The Most Expensive Houseplant Ever Sold…

The most expensive houseplant ever sold was a centuries-old White Pine Bonsai that fetched 100,000,000 yen (approximately $1.3 million US) at the Asia-Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention & Exhibition in Takamatsu, Japan in 2011.

Photo by Ala J Graczyk on

The above photo is an example of a beautiful bonsai piece – but not the one that sold for the astronomical sum of 100,000,000 yen.

That makes the much talked about Rhapidophora Tetrasperma (more commonly known as a mini monstera) that sold online in New Zealand seem cheap by comparison!

Listed on Trade Me Marketplace the ad read as follows:

Very rare white variegated Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma.

This plant has 8 leaves with the 9th just about to uncurl. Each leaf has excellent variegation as does the stem and is well rooted in a 14cm pot.

Shipping can be arranged but pick up is preferred.

No trades, cuttings or buy now.

trade me marketplace

And bid they did! The ad received over 100,000 views, was added to 1,600 watchlists and received 248 bids before being sold for a whopping $27,100 NZD – which worked out to just over $3,000 per leaf.

When it comes to plants and pricing, it is all about supply and demand. Tulip bulbs used to be worth more than gold but now can be had by the dozens for a few bucks.

The thrifty plant enthusiast bides their time and buys the botanical offering that both catches their eye and whispers friendly numbers to their pocketbook.

I love shopping at nurseries, yet almost all of my own plants found their way into my shopping cart at our local grocery store. They keep a small but quickly changing display in the produce area, with a surprising assortment, all for $4.99 CDN each. I only buy one or two a month, but it is amazing how quickly the house has filled up with greenery.

In the end it isn’t about how hard the plant is to find, how rare it is, or how much it costs. It’s simply how much you like sharing space with it, that makes it valuable.


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