The World’s Most Expensive House Plants
Lifestyle4 Minutes Read

The World’s Most Expensive House Plants

April 19, 2022 Share

If you’re anything like me you have probably killed your fair share of houseplants — although I have gotten better over the years.

There are some plants, however, that are not just houseplants but significant investments that could be worth thousands, or even millions of dollars.

What are these plants? And where can I get one? These are the world’s most expensive houseplants.

Houseplants are becoming ever more popular additions to the home. Credit: Vadim Kaipov

Bonsai Trees

These aren’t just any Bonsai Trees — which can be bought relatively cheaply. These trees are old, really, really old. A 250-year-old Bonsai tree reportedly sold for $2 million in 1981, however without concrete proof or pictures, no one can be sure.

Bonsai trees, like the one pictured here, are becoming popular, if expensive, houseplants.
Bonsai Trees have been known to sell for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Credit: S. Tsuchiya

Officially, an 800-year-old Bonsai tree was sold in Japan for $1.3 million in 2011 at the International Bonsai Convention. This tree most likely sprouted while Genghis Khan was still alive — it’s that old.  

Other, slightly less old and less impressive, specimens have sold regularly for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Shenzhen Nongke Orchid

Orchids are beautiful, the Shenzhen Nongke Orchid is both beautiful and expensive. Created in a lab after 8-years of hard work by scientists, this beautiful flower reportedly sold for $202,000 in 2005 — making it one of the most expensive flowers ever sold.

Orchids are a popular houseplant in many homes.
These Orchids, although beautiful, are nowhere near as expensive as the Shenzhen Nongke. Credit: Ardi Evans

It is one of a kind and has a unique fragrance that very few have ever had the pleasure to inhale.

I have Orchids on my window sill but I’m not sure I would be able to handle the pressure of keeping this precious plant alive and happy.

Variegated Monstera

This genus of plant has been known to go for up to $5,000 at the right auctions. On the popular auction site Trade Me one cutting sold for $3,726.

The plant is native to New Zealand and other parts of the world, but it propagates slowly and is, therefore, incredibly rare.

Variegated Monstera is a coveted houseplant for its rarity and interesting colour patterns.
Variegated Monstera is prized for its interesting and beautiful colour patterns. Credit: LUM3N

Variegation refers to the interesting and random colouration found on the leaves of certain plants — often showing up as white patches or lines on otherwise green leaves. This is what you’re paying for. Social media influencers have picked this plant as one of their favourites, and prices are headed up, up, up.

A normal green variety will run you around $20 at your local garden centre, but if you want a striking variegated variety, it is going to cost you.

Houseplants in pots in the corner of a room in front of a curtain and a wall with pictures.
Propagating houseplants has become a lucrative side hustle for those with a green thumb. Credit: Alp Duran

Arguably, expensive houseplants are becoming interior design objects like artwork or chandeliers. They add character to a home with the bonus of the satisfaction from seeing your plant bloom and thrive.

Some individuals are going as far as selling cuttings of their rare plants in a side hustle that can bring in some serious cash.

With houseplants becoming ever more common in today’s homes, the trend of investing in plants seems likely to continue.

For now, I’ll stick with my $30 Orchids but who knows, one day — when I am more confident in my green thumb — maybe I’ll step out into the houseplant big leagues.

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