This Rare Houseplant Just Sold For Nearly $20,000

updated Jun 23, 2021
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Rare white variegated mini monstera with eight leaves and a ninth about to uncurl
Credit: Trade Me

On June 13, a fairly unassuming houseplant sparked a bidding war on the New Zealand auction site Trade Me. Dubbed a “Variegated Minima,” the white-and-green tropical plant only has eight leaves with a ninth “just about to uncurl,” the description reads, and 248 New Zealanders wanted it — badly. Ultimately, one lucky plant parent won out, nabbing it for the cool price of just over $19,200 USD ($27,100 NZD).

According to the seller, the potted houseplant is a rare white variegated Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma, also called a Mini Monstera. It’s not often that you see a variegated version of the species — that being a plant with multi-colored leaves. Obviously, judging by the winning bid on the New Zealand Trade Me listing, variegated Mini Monsteras are so sought after, people are willing to pay big bucks for a single plant with less than 10 leaves.

CNN spoke to Trade Me spokesperson Millie Silvester who confirmed that the variegated Minima was “”the most expensive houseplant ever sold” on the site. “After a heated bidding war in the auction’s final minutes, the rare plant had over 102,000 views and more than 1,600 watchlists, which just goes to show how much Kiwis adore houseplants,” she added.

Though this was the most expensive houseplant sold on Trade Me, other variegated Mini Monsteras have also raked in some serious cash in recent years. In fact, according to, the same seller of the 2021 variegated Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma sold another four-leaf version of the plant in 2020 for over $8,000, and CNN reports that the seller also sold a seven-leaf sampling for over $4,000 and donated $1,000 of their earnings to charity. No, money doesn’t grow on trees, but rather variegated Mini Monsteras.