As Instagram has shown, everybody seems to love houseplants right now. From succulents to Aloe vera, we can’t seem to get enough of all that green. And, according to Horticulture Week, we haven’t yet hit ‘peak houseplant’, which means there’s still time to get on the bandwagon if you haven’t already.
On my Weird & Wacky Tour, I talk about all sorts of plants – from those which have crazy super powers to those which look a little too freaky to be real. But, which weird and wacky plants can be grown in your own home? Below, I take a look at ten unusual houseplants for you to nurture in your humble abode…
1. Dionaea muscipula – Murder plant
You’ve probably seen these by the till at your local garden centre, or in the plant section of a certain Swedish furniture store. The Murder Plant (Venus Fly Trap) is possibly the most famous of the insect eaters, and it’s very easy to grow at home!
Remember it doesn’t have a big appetite, in fact only a few insects per year is enough for this plant. It catches its own prey in order to supplement the poor mineral soils it grows on in the wild. So when you grow this plant at home, hold that fertiliser!
2. Bryophyllum daigremontiana – Chandelier plant
This amazing plant grows tiny clone plants on its leaves – and it’s seriously easy to maintain as a houseplant! The Chandelier Plant, or Mexican Hat plant, thrives at room temperature in indirect light with moderate watering.
Like all succulents, it can tolerate drier conditions, so it won’t cease to exist if you forget about it for a few days…!
3. Codariocalyx motorius – The Dancing Plant
If you’ve got kids, they’ll love the talents of the dancing plant! Each small leaflet moves to make sure it gets maximum sunlight, making it look as if it’s trying to dance.
The leaflets also react to vibrations and sound, so you could sing to this plant and it would dance for you!
4. Ananas comosus – Pineapple
A portion of this delicious fruit makes up 58% of your daily intake of vitamin C, and you can grow it yourself (you don’t need to be in Hawaii!)
Just slice off the crown of a fully grown pineapple and remove the leaves, then leave the stalk to dry before planting it. Water as normal until it roots, then repot!
5. Drosera – Sundew
Another carnivorous plant, you’ll find yourself fascinated by your Sundew and the way it ensnares it’s prey. If you’re growing a Sundew at home indoors, it’ll only need a few insects per month. Once the poor unsuspecting insect is trapped, the whole leaf curls up to digest it… ewwww! Keep your plants well-watered and place in an area with lots of light.
6. Lithops – Living stones
If you’re a sucker for succulents, these Living Stones will suit you nicely. They mimic real stones, and can actually receive the light they need through their ‘solar panels’!
A container with cactus potting mix is preferred, and an area with lots of light. Make sure the soil dries out before you water it, and add a diluted fertiliser if you want to encourage flowering.
7. Selaginella lepidophylla – Resurrection plant
This amazing plant is able to survive for periods of time without water by curling up into a ball! In it’s native Mexico, plants tumble around the desert for months on end, until the next rainy season.
It’a a fun novelty houseplant for kids to grow, and it takes just a few hours for plants to bounce back to life. So, yes, finally, a houseplant that you CAN forget to water!
8. Stapelia gigantea – Carrion flower
The Stapelia gigantea has a huge gaping bloom, 12 inches across. When this bloom appears it can be a very exciting event, making it a really fulfilling plant to grow at home. However, watch out for the smell. The sight, and smell, of this plant is designed to attract pollinating insects, who think it’s rotting meat…
If you’re located in a warm climate, this plant can be grown outside. If not, it’s best suited to an indoor area with full sun, and only needs a moderate amount of water during its growing season.
9. Tacca chantrierei – Bat plant
This super creepy plant is a great conversation starter. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a group of plant geeks as friends, your regular friends probably won’t have seen a Bat Plant before!
Whilst growing your Bat Plant, keep it away from cold temperatures, but make sure it’s in a shady location (after all, bats prefer darkness!) The soil should be moist, but never soggy – so make sure it has good drainage at all times.
10. Monilaria obconica – Bunny ears succulent
Ever so popular in Asia, the bunny ears succulent is a very cute plant which is excellent for windowsill placement. Water regularly in summer and allow the soil to dry out between drinks. Ensure the plant receives lots of light for those little bunny ears to grow to their full length.
What’s your favourite unusual houseplant? Let me know in the comments section, or come find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
The Compulsive Gardener
… I have never seen the Bat Plant in my life and I have a horrible feeling this is the end of all other plants for me…