Does the Price of a Houseplant Make You Anxious?

by | Feb 19, 2020 | 10 comments

Houseplants are the hottest commodity right now, especially for independent garden centers. Though big box stores are also cashing in on the houseplant craze, I feel if you are looking for the unusual, your local IGC is the place to go. Of course, the internet also has its share of people selling unusual plants. No matter where you buy your unique plant, most likely you may be paying an astronomical amount of money for your plant. The prices of unusual houseplants are crazy!

'Pink Princess' Philodendron

This ‘Pink Princess’ philodendron was $150.00.

Buying the unusual

The temptation to buy an unusual houseplant is real. I should know. I’ve been buying houseplants for over 30 years. There are ones I wanted so badly, but the prices were prohibitive. I remember when I first saw the ‘Pink Princess’ philodendron, I was in love. I actually printed out a picture of it and put it on my husband’s pillow with “I want this” printed on it. It didn’t happen. It was $230 and this was many years ago. When I finally got one, it was given to me by a company my husband buys plants from for his garden center. I can be honest with you-I killed it. So I am really happy I didn’t buy the one that was hundreds of dollars.

Variegated 'Whale's Fin' sansevieria

I HAD TO HAVE this variegated ‘Whale’s Fin’ sansevieria.

What I did buy

I also lusted after a variegated monstera (it has always been one of my favorites) at a local IGC, also many, many years ago but it was also over $200. I did find one for under $75 and bought it. I had if for many years, but it, unfortunately, passed away. It just started deteriorating and finally died. I should have paid more attention, but if I remember correctly, I had teenagers at the time and I was busy. The sansevieria above is a new acquisition. I LOVE sansevieria and have quite a few species, but have been wanting one of these variegated ‘Whale’s Fin’ ever since I saw it online. When a local IGC owner came back from the Tropical Plant show in Florida he brought a lot of new plants and this was one. It was under $75. This one is mine. The ‘Yellowstone’ below is also mine and was $50.

So, as you can see  I’ve spent my share of money on houseplants.

Sansevieria 'Yellowstone'

Sansevieria ‘Yellowstone”

Hoya kalimantan

This Hoya kalimantan was $99.99.

What does that price do to your ?

So the point of this post is to find out if those prices, first of all, keep you from buying the plant? But, if you buy the plant, does it make you anxious because you have spent so much money on the plant? Do you still enjoy growing the plant knowing if you kill it, because we all kill plants, (at least I do) that you have lost a lot of money? Do you look at it as an expensive mistake? Or glass half full, an expensive learning experience? I want to know your thoughts. Do you pay more attention to your plant, knowing it was an investment and may have cost you a large part of your paycheck?

'Thai Constellation' monstera

This ‘Thai Constellation’ monstera was $250.00 for an 8″ pot.


This ‘Thai Constellation’ monstera above was $250 and later they received larger pots of it that were $599.99. Believe me, when I tell you they are selling them. When I was there I wanted the variegated ZZ $149.99, the Philodendron ‘Birkin’ $99.99, and the variegated ‘Whale’s Fin’ which I bought. I resisted the rest, for now.

'Florida Beauty' philodendron

I do not remember the price of this ‘Florida Beauty’ philodendron, but I think it was around $100.

'Red Heart' philodendron

This ‘Red Heart’ philodendron was amazing, but I don’t remember the price.

Spathiphyllum 'Jessica'

Spathiphyllum ‘Jessica’ It was $60.00…it was tempting, but I left it behind.

Prices will come down

Luckily, the prices will eventually come down. Remember when the colorful aglaonemas were $40-50? Now this gorgeous one below is only $20. So, the good news is, if you have patience, you may be able to afford the plant you want.

'Golden Flourite" Aglaonema

This Aglaonema ‘Golden Flourite’ is a beautiful plant

So, let’s discuss this. Does the price of the plants make you anxious? Or are you just ecstatic that you finally have the plant you wanted, no matter the cost? No anxiety at all, just happiness. Or are you going to patiently wait until they are more affordable? Tell me in the comments.

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  1. Julie Topping

    I generally have a $30 limit on plants and a $10 limit on cuttings. If it’s something on my wishlist I may go up to $70 for a small plant and $30 for a rooted cutting. It’s about priorities for me. I would rather have a so-called common plant that is well-cared for than a unicorn plant I can’t keep going. Plants are an investment. But that’s just me. Others feel differently, and I don’t hold it against anyone for buying the $600 thai constellation. I just can’t do it!

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      I could not spend that much, either, Julie. I have never spent more than $75 on one plant. Now, when I go to the African violet show, I may spend more than that collectively or to an orchid show.

  2. Shari Harniss

    I can’t imagine paying lots of money for a house plant. It makes zero sense to me. Sort of like when people ‘have’ to have the latest phone. Hundreds to thousands of dollars for what?
    We are to be good stewards of our money. I would rather have the money in the bank when the bottom drops out, or when a vacation to FL pops up.

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      I have paid quite a bit for a plant, Shari, or a collection of plants at plant shows. Money in the bank is definitely a good idea.

  3. Ann S.

    I’d rather buy some more ordinary plants in 4″ pots and try to grow them. But although I’ve had a few houseplants for years, just in the past year I’ve gone more nuts over them, so in a way I feel like a newbie.

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      I feel the same way! There are so many new hybrids, I can’t keep up! The “ordinary” plants are still my favorites. Thanks for your comments. Lisa

  4. Jenni

    I generally do not spend more than $25 on a plant. I can’t justify it as I’m just now becoming a plant-a-holic. I’m also learning what is worth the money & what isn’t. I don’t have the time or patience to helicopter parent some plants so I tend to stick with what is easiest to care for.

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Jenni,
      All good thoughts. Start with the easiest and work your way up to harder plants. It isn’t worth it to spend a bunch of money and lose the plant. Thanks!

  5. T.Z.

    Although I never spend more than $25 for a plant on my wishlist, I broke that rule a couple months ago. I found 3 remaining 4” pots of “raven” zz plant at a big box store. I didn’t want to wait for a large full pot of them to grow, so I swooped down and snatched them at $50!!! Yes, I’m watching this plant very carefully, viewing YouTube tutorials and using a water meter and awaiting a lush tall floor plant in the coming months. Now I’m waiting for the variegated whale fin and Twisted Sister snake plants to come down in price!

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi T.Z.,
      That is a good idea. And all the plants are coming down in price eventually when there are more of them to sell. Stay strong and you will get the plants you want at a decent price.


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