juvenile Anthurium crystallinum 'Silver Blush' in a 5cm nursery pot

Top Ten Tropical Houseplants That Are Actually Affordable!

Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, we all watched in frustration as the cost of houseplants soared to an all-time high. Once attainable plants were suddenly worth triple figures...and some plant prices became straight-up laughable – I saw plants go for thousands in auction. BUT thankfully, as plants become more widely available, private sellers and small businesses (like us) begin to sell clippings of rare plants at a lower price point, lowering the value of certain plants over time. This isn’t always the case, as with the Monstera ‘Sport’ (the species with aurea variegation) as they are still fairly unattainable unless you find someone willing to sell you a clipping from their personal collection.


In this market, things can change very quickly, and equally a sudden increase in demand can cause prices to soar again. SO...if you’ve been on the lookout for any of the plants I’m about to mention, then now is the time to buy. All of the plants in this list will be under £40, ranging from £3 - £35 (based on prices I have seen over the last few weeks in mainstream plant shops and via online selling platforms).


1. Scindapsus Pictus ‘Silvery Ann

If you’re yet to begin your Scindapsus journey, the ‘Silvery Ann’ may be the plant to win you over. Scindapsus have a distinct asymmetrical, teardrop leaf shape with a pointed tip. As the name would suggest, the foliage of the ‘Silvery Ann’ has a sparkly, silver texture. It makes a fabulous trailing plant – the sparkly leaves create a kind of natural glitterball effect (especially when they catch the sunlight). They’re also easy-care, requiring similar care to Epipremnum and being tolerant of lower indirect light. This plant was never outrageously priced, but as we’re starting to see them more and more in mainstream plant shops and garden centres, they’ve become even more affordable. You can get your hands on a nice full pot of this for around £20 (sometimes less).


2. Syngonium ‘Albo’

 After the Monstera ‘Albo’ obsession, people have become a lot more interested in albo (white) variegated plants. Syngonium ‘Albo’ is a stunning example of this, producing leaves with unpredictable variegation that is really interesting to watch grow. Syngoniums are fantastic for people who are less confident with tropical plant care, as they are generally not as fussy about humidity once they’ve passed the juvenile stage. The one thing to watch out with for this one is not to burn the sensitive areas of white variegation, but to make sure you’re providing adequate light to the plant to maintain bright variegation and prevent plant reversion. Currently, you can get clippings of these for £10 or less [if you want to go this route then check out my previous blog post on how to root Syngonium ‘Albo’ successfully] or you can get established plants for as little as £20.


3. Philodendron ‘Melanochrysum’

There was a time when tiny one-leaf Melanochrysum clippings were going for £40 a pop...AND they were selling the moment that sellers posted them on Facebook marketplace. It was actually difficult for us to get our hands on some last year when everyone was after one. Yet today, you can get medium one leaf clippings for £3-£5. Just last week I’ve started to see larger plant sellers listing huge specimens with six-inch-long mega mature leaves for £29! Melanochrysum can take a while to size up its leaves, so opting for a mature specimen now would be a smart move if you’re yet to add one of these bad boys to your collection.

4. Epipremnum Pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’

Commonly known as ‘Cebu Blue’ Pothos, this plant is a must-have for all you silver foliage lovers! The blue-tinted, elongated leaves make for a stunning trailing or climbing plant – and if you let it climb a moss pole and mature it can produce fenestrations. When ‘Cebu Blue’ entered into the plant world, it could be quite expensive and difficult to source. Now you can get large trailing baskets of it for £29, or a small clipping for around £5-£7.


5. Anthurium ‘Black Love’ 

This species of Anthurium is so underrated, I barely ever see anyone talking about it! Yet, it’s one of our best-selling plants...because they are so unique and gothic and urgh look at it go! Excuse me while I take in those amazing flowers – wow... They’re similar to the red-flowered version that you commonly see in garden centres, but they have much darker foliage and produce rich black flowers that remind me of spilled oil (hence the nick-name “Oilcloth flower”). We’ve sold small plants of these for £3 - £5, and I’ve seen medium plants go for around £15.


6. Epipremnum Pinnatum ‘Dark Blue Form’ 

We all love a good Epipremnum (aka Pothos plant). They don’t ask much of us and they can grow as trailing or climbing plants depending on your preference. Although Epipremnum Pinnatum grows slower than other types of Epipremnum, I personally find the Pinnatum to be more visually appealing. This form is one for all the dark foliage lovers, with elongated pointed leaves that really make a statement. Currently, you can get a small to medium plant for around £10 - £15.


7. Anthurium Crystallinum ‘Silver Blush’

Back when Instagram was obsessed with large-veined Anthuriums, these could fetch quite the pretty penny. Now, you can get baby plants from most UK garden centres for around £12, and I’ve seen them even cheaper online. I frequently post about mine on our Insta because she is just breath-taking! I’ll never get tired of the sparkly, silver veins – plus, mine is getting more variegated with each new leaf.

8. Philodendron ‘White Princess’ 

The cousin of the ever-popular Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’, the ‘White Princess’ boasts glossy, wide leaves with swirls, speckles and/or patches of white depending on the level of albo variegation. Some plant shops are still trying to sell these at extortionate prices, but if you have a look around on Facebook marketplace, Etsy, and some other online shops, you can find decent sized plants for £30 or less, whereas previously people were selling the larger plants for £75 - £200 depending on size.


9. Rhaphidophora ‘Tetrasperma’ 

Known commonly as the Monstera Minima due to its resemblance to the Monstera ‘Deliciosa’ (though it isn’t actually a Monstera at all), the Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma is a super fast-growing vining plant. When these get going, they grow like a weed, making them really good value for money. There’s a whole range of interesting things you can do with this plant to give your home that extra Jungle vibe. Why not train it to climb your walls? Or climb an XXL moss pole? Or endlessly propagate it so you can have one in every room? OR...all of the above. The average price for a medium pot of this is £15, or you can get a decent clipping for around £3 (once it gets settled in to its new environment it will grow really fast anyway).


10. Monstera ‘Standleyana’

I’ve never understood why people don’t go mad for the ‘Standleyana’ like they do for Monstera ‘Albo’. Firstly, it grows like an absolute beast! Secondly, the white variegation can present in a number of ways (similar to the actual Monstera ‘Albo’ plant), including speckling, sectoral, half-moon, etc. When you propagate them, they have a tendency to branch off and grow from multiple growth points, creating a fuller plant. The leaves are elongated and stand out to me amongst other species in the Monstera genus. They also make quite the statement on a moss pole. If you prefer yellow variegation, there’s also an aurea species of ‘Standleyana’, but it can be more pricey. You can get a medium pot of the albo variety for £30, or you can get a clipping for around £7/8. 

I hope I’ve helped you find the next (affordable) tropical plant for your indoor jungle! Happy gardening.

 - Sofi

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