Best unusual houseplants – 7 rare plants for your indoor jungle

The best unusual houseplants can uplift your indoor plant display with beautiful character and a truly unique appearance – spruce up your collection with our 7 favorites

(Image credit: L Feddes via Getty Images)

Searching for houseplants for your home but bored of the same old varieties? 

Choosing one of the best indoor plants with a more unusual appearance can be the perfect way to add interest to your indoor jungle. Whether you're after an indoor hanging plant, a tall indoor plant, or something smaller to display on a plant stand, there are so many beautiful and unusual houseplants to choose from.

If you're not sure where to start, don't worry. We've compiled an expert list of the best unusual houseplants to add to your collection.

Terracotta indoor planters

(Image credit: Lisovskaya via Getty Images)

The best unusual houseplants to have in your home

The joy of being a houseplant lover is that there are so many different plants to choose from. Discover ones with a quirkier look in our expert list of the best unusual houseplants.

1. Chain cactus

Chain cactus with white flowers

(Image credit: Garey Lennox via Alamy)

For cactus enthusiasts, the chain cactus is a must-have. This unusual-looking plant is named after its chain-like appearance, dotted with charming white flowers in spring.

Also known as Rhipsalis Paradoxa, these plants are native to tropical rainforests where they gracefully drape their long stands.

'This cascading growth habit makes it an attractive choice for hanging baskets or as a trailing plant on plant stands or plant shelves,' says Autumn Hilliard-Knapp, houseplant expert from Perfect Plants.

'Provide these plants with bright, indirect light. They prefer a spot near a window where they can receive filtered sunlight,' Autumn says. 'Additionally, it is important to avoid overwatering, and you should allow the soil to dry out between watering, to prevent houseplant root rot and maintain overall plant health,' she adds.

You can find these plants at a range of nurseries and suppliers online, like this chain cactus assortment from Walmart.

Autumn Hilliard-Knapp
Autumn Hilliard-Knapp

Autumn is a horticulture specialist and marketing professional at Perfect Plants Nursery. With four years of experience in the horticulture industry, she has developed a passion for helping people create beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy. Her expertise in horticulture encompasses a broad range of activities, including plant care and selection, landscape design, and maintenance.

2. Copper spoons kalanchoe

Copper spoons kalanchoe

(Image credit: Karind via Alamy)

One of the most unique types of succulents is a kalanchoe. There are so many different types of these beautiful plants, but the copper spoon kalanchoe is arguably the prettiest in color.

'The copper spoons kalanchoe is a captivating and unique houseplant known for its striking foliage. Its leaves have a distinct coppery hue with a velvety texture, resembling the shape of spoons. This feature adds a touch of elegance and interest to any indoor space,' says Autumn.

These are easy indoor plants to care for and will stay happy in a bright spot with moderate watering. Take care not to make the common succulent mistake of overwatering it, however. It's best to let it dry out between watering.

Discover these low-maintenance indoor plants online, like this copper spoons plant from Walmart.

3. Polyscias Fruticosa

Polyscias fruticosa

(Image credit: Mangkelin via Getty Images)

For houseplant lovers who love leafy plants and fun foliage, a Polyscias Fruticosa is certainly one to consider. These plants are tree-like in appearance with delicate-looking foliage.

'Adding a unique texture to your home décor, its foliage is delicate, full and feathery,' says Sonya Query, master gardener and marketing director at Love, Plants. 'It thrives in bright, indirect light and prefers consistent moisture without waterlogged soil,' she adds.

As indicated by its name, this plant is native to Polynesia and is sure to add a topical touch to your interiors. They can grow up to eight feet in height and are available from a range of suppliers, like this Polyscias Fruticosa from Walmart.

4. Staghorn fern

Staghorn fern

(Image credit: lawcain via Getty Images)

Growing ferns indoors instantly greens up your space. Among the best indoor ferns is a staghorn fern – loved for its unique horn shape and blue-green color.

'Its unique growth pattern makes it an eye-catching conversation piece and a favorite among plant enthusiasts looking for something out of the ordinary,' says Autumn.

