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5 Rare Houseplants To Add to Your Collection

Calling all plant parents! These unique, leafy greens should be on your radar.

<p>Westranger/Getty Images</p>

Westranger/Getty Images

Houseplants have been having a moment for some time now in the design world—they’re easy ways to bring in vibrant color to a space. And everyone’s pretty familiar with the most popular ones, like fiddle leaf figs and monsteras, but there are a bunch of other varieties out there that are highly coveted by plant enthusiasts. Possessing a rare houseplant feels like a special honor—you were able to track down something that was hard to find in stores, is hard to maintain, or is just not common knowledge yet!

Eli Manekin, the brand director for easyplant.com, explains, “The rarity of houseplants is often driven by the horticultural market's demand and supply dynamics, which can fluctuate. These plants are considered rare not just because they are infrequently found in the wild, but also because they have become highly desirable in the houseplant community.” We asked Manekin and other experts to share their recommendations for rare houseplants that’ll serve as beautiful decorative accents in your home.

Related: 6 Things to Consider Before Bringing Home a New Houseplant

Monstera Obliqua (Peruvian Form)

<p>Rachel McLaughlin; <a href="https://www.house-plant-hobbyist.com/blog/2019/11/12/monstera-obliqua-fact-and-fiction" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">House Plant Hobbyist</a></p>

Rachel McLaughlin; House Plant Hobbyist

Okay, so we know: Monsteras are pretty common. But this particular variety is not-so-common. According to Manekin, “This plant has extreme leaf fenestrations (a.k.a. holes) and is often confused with the Monstera Adansonii, a true Monstera obliqua is rare in cultivation and can be very expensive when found in the United States.” Originally from Peru, this plant is slow-growing and can be tricky to maintain—it requires lots of humidity for it to thrive. (Keeping it in a bathroom might not be a bad idea here!) It also needs plenty of watering since it’s technically a tropical plant. Bright, indirect sunlight will encourage fast growth. In general, all monsteras are considered mildly toxic to humans and animals so keep this leafy pal out of reach from fur babies and human babies!

Firefly Leopard Plant

<p>Westranger/Getty Images</p>

Westranger/Getty Images

Caroline McCann, an expert at Monrovia (which sells more than 4,000 plant varieties!), admits the firefly leopard plant is also “pretty hard to find.” Technically the Farfugium japonicum, it’s a species from East Asia with spotty leaves that resemble glowing fireflies, hence the name! This striking botanical doesn’t need too much sun—partial to full shade is actually best. Too much sun, especially direct light, can cause wilting. However, it’s a thirsty plant that grows best with consistently moist soil and thrives in mid to high levels of humidity, so you might need a mister or humidifier for a happy houseplant. Thankfully, this one is not known to be toxic!

Paraiso Verde Philodendron

<p>krisanapong detraphiphat/Getty Images</p>

krisanapong detraphiphat/Getty Images

McCann says this variety of philodendron is fairly coveted, but she predicts there will be more availability 2024, so it should be easier to source. Currently, you can only get this one from specialty plant stores or online. The beautiful variegated leaves of this tropical plant are what make it so appealing to gardeners—plus, the vines can grow up to 10 feet when it’s mature! The Paraiso Verde is considered a fast-growing plant when it’s properly cared for. It needs moist soil, warmth and humidity, and bright indirect sunlight. Keep in mind that it’s toxic to pets and people.

Tectonic Pangea Begonia

<p>Doreen Wynja for Monrovia</p>

Doreen Wynja for Monrovia

McCann shared with us that Monrovia has a partnership with plant hunter Dan Hinkley (talk about a cool job!), and he recently brought back a series of rare begonias from Northeastern India. Specifically, the Tectonic Pangea Begonia (or Begonia thomsonii) is one that will be highly sought after once it’s available in Spring 2024 due to the striking foliage—the halo of lime-green on the dark green leaves is a very unique characteristic that’s not super common in houseplants. Fortunately this plant is fairly easy to care for and doesn’t require a ton of humidity or moisture—just water when the soil starts to dry out. When cared for in a lightly shaded setting, it can grow to around a foot tall. Begonias are typically toxic, especially the underground parts, so make sure it’s kept away from any digging paws.

Black ZZ Plant

<p><a href="https://easyplant.com/products/medium/black-zz-plant-medium-monet?variant=Calm%20Rose&from=default" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1" rel="nofollow">Easyplant</a></p>

ZZ plants fall in the same category as monsteras—that is, the “mainstream” category. But the Black ZZ plant is a strain that’s hard to get a hold of, according to Manekin. Thanks to its nearly-black and emerald leaves, it’s earned itself the nickname the “raven ZZ.” Originally from the arid regions of Eastern Africa, this little shrub doesn’t ask for much H2O thanks to its high drought tolerance. The Black ZZ can withstand a variety of light conditions too, which makes it extremely easy to maintain (perhaps the easiest one on this list!). It is toxic though, which is something you should take into account if you have pets.

Related: 10 Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes With Their House Plants

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