A fascinating thing in the plant community is the increasing interest in ‘rare plants’. These are plants which are of course rare, often unusual, and most of the time, shockingly expensive. These range from new varieties of existing plants, strong variegation and new colour expressions, and also slow growing or hard to grow varieties. If you are interested in seeing the up to date rare plants page with current prices, see this post.
Many people are parting with hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to obtain rare plants. Sometimes this is for the pure love of the plant, and for some it is an investment, with the goal to grow and sell cuttings. Some plants, such as the variegated monstera adansonii, is known to sell for $1,800+ for a single leaf cutting. That means that if the plant grows 6 new leaves per year, (which is conservative) you could make over $10,000 per year selling cuttings. It sounds incredibly lucrative and tempting, however it is important to know the history of expensive plants before you invest yourself.
The story which comes to mind is the Tulip mania in Holland in 1636. Despite what you might think, Tulips are not native to Holland and were in fact introduced from Turkey in the 1600’s. Tulips were adored and treasured, especially the more usual and rare varieties. They quickly became a status symbol and so the price began to increase. At one point, Tulips were selling for more than it cost to buy an expensive house. Eventually the market crashed and the Tulips no longer were selling for such high prices.
Of course this is a lesson in various financial and economic concepts, but it is a reminder of the true value of plants, and the behaviour of humans in efficient markets. When a plant sells for a high price, it provides an incentive for people to grow, propagate, and sell. This means that the supply increases, and eventually prices start to get more competitive, and prices gradually go down. Does this mean that you shouldn’t buy rare plants? Of course not! It is just something that you want to keep in mind, especially for those who are looking to make money from growing and propagating rare plants. Right now, in 2021, we are already seeing rare plants such as variegated monstera adansonii sometimes selling for half the price it was selling for this time last year (It’s still very expensive though!!).
So without further ado, here are some rare plants that are currently trending. If you are looking to find them for sale, see this post.
Variegated Banana Plant
Pink Princess Philodendron
Variegated Monstera Adanonsii
Variegated Monstera Deliciosa
This stunning ornamental plant is beautiful and rare, but luckily, not nearly as expensive as the others in this list.
For now, thats the list – do you have any suggestions of additional rare plants to add to the list? Comment below!