Why Are Indoor Plants So Expensive?

Indoor plants are a great option for those that don’t have gardens or want to bring their garden inside. Many stores sell them already placed in lovely pots. However, these plants can get quite costly, and you may be thinking that the included pot isn’t enough of a justification.

Indoor plants are expensive because they are hard to grow and they are often rare species. Other reasons that increase the price of indoor plants are high demand, their size and quality, and the included flower pot. 

In this article, I will discuss the factors contributing to the high prices of indoor plants and some of the most expensive plants available. 

6 Reasons Why Indoor Plants Are So Expensive

In the 17th century, owning plants used to be a symbol of status. The more plants you had, the higher your status was. Having an abundance of plants was a sign of wealth you could show off to your neighbors.

Nowadays, it’s a little different, and owning plants has become more of a “trendy” thing. Common plants can be bought in numerous stores or online, and most people can afford them. 

Still, some indoor plants are still quite expensive. Let’s delve into some of the reasons why this is the case.

1. Supply and Demand

Supply and demand are among the most straightforward reasons indoor plants are so expensive. Having plants has become a popular hobby for newer generations. Sustainability has also become popular, so many more people are getting indoor gardens to have their own supply of spices.

Supply and demand affect prices because plants can’t be made on demand—they must be grown before they can be sold. The demand might grow substantially before sellers have time to grow enough plants, causing the prices to rise.

2. Hard To Grow

Some plants are simply tough to grow unless you’re an expert. If a plant is hard to grow, the grower will usually charge more. This higher price is justified in the fact that you probably wouldn’t be able to get this plant by yourself. You’re paying for the skills and experience the grower needed to grow a healthy plant.

Numerous types of plants only grow in specific areas of the world during a particular time of the year. This makes it impossible for them to grow anywhere else without special care and equipment. Other plants may only grow during a specific period of the year—sometimes as short as a month or two weeks. 

Like a rare clothing item or a limited edition action figure, the less available or easy it is to get something, the more expensive it becomes. This applies to indoor plants that are hard to grow—many people want the plant but don’t want to go through the hassle of growing the plant from a seed. 

3. Growing time

There’s another element that increases the difficulty of growing a plant: how long it takes to mature. If a plant takes many months to reach maturity—or at least grow enough to be sold—, that means the grower needs to put in more effort and materials. This added labor cost will translate into a higher price tag.

4. Quality of the Plant

The quality of the plant is also a key factor in its price. If the plant is of excellent quality, then the cost will reflect that. If the plant is shriveled and unhealthy, then sure, it’ll be cheaper, but you’ll be getting a plant that requires a lot of attention and will possibly die soon. 

When you want food or clothing of premium quality, you’ll have to pay more to have it. The same goes for plants.

5. Size of the Plant

The bigger the plant, the more expensive they are. Larger plants take more fertilizer and space to grow, which costs the seller and the grower money. Besides, larger plants are more susceptible to pests, so they require special care to remain healthy. They also need to be pruned more often than smaller plants.

Large plants are also known to live for longer, and some end up growing even bigger than when you bought them. This adds a lot of perceived value and makes them more expensive.

The effect of size on the price will greatly depend on the rarity of the plant. 

6. The Rarity of the Plant

If a plant is hard to come by, then the price will be higher than your common aloe vera, for example.

If a plant is widely available, it’s not considered rare and won’t cost as much. However, if a plant is rare and you can only get it at select stores or at specific times of the year, then the price will be significantly higher because of the demand.

Many people enjoy owning rare plants, and they are usually willing to pay for them.

7. Flower Pot

When purchasing an indoor plant, you have to remember that you’re also paying for the pot in which it comes. The pot is usually nice and may sometimes have a design. The fancier the pot, the higher its cost.

If the seller didn’t include the flower pot in the price, they wouldn’t be able to make a profit. Flower pots can go anywhere from a few dollars to forty dollars when bought alone.

Most Expensive Indoor Plants

Among indoor plants, there are a few species that stand out for their price. Let’s look at a few of them and see what makes them so valuable. 

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa

This plant is easily one of the most expensive and became extremely popular on social media in 2020. The Monstera has big, shiny, beautiful leaves. It comes in a variety of looks, but the most sought-after and expensive is the white and green patchy one.

This species of Monstera can cost as much as $750. For comparison, the regular Monstera deliciosa is only $20, so there’s quite a difference. This variety is so expensive due to the rarity of the white and green patches and its rising popularity on social media.

Alocasia Azlanii

The Alocasia azlanii is a scarce Malaysian plant that’s also called the Red Mambo. It is so rare that it’s hardly sold in stores or online. The Alocasia azlanii has stunning dark green leaves with beautiful pink, red, or purple veins showing through. 

Even though the plant is small, it costs around $550. The price makes more sense when you consider its unique look and that it’s extremely hard to find. 

Juliet Rose

The Juliet Rose is considered the most expensive flower in the world. One of the reasons for that is that it took 15 whole years to make this type of rose. They are a beautiful shade of pink, and the flowers look like they aren’t real because of how their petals overlap to form the perfect shape. 

If you had your hopes up on getting your hands on one of these, you might want to reconsider unless you’re a millionaire. The Juliet Rose was sold at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2006 for 15.8 million dollars. It is impossible to purchase these anywhere, and they don’t live long either. 

Gold of Kinabalu Orchid

This orchid is one of the rarest in the world—it only grows in a very specific place on earth. The orchid is produced in the Kinabalu National Park in Malaysia and only grows for one month. 

It can take several years for the orchid to bloom, but when it does, it offers a beautiful spectacle. The flower has deep green leaves with red spots. The Gold of Kinabalu Orchid can be sold for $5000 per flower.

Final Thoughts

Indoor plants are expensive for various reasons. Sometimes it’s mainly due to supply and demand, as owning plants has become trendy. You also have to consider that the plant usually comes in a lovely flower pot ready to go. 

The price can also go up due to the rarity and uniqueness of the plant, Some plants are extremely hard to grow, and this is reflected in their price tag.
Most of the time, indoor plants will be expensive because of a combination of all of these reasons.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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