“Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.“
– Deepak Chopra
Plants, like people, are unique living things. No two plants are exactly alike, even within the same species. However, some plants truly stand out from the crowd. They’re the ones that make you stop and take a closer look, the ones that make you wonder how they came to be the way they are. If you’ve had the good fortune to bring home such a plant, you may find that its strangest qualities are what you find the most endearing. Perhaps there’s a lesson in humility there!
Here are some of the more unusual houseplants we’ve grown especially fond of this year.
Goldfish Plant (Columnea gloriosa)
While real goldfish most likely appreciate a little live vegetation in their tanks, that’s not what we’re referring to when we talk about these plants! Goldfish plants are unique houseplants that are both cute and whimsical in equal measure. With their bright orange, fish-shaped blooms, they look just like a bowl of goldfish swimming happily around a cluster of foliage. They have become quite popular lately, as they add a little fun and movement to a room. Keep goldfish plants in bright indirect sunlight and let the soil dry between waterings.
Goldfish Plant by Kevan, Source: Flickr.com
Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
These unique indoor plants are known by many names, and not all of them are especially flattering! Despite their more disparaging monikers, snake plants have beautifully patterned leaves and are very robust. They are famously low-maintenance and add nice dimension to any space. Snake plants are sold as small as a few inches and as tall as 3’ high, with slender, snake-like leaves. They’re often found in waiting rooms, living rooms, and other spaces filled with low chairs and stout furniture, as their lanky shape balances those low silhouettes. Snake plants like to live in indirect sunlight and shouldn’t be watered too often.
Monstera (Monstera deliciosa)
These strange indoor plants have exploded in popularity in the past year, showing up everywhere from art prints to fabrics. Their unusual leaves – which have earned them their other name, the ‘Swiss cheese plant’ – have captivated the attention of plant lovers everywhere for their bold, sculptural appearance. While monsteras are among
the most beautiful houseplants in the public eye right now, they’re also among the wildest (at least for us here in Manitoba!). The leaves and stems are toxic to people and pets, and they are capable of becoming invasive climbing plants if brought outdoors. However, if well-cared-for in a sunny indoor spot, and kept in peaty soil with good drainage, they behave just fine.
Ficus (Ficus benjamina)
Another one of the more beautiful houseplants on the list, ficuses are slender trees with a shock of shiny, bright-green leaves. However, the most striking feature of the ficus is their flexible trunks, which are often braided before being sold. The braid adds an unexpected texture to the plant that is both subtle and elegant. Ficus do best with a thorough weekly watering in a spot with bright sunlight. To keep the symmetry of the leaves, it’s best to rotate them when watering.
It’s truly amazing how nature’s creations come in shapes, sizes, and colours beyond our wildest imaginations. No matter where you live or who you are, there’s a houseplant just as unique as you are!