10 Rare Houseplants

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There is a fairly short list of plants that are commonly sold around the world. Most of them can take irregular watering, high or low humidity, and varying degrees of sunlight – all hurdles when grown indoors and/or an insurance measure from sellers. Many of these plants come from tropical areas, and are vigorous growers. There are however a variety of other plants, harder to find, similar in care to other popular plants, that may be interesting to someone with more exotic tastes. Some of these are just more rare species of popular plants, and can be cared the same as their sibling counterpart. The main reasons they aren’t as popular is because they might be slightly harder to take care of, or don’t propagate/grow as quickly for sellers. I wouldn’t recommend these for someone who is just getting into indoor gardening, but for someone a little more seasoned, these can be really interesting plants to grow.

 

Here is my list with some brief care instructions:

 

Madagascar Palm (Pachypodium Lamerei)

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Care:

  • Water when the top few inches of soil is dry
  • Full Sun (Southern window). Likes the heat as well.
  • Use a cactus/succulent soil mix
  • Low fertilizer requirements. Overall a slow growing plant.
  • Some leaf drop in winter is normal

Buy Now – Madagascar Palm 2″ Pot – $9.99 on Amazon

 

Tillandsia Xerographica

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Care:

  • Soak in water once a week for 5-10 minutes. Mist frequently depending on your home’s humidity.
  • Will like bright indirect light, with some direct light. Western facing windows.
  • No soil

Buy Now – Large Xerographica – $18.75 on Amazon

 

Begonia Wightii (Begonia Maculata)

 

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Care:

  • Water when the top inch or two of soil is dry. Prefers higher humidity.
  • Will enjoy bright indirect light (western or eastern facing window)
  • Use a regular potting soil mix
  • Fertilize during the growing season (spring/summer)

For sale at Logee’s – $12.95

 

Whale Fin Sansevieria (Sansevieria Masoniana)

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Care:

  • Water when the soil is competely dry
  • Western or eastern light is best, although it tolerates a large range of light levels.
  • Use a cactus/succulent soil mix

Buy Now – Sansevieria Masoniana – $9.99 on Ebay

Hoya Plants

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There are many species of hoya plants that look different. They are all great houseplants, and their flowers smell beautiful.

Care:

  • Water when the top couple inches are dry
  • Likes some direct sunlight, especially to bloom. A shaded southern facing window, or western facing window is best.
  • Use a regular potting soil mix
  • Fertilize regularly during the growing season
  • Do not cut the end of the stems!
  • Likes to be cramped in the pot (will promote blooming) so don’t be quick to repot.

Buy Now – Hoya Carnosa on Ebay – $54

Sensitive plant (Mimosa Pudica)

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This plant moves/closes when it is touched. It also wilts at night and wakes up in the morning. A super fun plant – Check out this video. Easy to grow from seeds, however can be on the difficult side to take care of over time.

  • Water when the top inch of soil is dry. Likes high humidity.
  • Likes full sun and high heat. Higher sun will create bushier and compact/healthy growth.
  • Use a regular potting soil mix. Sometimes will like some sand added if your home is very humid. The turnover of water is important (likes being wet then quickly dry).
  • Fertilize regularly in the spring/summer

Buy Now – 1000 seeds on Amazon – $6.49

 

Baseball Plant (Euphorbia Obesa)

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Care:

  • Water when the soil is fully dry
  • Will enjoy western light, bright light, but not full sun like a cactus
  • Use a cactus/succulent soil mix
  • Fertilizer regularly, during the growing season (spring/summer)

These guys are endangered in the wild, so please only buy young plants. An older plant is more likely to be poached from the wild.

Bid on Ebay – Currently $10 – There are a bunch available though if you do a search

Alocasia Zebrina

By Photo by David J. Stang – source: David Stang. First published at ZipcodeZoo.com, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61161726

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Care:

  • Water when the top two inches are dry
  • Will enjoy misting frequently
  • Western facing windows  (bright indirect light/some direct light)
  • Use a regular potting soil mix
  • Fertilize regularly with a organic fertilizer.

Buy Now – Alocasia Zebrina – $59 on Amazon

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans Cristata

Via Cactus-art.biz

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Care:

Bid on Ebay – $24.99 currently with 1 day left

 

Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia Milii)

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Care:

  • Water when the first few inches of soil is dry. Forgiving about infrequent watering.
  • Likes full sun (especially to bloom). Southern or western facing windows are best.
  • Use a cactus/succulent soil mix
  • Fertilizer regularly, during the growing season (spring/summer)

Buy Now – Crown of Thorns Variegated – $48.50 on Amazon

 

Purple Shamrock (Oxalis Triangularis)

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You can eat these! Flower and all. It has an interesting citrus-like taste.

Care:

  • Water when the top inch is dry.
  • Will enjoy a western facing window.
  • Use a regular potting mix
  • Fertilize regularly
  • If the plant goes dormant (loses all leaves and flowers, appears to be dying), do not panic! Just stop watering, and wait for it to sprout new growth to resume watering. This is normal.

Buy Now – Oxalis Triangularis – $14.99 on Amazon

 

Want to learn the basics of indoor gardening? Check out these posts:

Everything You Need to Know About Water

Everything You Need to Know About Light

Everything You Need to Know About Soil

Everything You Need to Know About Fertilizer

Everything You Need to Know About Plant Pots

How to Repot Plants

How to Get Rid of Pests Naturally