Millions of Gen Z-ers and millennials became parents during the 2020 pandemic—plant parents, that is. The houseplant industry has generated billions of dollars since those first cold, bleak days of isolation. Over the next three years, these newly minted "plant people" have become experts at caring for a range of growing things, from the mundane to the exotic.
If you're one of the ambitious home horticulturists who brought home a succulent those many moons ago, it might be time to level up to something truly unique.
Rare houseplants are consistently colorful, thoroughly uncommon, and add a fun challenge to your plant care routine. You'll see your new knowledge put to use as you nurture an out-of-the-box plant until it blooms for you.
Are you ready to expand your collection? We've listed ten of the best rare houseplants below. Keep reading to discover your next blooming best friend!
1. The Black Zz Plant (Zamioculcas Raven)
The Black Zz plant is the scrawny, gothic teenager of the plant world. Unlike a moody teen, this black-clad beauty is surprisingly easy to care for. It thrives in medium indirect light and likes to dry out entirely in between waterings, so you might only need to quench its thirst once a month.
Despite its dark appearance, this plant supposedly grants good luck. Keep this toxic tropical succulent away from hungry pets to ensure your good luck continues.
2. Sweetheart Hoya
If the Black Zz is the goth lurking in the shadows, the adorable sweetheart plant is a dose of sunshine. Plant parents fall in love with the chubby, heart shape of this precious beauty. They love bright sunlight and only need watering once their soil is completely dry, making them as low-maintenance as they are adorable.
If you take care of your sweetheart plant, this cutie will love you back. When mature, it will produce clusters of tiny flowers that add a fantastic fragrance to any home. Plus, it's non-toxic, so pets can enjoy your new friend, too!
3. Philodendron Florida Green
The Philodendron Florida Green is a rare hybrid houseplant with stunning red stems and intriguingly lobed leaves. It prefers above 60% humidity to thrive, and you should strive to water thoroughly when it is 85% dry. Add a trellis to encourage climbing, offer it bright, indirect sunlight, and you'll have a handsome climber in no time.
Unfortunately, this stunning vine is poisonous to pets, so they aren't the best houseplants for dog or cat owners.
4. Baltic Blue Pothos
Pothos fans will love adding this striking baltic blue variety to their houseplant collection! It's a fast-growing plant with large, lovely blue-green leaves. It isn't fussy, either, thriving with bright indirect light, thorough watering when 85% dry, and a stake for climbing.
This unique pothos plant (which is, unfortunately, toxic to pets) has only been around since 2022, so you can be the first plant parent on the block to add this stunning beauty to your collection.
5. Hoya Affinity Burtoniae
Come for the jade-green and purple almond-shaped leaves; stay for the intoxicating fragrance! The Hoya Affinity Burtoniae only needs an hour or two of sunlight daily, thrives in a humid environment, and enjoys a thorough watering when it is entirely dry. You'll know your Affinity plant is mature and happy when it begins to produce striking red flowers, which is possible even in normal household conditions.
6. Philodendron Prince of Orange
It's a ginger! The Philodendron Prince of Orange plant gets its name from its color-changing leaves, which tend toward orange before shifting to green. This self-heading plant can grow quite tall, so ensure you have the space to house this big boy.
If you have the room for caring for rare houseplants, your air quality is about to improve. These colorful philodendrons do a great job of filtering airborne toxins. All they ask for is bright, indirect light and thorough watering at 85% dry.
7. Epipremnum Pinnatum Albo
Epipremnun Punnatum Albo is one of the rarest pothos varieties, with white and green leaves. When your Albo plant is mature, its leaves will become fenestrated and gain even more unique character.
Unlike other pothos plants, this finicky friend needs bright, indirect light and won't do well in low-light conditions. It requires thorough watering at 85% dry, and would love to live in about 60% humidity to get comfy enough to show off that iconic variegation.
8. Anthurium Pedatoradiatum Fingers
A healthy, happy Anthurium Pedatoradiatum Fingers plant looks like a lovely, delicate outstretched hand with deeply lobed "fingers." A happy plant will fan out and become quite large, developing up to thirteen distinct "fingers" per leaf.
In order to develop these unique-shaped leaves, your Pedatoradiatum prefers diffused light, and a thorough watering at 85% dry. It's the fussiest about humidity, desiring between 40 to 65% to thrive. If you treat your fingers well, they'll grow into one of your collection's most visually distinct plants.
9. Epipremnum Pinnatum Green Form
The most distinct feature of these lovely plants is their deep emerald leaves, and fenestrations, or holes, which the Green Form plant develops over time. Green Form develops vines that can climb or hang, depending on how you train them. They prefer bright, indirect light, a thorough watering when 85% dry, and a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
While these make great buddies for the home or office, they also tend to thrive on the patio, where they can soak up the sun.
10. Philodendron Panda
The Philodendron Panda might win the award for the most unique leaf shape on this list! Some plant parents call it the Horsehead Philodendron because it resembles a horse's face from above.
They are far easier to care for than a horse, however, preferring bright indirect light, and a thorough watering when 85% dry. They are very rare to come by, and if you manage to coax yours into an established size, you'll become part of a highly exclusive group of plant whisperers!
The Coolest Rare Houseplants for Unique Plant Parents
You might have started your houseplant collection with a succulent or a snake plant, but it's time to level up. Bringing home rare houseplants is a great way to learn what you're capable of as a dedicated plant parent. Plus, you'll add something visually stunning and unique to your beloved domestic jungle.
Whether you're ready for a horticultural challenge or just want to add some greenery to your space, terracotta can help. Why not commit to your green thumb by signing up for our monthly plant subscription? We'll deliver a new plant to your door, so you'll never run out of lovely growing things to nurture.