13 Rare and Unusual Houseplants To Grow


Are you looking for a flamboyant yet rare plant variety for your indoor garden? Do you want to explore some unusual houseplants? 

I am here to spoil you with everything, from cacti to succulent, it is a wealth of choice when it comes to rare houseplants. Even I was done with bonsai and basil, and I then went on to exotic species for my indoor garden. 

So if you want to move beyond basic ivy for your kitchen and living room, you can try fire-stick cactus or maybe desert rose for a change. The rare houseplants are mostly exotic species, but if you think they are high maintenance as well, you are not right. 

Thanks to the internet, you can now cultivate a South African or Indonesian species with no fuss. Check out 13 Rare and Unusual Houseplants To Grow that exists all around the globe! 

1. Jewel Orchid

Jewel Orchid or Macodes petola is an exotic species that is a native to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia and it is often cultivated. It is one of the few genera belonging to the breathtaking orchid family. The bright leaves resemble a night sky with stars and you can imagine how amazing it looks. 

Those vined foliages, velvety texture, and yellow stripes come with an electric glow that can make your eye pop in wonder. The name jewel comes from the fact that the leaves sparkle like a gem when light is reflected. 

It is a healthy growing plant, that can sustain warm to cool temperatures. It can grow up to 18 inches and is likely to spread in your garden. 

2. Cement Leaf Plant

It is not a plant, but a succulent that is a rare species and one can drool over it any day. With a botanic name of Titanopsis calcarea, it is also called jewel leaf or carpet leaf. It doesn’t boost prominent leaf structures but is full of beautiful basal rosettes with very few blueish-green leaves at the base of the plant.

This fleshy succulent need rocky soil to grow and has a high light requirement. It can also bloom beautiful flowers during the winter season. They are mostly bright yellow because of the sunny succulent and so, sunny flowers! 

3. Venus Flytrap

A well-known carnivorous plant, Venus Flytrap can make you believe that it is always more than pretty flowers. The southeastern United States native is also known as Dionaea muscipula and unfortunately, it is often misunderstood due to its creepy name. 

The low-green green rosettes are fleshy and the top of the leaves contains a bristly trap that is easily triggered by insects. It takes a week or more for the bait to get digested and once done, the trap opens again.  

It can raise eyebrows due to curiosity if added to your houseplants collection and it is exciting, isn’t it? 

4. Desert Rose

I don’t know how this prettiness is not one of the popular choices when it comes to houseplants. Perfect for a novice gardener, desert roses are Arabian natives that require warm temperatures to survive. It has resemblance with a bonsai except for the swollen trunk and beautiful flowers. 

This tropical species thrive for higher temperatures, bright light and cannot survive in frost. You must take care of the watering routine and you will see the plant smiling. Also, a southern window exposure would be enough for the rose-like blooms which are nothing less than architectural marvels for plants! 

5. Dolphin Succulent Plant

If you want to add something adorable to your home garden, this dolphin plant would be perfect. Dolphin succulent plant belongs to string succulent that trail and do not have much height. The leaves look like tiny dolphins jumping towards the sky!

The fleshy, green leaves are thinner in the base and wider at the top with dolphin tips. They are extremely popular in Japan, obviously for its cuteness and convenient growing techniques. These little buddies need ample bright light, but no direct light for them, please! 

6. Coffee Plant

Again, not popular in terms of houseplants, yet I love it so much. Coffee arabica is one of a kind species belonging to the gardenia and is an African and tropical Asian native. They have this soothing, light aroma emerging from the red berries and I can devour them any day! 

The red berries are preceded by white flowers which do have an amazing fragrance. The glossy and attractive foliages enjoy warm and humid conditions. They respond to bright light and it is very easy to maintain as well. If the berries are ripe enough, they can end up in your coffee mug as well! 

7. Valentine Hoya

As the name suggests, this one could be a good valentine gift for your beloved. Hoya kerri is a Hoya species which is of south-east Asian origin. They are very much similar to the lucky bamboo as the leaves are of heart-shaped and can be used as an emblem of love. 

This romantic succulent has green, fleshy leaves and is said to bring good luck to your love life. Sweetheart plant loves the sun and enjoys watering only once or twice a month. The plants also bloom pretty flowers once a year as a bonus! 

8. Living Stones

This one could top the unusual houseplants category any day because why not? These are flowering stones with interesting shapes that blend in with rocks due to their resemblance. Also known as Lithops, there are 37 species all over the world and they look alike. 

The plant has a variety of colors from pink to gray and they stay flush to the ground. The leaves are sometimes alone or several fused. Once mature enough, these little stones can bloom yellow daisy-like flowers. It is a conversation-worthy addition, don’t you think? 

9. Red Mistletoe Cactus

Nothing less than a showstopper, it is hardy but an eye-candy due to its vibrant foliage and unusual after blooms. Also, know as Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa, red mistletoe cactus is an epiphytic succulent with graceful stems that freely grow and have stunning small white blooms along the edges. 

Being native to tropical regions, mistletoe cactus require warm conditions and partial shade to grow well. It needs bright light and the color intensifies with the right amount of light. Those white blooms change to tiny, white ball-like fruits, lining the branch edges and providing an exotic appeal, all round the year! 

10. Wax Plant

Hoya carnosa earned its common name from those striking foliages that are thick, glossy, and waxy. A wax plant is not a succulent but has a climbing nature if supported. They also grow well in containers, so if you are a novice gardener, this could be a good choice. 

The fleshy leaves can grow up to 4-inches with bright light and minimal water. They also hold exquisite flowers during the Summer, and one can easily mistake it for fake flowers due to their distinctive and attractive features. Those blossoms can be pink or white or both, and trust me, they look more than awesome!  

11. Fire Pencil Cactus

Belonging to the pencil cactus family, these are indigenous to Africa and is a hydrocarbon plant. With the orange-yellow hue and tall shape, this particular species is called fire pencil cactus as they resemble fire-sticks. 

It has thick, white saps and also called milk bush. Like any other cactus species, these are hardy and low maintenance. The latex is poisonous and it can cause blindness, and it must be out of reach for your pets. Bring them home to enhance your garden with its ravishing red color! 

12. Corkscrew Plant

Small stature and big looks, yes, this is how one can describe the corkscrew plants. Albuca spiralis is a South African native that has unique spiral edges on the top of thick green leaves. The eye-catching foliage can grow up to 12-inches during the winter months. 

The knots or spirals are attractive and the degree of twisting is mainly dependent on the amount of light it receives. More light, more twisting. That’s not all. The thick leaves can also bear fragrant flowers with helicopter shapes and striking vanilla essence. With or without the flowers, corkscrew leaves can achieve your attention with ease! 

13. Climbing Onion

Since I am talking about rare species, Bowiea volubilis or climbing onion is old-looking and bulbous as well. It has perennial and succulent plant genes and can thrive in neglect. They are also compared to pregnant onions due to the bulbous base, which I find attractive. 

They have frothy strands of foliage and bear delicate yellowish-green flowers during the Winter and late Spring months. The plant is in a dormant state during fall and recovers in late winter. It is a convenient houseplant since it can survive a wide variety of environments. Just give them a small trellis to support and you will see the thin leaves blushing! 

These plants can make your interiors look heavenly and let you establish the much needed green thumb with lots of creativity. So why wait? Get ready to boast your extraordinary rare houseplants collection!


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