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Weird and Wonderful Houseplants

March 14, 2024
Written by The Eising Team

Whether you’re just starting to explore the world of unusual plants, or you’re already an avid collector, there are a wide array of weird and wonderful houseplants to satisfy your quest for something a little different. 

Tropical plants and houseplants come in every shape, size, texture, and colour imaginable, plus some you would never have imagined! 

Exotic houseplants often have striking appearances which make them valuable as eye-catching focal points in your decor. The range of distinctive features can also make them a natural choice to express your personality and style. 

Like your more common houseplants, unusual varieties can also contribute to indoor air quality, as well as the overall benefits to your well-being that come with having living plants in the home.

The unique characteristics of rare or unusual houseplants often have interesting backgrounds. Learning about their natural habitats and origins only makes them more intriguing! 

Here are some wild and wonderful houseplants that will add interesting foliage, blooms, or both to your home right now!

Pitcher Plant

A rare and exotic group of tropical plants with pitcher-shaped leaves that are carnivorous. That’s right, they eat insects to obtain the nutrients they need! This means that with most varieties you do not have to fertilize them. Most are happy catching a bug or two for food. 

Keep this plant from drying out completely between waterings by temporarily placing it in a water-filled tray to absorb moisture through the roots. Remove the pot from the tray once it’s saturated, and allow the excess water to drain away. Pitcher plants prefer pure, mineral-free water like rainwater. No tap water for these precious prima donnas! 

One Pitcher Plant variety that we love is Miranda (aka Nepenthes x Miranda). From tropical Malaysia, it is a very large pitcher plant with attractive spotted pitchers that can be over 18” wide when fully mature. Because of its size, it is quite effective at catching larger insects like wasps. It’s easy to grow, either in a sunny window or outdoors (only in the summer) and is heat tolerant but not drought tolerant. 

ZZ Plants

Native to East Africa, Zamioculcas zamiifolia is also known as the houseplant ZZ, or Zanzibar Gem. While the name is complicated, this plant is not fussy at all, making it great for beginners! ZZ will thrive in almost any lighting conditions except direct sunlight, plus it is drought tolerant so you can allow it to dry out between waterings.


The biggest attraction to the Zanzibar Gem though is its thick, dark green and glossy leaves that almost look fake! If that sounds intriguing, hang on. There’s more!

Black Raven ZZ is a new variation with stunningly dramatic black-toned leaves. Unique to be sure, but luckily with the same low care requirements!


There are so many weird and wonderful varieties of cacti that come in all shapes and sizes! These sun-loving plants require little care, but here are a couple of tips that will keep them looking sharp. (Ouch!). 

  1. Give their pot a little turn each day so that your plant is eventually exposed to light on all sides. This saves you from having a lopsided cactus. 
  2. Water is essential but monitor how often your cacti need it. In the winter, when they’re dormant, they will need less water. Let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Using room-temperature rainwater is ideal. Tap water contains minerals which can disrupt the flow of nutrients to the cactus. Water it well, then allow the excess moisture to drain away rather than pool under the plant. Cacti don’t necessarily need fertilizer, but they do welcome a feeding during their summer growing season. We can help you choose a fertilizer that’s been specially formulated for cactus to ensure the proper nutrient ratio.

A few varieties of cacti that we love are: 

  • Monkey Tail (Hildewintera colademonosis)
  • Boobie (Myrtillocactus Geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku)
  • Spiral (Cereus forbesii Spiralis)  

With their evocative names and exotic shapes, cacti are so much fun to grow! And don’t be surprised if the kids want to have a few to call their own.  

Stop by Eising Greenhouses and see what we have in store. While you’re here, say hello to Courtney who is always happy to talk about unusual houseplants!

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