'Apart from its striking appearance, the staghorn fern is appealing due to its versatility in placement. It can be mounted on walls or displayed in hanging baskets, adding a touch of natural charm to any space,' she adds.

These ferns do best in filtered light and will appreciate an environment with higher humidity. 'Mist the fronds regularly to provide adequate moisture and water by soaking the roots rather than pouring water onto the fronds,' says Autumn. 

These unique plants come in a range of sizes so you can find the perfect one for you, like this small staghorn fern from The Sill.

5. Twisted lipstick plant

hanging twisted lipstick plant with red flowers

(Image credit: Sergio Amiti / Moment / Getty Images)

Including indoor flowering plants in your indoor garden is a great way to add some color to your home. The twisted lipstick plant is sure to catch the eye of your visitors with its interesting stems and bright red flowers.

Like a lipstick plant, or Aeschynanthus, twisted lipstick plants are named after their tubular red flowers dotted down their cascading chains. This plant is just like a regular lipstick plant but with a twist – literally. The stems beautifully spiral down, making it a statement piece for the home.

To keep these plants flowering you should place them in bright, indirect light. They're native to tropical climates so it's likewise a good idea to keep humidity levels up, like with this plant mister from Amazon

6. Thai constellation cheese plant

Variegated monstera

(Image credit: krisanapong detraphiphat via Getty Images)

Among the best variegated indoor plants it the Thai constellation monstera. This stunning monstera plant has patches of cream and white on its fenestrated leaves.

'Creamy-white variegated monsteras are the 'it girl' of the houseplant world right now,' says Sonya. 

These attractive plants have risen in popularity for their unique color and easy-to-care-for nature and are now widely available, like this Thai constellation monstera from Walmart.

It's best to keep them in bright, indirect light so that they don't lose their pattern. You should also let it dry out between watering to avoid waterlogged soil.

If you notice your monstera drooping or if your monstera leaves are turning yellow, it's a sign that you need to adjust its growing conditions. Find a happy spot for this plant and it will thrive for years, growing up to 16 feet in full maturity.

7. Frizzle sizzle plant

Frizzle sizzle plant

(Image credit: Barbara Rich via Getty Images)

A plant that will guarantee to make your guests smile when you tell them its name, a frizzle sizzle plant can bring fun structure to your houseplant collection.

Like the twisted lipstick plant, frizzle sizzle is a succulent with twisting, corkscrew stems. They are having a moment right now as more houseplant lovers have taken to its unusual and fun curls.

'This plant looks like it emerged from a Dr. Seuss book with its long and curly stems. They're just adorable!' says Sonya. 'Give them bright, indirect light and well-draining soil and they will thrive,' she adds.

Frizzle sizzle plants are native to South Africa and do best with plenty of light and warmth. A lack of light could result in your plant drooping and losing its iconic shape. You should also take care not to overwater these plants as they retain their water well and can handle drying out completely before being watered again.

Find a frizzle sizzle plant online, like this frizzle sizzle plant from Amazon.


What's the most difficult houseplant to care for?

Some houseplants are harder to look after than others and factors like your plant care knowledge and home environment will impact how well an indoor plant does in your home. 

Arguably the hardest houseplants to keep alive include orchids, gardenias and zebra plants, due to their fussy nature and habit of quickly showing they aren't happy with drooping or discolored foliage.

Next time you're looking for a new houseplant, turn your attention to something a bit different. All of these houseplants have an unusual appearance that can instantly add wonderful visual interest and unique character to your indoor garden. 

You may also find our expert guide on how to style your houseplants helpful for perfectly curating houseplant displays.

Tenielle Jordison
News Writer (Gardens)

Tenielle is a News Writer in the Gardens team at Homes & Gardens with five years of journalistic experience. She studied BA Journalism, Media and English Literature and MA Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Before coming to Homes & Gardens, Tenielle was in the editorial department at the Royal Horticultural Society and worked on The Garden magazine. She is passionate about sustainable living and the role gardening has to play in tackling the effects of climate change. Tenielle is also a houseplant lover who is slowly running out of room for her ever-growing collection. She has experience successfully propagating indoor plants and overcoming common houseplant problems.