It’s not just prices of designer bags and luxury watches that are soaring. As most plant enthusiasts would have observed, the price tags for rare and exotic plants have also been on the climb. Some unusual plant variants from local retailers like Rabbit Island are even going for as high as $2,800 to $3,800.
As Edmund Lam, exotic plant collector and owner of e-plant store Miniaturland shares, plant prices are very much affected by demand and supply − just like the stock market.
“Demand increased exponentially during the pandemic lock-down when more people began home gardening and started hunting for more exotic plants to fill their collections,” says Lam. “Some exotic plants are slow in their growth and hard to propagate, resulting in an astronomical price increase.”
However, Koh Wan Ting, founder of plant store A Tilly A Day, observes that not all exotic plants are going up in price. As she notes, prices of uncommon tillandsia and succulents have fallen due to an increased supply in the local and overseas market.
“Prices are going up mainly for the aroids: plants from the family of Araceae such as aglaonemas, monsteras, philodendrons and alocasias,” she says. “Due to international demand, the prices of some aroids are increasing because the supply cannot meet this demand.”
She notes how prices of aroids with variegated leaves can cost thousands of dollars, with other contributing factors being their rarity and slow growth.
“Variegated plants are caused by random or genetic mutation, and plants with variegated leaves tend to grow slower due to less chlorophyll in some of the plant tissue,” she elaborates.
With that in mind, the plant experts give us their tips on what’s hot now, what to buy and which exotic plants will be trending in future.