Two rare houseplants in a collage

Unusual house plants: 9 unique and rare plants to add a splash of excitement to any room

Posted by for Plants

Are you bored of seeing hundreds of snake plants on your Instagram feed? These unusual, eye-catching house plants offer something new.

As much as we love a good monstera deliciosa or snake plant, they have taken up more than their fair share of Instagram real estate over the last couple of years. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing – they’re popular for a reason, after all – sometimes it’s nice to mix things up and opt for something unique.

Thanks to the number of plant shops around these days, the variety of unique and rare plants available to buy online and instore is on the up. Whether you’re after striking colours or eye-catching shapes and patterns, you’re sure to find something to suit your taste.

It’s worth noting, however, that owning an unusual or rare plant doesn’t come easy. On top of the fact that most of these plants tend to be a bit more difficult to care for than your bog-standard succulent, they tend to be a bit more expensive, too.

However, if you’re ready to give your new leafy friend all the love, care and attention it needs to thrive, owning an unusual or rare plant can be a great way to stretch yourself and learn more about plant care along the way. And on an aesthetic level, unusual plants tend to be more eye-catching and exciting to look at, making them the perfect addition to your home.

Tempted yet? Without further ado, here’s our pick of seven unusual house plants to add a unique touch to your home. 

  • Syngonium Neon

    Patch Plants Syngonium Neon
    Unusual houseplants: Syngonium Neon.

    If you were to picture a houseplant, one of the last colours you’d likely think of is a soft, dusty pink. But this beautiful syngonium neon defies all expectations.

    Famous for its arrow-shaped leaves, this plant can be kept as a pot plant or grown as a trailing vine depending on your space. Keep it happy by supplying bright, indirect light, daily mistings and semi-regular waterings. 

    Shop Syngonium Neon at Patch Plants, £16

  • Polka Dot Begonia

    Polka Dot Begonia from The Stem
    Unusual houseplants: Polka Dot Begonia.

    The Polka Dot Begonia’s (begonia maculata) cartoonish white spots are so striking it’s hard to believe they aren’t manmade. 

    A relative of melons, pumpkins and cucumbers, this tropical plant also boasts leaves with a deep red underside, and will grow flowers if you look after it well.

    To keep it happy, position it in indirect light and let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings.

    Shop Polka Dot Begonia at The Stem, £18

  • Watch Chain Plant

    Happy Houseplants Watch Chain Plant
    Unusual houseplants: Watch Chain Plant.

    If you’re a fan of succulents, the eye-catching watch chain plant could be just what you’re looking for. With its alien-like stems and dark colouring, this plant would certainly spice up any bare shelves or counters you’ve got lying around.

    And best of all, it’s really easy to care for. It likes bright indirect light but will also do well in a sunnier spot (just not direct sun), and can cope with drying out between waterings. It’s also super easy to propagate, if you fancy a challenge.

    Shop Watch Chain Plant at Happy Houseplants, £14.99 

  • Caladium Party Punch

    Caladium Party Punch
    Unusual houseplants: Caladium Party Punch.

    Caladiums come in many colours, and this ‘party punch’ variety is one of the brightest of the bunch. Known for its fine, heart-shaped leaves, this plant is sure to catch the eyes of your guests.

    To keep your caladium happy, make sure it is situated in a bright spot in the home (the colour of the leaves fades when it doesn’t get enough light) and gets regular waterings (they enjoy slightly moist soil). You might also consider giving it a mist.

    Shop Caladium Party Punch at Patch Plants, £65 

  • Elephant Ear Plant

    Leaf Envy Elephant Ear Plant
    Unusual houseplants: Elephant Ear Plant.

    Between its large, deep green leaves and zebra-striped stems, it’s hard not to fall in love with the elephant ear plant (alocasia zebrina). It’s eye-catching nature is what makes this plant so special – it’s the perfect choice for someone looking for a plant that’s going to make an impact.

    To look after your elephant ear plant, give it lots of bright (but not direct) light and keep its soil moist. You might also want to give it a mist a couple of times every week to ensure its leaves remain nice and fresh.

    Shop Elephant Ear Plant at Leaf Envy, £34

  • String Of Coins

    String of Coins from Happy Houseplants
    Unusual houseplants: String Of Coins.

    The contrast between the bright green, coin-shaped leaves and the striking red-brown undersides and stalks are what make the rare string of coins (peperomia pepperspot) so special. The leaves of this plant are also quite easy to propogate, meaning you can grow lots of little plants if your heart so desires.

    The best bit? It’s not too difficult to look after – it generally prefers things on the drier side, so it’s OK if you forget to water it every so often.

    Shop String Of Coins at Happy Houseplants, £19.99

  • Jade Necklace

    Jade Necklace plant
    Unusual houseplants: Jade Necklace.

    This hanging succulent is known for its unique vines and small, star-shaped flowers – the latter of which it can produce all year round.

    Keeping your jade necklace alive is very easy too. Light-wise, it likes lots of bright light (occasionally, it can even cope with direct sunlight), and it’s fine with its soil drying out between waterings.

    Shop Jade Necklace at Beards & Daisies, £26 

  • Pygmy Pineapple Plant

    Bloombox Club Pygmy Pineapple
    Unusual houseplants: Pygmy Pineapple.

    You can’t get more unusual than a mini-pineapple, right? The beautiful pygmy pineapple plant (ananas comosus ‘amigo’) may produce fruits that are smaller and bitterer than the ones we get in the supermarkets, but its long, voluminous leaves and tropical appeal make it perfect for adding a bit of excitement to any room.

    The pygmy pineapple plant also happens to be rather easy-going when it comes to care – just chop off any brown leaves, keep it in indirect light and water it every so often and it’ll give you lots of love.

    Shop Pygmy Pineapple Plant at Bloombox Club, £26.95

  • Asparagus Fern

    Asparagus Fern at Patch Plants
    Unusual houseplants: Asparagus Fern.

    If you fancy growing your own mini-forest from your living room, pick yourself up an asparagus fern (asparagus setaceus). The dainty stems and intricate fronds are incredibly beautiful to look at – just make sure you don’t touch it too much, as it causes its leaves to turn brown.

    Keep your asparagus fern happy by leaving it in moderate shade or soft light and keeping its soil nice and moist. It’ll also enjoy an occasional misting if it’s not in a bathroom environment.

    Shop Asparagus Fern at Patch Plants, £10

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.