare succulent plants are the spherical leaves that resemble pearls.

They are easy-care additions to your home. You’ll find them thriving when they get consistent bright, indirect light and weekly drinks. 

6. Tillandsia Cacticola

Tillandsia Cacticola

Tillandsia cacticola plants are considered rare air plants in high demand. They produce unique, long-lasting lavender inflorescence with white flowers.  

They grow best in bright but indirect sunlight and warm conditions. Make sure to give it a soak and mist the air a few times every week. 

7. Philodendron Pink Princess

Philodendron Pink Princess

The leaves of Philodendron Pink Princess (Philodendron erubescens 'Pink Princess') plants make them stand out. Their pink and green patterns make them rare variegated plants.  

These air-purifying beauties are easy to maintain if they get bright, indirect sunlight. Water them every 7-10 days and protect them against extreme cold temperatures. 

8. Peperomia Frost

Peperomia Frost

It’s not just the name of Peperomia Frost (Peperomia caperata ‘Frost’) that makes them cool rare plants. Their leaves sport a cool, frosted look throughout the year!

It’s an easy-care indoor plant that enjoys medium to bright indirect light and medium. It thrives in warm and humid conditions. 

9. Trachyandra Tortilis

Trachyandra Tortilis

Trachyandra tortilis are uncommon, rare indoor plants with twisted, ribbon-like leaves. These succulents aren’t usually found in cultivation and are generally grown from seeds by collectors.

They prefer medium, indirect sunlight and should be watered every 2-4 weeks, being highly drought-tolerant plants. They don’t like too much humidity and extreme temperature fluctuations. 

10. Swiss Cheese Monstera Plant

Swiss Cheese Monstera Plant

Swiss Cheese Monstera Plants (Monstera adansonii) have stunning and unusual leaves with swiss-cheese-like holes. Their variegated versions are rare expensive plants!

Swiss Cheese plant care is easy if you provide bright, indirect sunlight, warm temperatures, and high humidity for this gorgeous plant with fenestrated foliage. 

11. Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’

Philodendron 'Prince of Orange'

Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ (Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange) is a much-wanted and unique tropical plant with striking foliage. The leaves are first copper-orange and then, gradually turn deep-green. This philodendron variety is a perfect example of rare indoor plants you wouldn’t want to miss out on. 

These beauties are easy to care for, making them suitable for novice plant lovers. Simply put your Philo plant in a spot with bright, indirect light and water it when the soil feels dry. 

12. Sand Dollar Cactus 

Sand Dollar Cactus

Sand Dollar Cactii (Astrophytum asterias) are highly desired, due to their domed shape. The wild varieties are endangered species, making them rare cactus plants.

These smart plants can store water and need to be watered sparingly. They thrive in bright and direct sunlight and dry environments.

13. Pothos Pearl Jade

Pothos Pearl Jade

Pothos Pearl Jade (Epipremnum aureum 'Pearls and Jade’) are unique house plants with green-and-cream leaves. No two leaves are alike, with stunning patterns on each leaf. 

These hanging plants are almost impossible to kill and are super-easy to care for. They just need low to medium indirect light, high humidity, and warmth to grow.   

14. Ficus Ginseng Bonsai

Ficus Ginseng Bonsai

Ficus Ginseng Bonsai (Ficus microcarpa 'Ginseng') make great houseplants. They’re loved for their beautiful foliage, thick trunk, exposed roots, and medicinal qualities.

These exotic plants prefer bright, indirect light and warm temperatures. Water yours every 7-10 days to keep it happy. Ficus Ginseng needs daily spritzing or a pebble tray for consistent humidity and warm temperatures. 

15. Monstera Albo

Monstera Albo

Monstera Albo (Monstera deliciosa 'Albo-Variegata') plants are recognized by their unique white variegations. These occur, due to genetic mutation, making them rare Monstera plants. 

They need bright, indirect sunlight and a drink every 7-10 days. These tropical plants crave humidity and hate to shiver or sweat. 

16. Ficus Tineke

Ficus Elastica Tineke

A unique and rare ficus variety, the Ficus Tineke (Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’) boasts striking foliage in pink and green hues. Grow it in a spot with bright, indirect light and medium humidity for best results. Ficus Tineke doesn’t like wet feet, so make sure the soil is completely dry between watering sessions. 

17. Monstera Thai Constellation

Thai Monstera Constellation

Last but not least comes another stunning and rare Monstera that you may want to try and propagate if you get your hands on it. Meet the gorgeous Thai Monstera Constellation that will impress everyone with its unique creamy variegation. It plays hard to get but if you provide it with bright, filtered light and maintain high humidity around the plant, it will reward you with its vibrant look and healthy appearance.

Unique and Rare Plants: FAQs

Q: What is the most unusual plant?

A: There are many unusual plants like Cobra Lily, Black Bat Flower, Doll's Eye, and more. As for houseplants, Lifesaver Plants, Donkey's Tail, and the carnivorous Pitcher Plant are some of the strangest-looking plants.  

Q: What is the most expensive rare plant?

A: The Juliet Rose is the most expensive rare plant in the world. The apricot-colored hybrid variety was sold for $5 million. It was developed by the famous rose breeder, David Austin, and took 15 years to produce. 

Q: What is the most exotic plant?

A: Some of the most exotic and sought-after houseplants include Japanese Bird's Nest Fern, Zebra Haworthia Succulent, Ficus Ginseng Bonsai, Bird of Paradise plant, Pineapple plant, Hibiscus, and more. 

Q: What is the most elegant plant?

If you’re looking for an elegant and aesthetically pleasing plant, you can’t go wrong with the Pink Polka Dot plant, Bromeliad Neoregelia, or Begonia Masoniana. Some attractive succulents can also add elegance and style to your home interior, such as the String of Pearls, or the colorful Calandiva Plant.

Q: What is the holy grail of indoor plants?

A: Some of the most sought-after plants are Peperomia Santorini, Monstera Thai Constellation, Philodendron Pink Princess, White Stripe Dragon Tree (Dracaena), and more. They are rare, unique, and highly demanded, making them the holy grail of indoor plants. 


Rare, unique plants can transform your home and become the center of attention. Although some can be costly, they are worth the price, considering their rarity and exotic look. And if you have an eye for extraordinary indoor plants, you can always try to propagate them to extend your rare plant collection.

Adding visual interest and aesthetic appeal to any space, hard-to-get live indoor plants also make the perfect gift for someone special in your life, that’s for sure!