The newest “Rare Plants” being mass-produced in Australia

Australian nurseries are constantly working to bring new and exciting indoor plants to market. In this post, we look at some of the (formerly) rare plants that can now be found in big box stores.

Philodendron plowmanii

This crawling philodendron was announced very recently by Mark Tyler from Enliven. It appears to be the round form that’s in tissue culture, so you can expect the narrow form to hold its value for a little longer.

Right now these are only being distributed to Bunnings stores in South Queensland and New South Wales, so it might be a little longer before you can get one cheap elsewhere in Australia. Unless, of course, Enliven ever get around to launching that online store they teased a while back.

(Hey Enliven, if you’re reading this, I work in eCommerce and would love to help make this happen. Drop me a line!)

Nepenthes ventrata

This hybrid of Nepenthes alata and Nepenthes ventricosa grows striking blood-red pitchers. They’re starting to pop up in specialty plant shops under “foliage fanatics”, “tropical” and other generic labels—sometimes labelled “ventrata” and sometimes simply called “Nepenthes”.

Don’t let Nepenthes intimidate you if you like the look of them; they’re actually very easy to grow! I keep them in big clear plastic tubs (for humidity) growing in a mix of sphagnum moss and perlite. A fortnightly bottom water and a monthly mealworm snack, and they absolutely thrive!

Philodendron nangaritense

Another one from Enliven that’ll be distibuted through Bunnings, this sprawling philodendron has a growth habit somewhere between that of a crawler and climber. There’s a bit of debate about whether the “nangaritense” available in Australia is a true nangaritense or actually P. fuzzy petiole, so hopefully Enliven have got this right.

Sorry, not a great photo for this one. Photo credit: Mark Tyler.

I have a non-tissue-culture nangaritense (I think!) in my collection and find it to be a fantastic plant. It’s very slow growing in my conditions, but that just makes the striking salmon/pink new leaves all the more rewarding.

Honestly, I’m a little bit bummed that this plant is now in tissue culture because they were quite expensive, and I was just about to chop and prop mine. I guess that’s the game we play with rare plants!

Philodendron gloriosum

Yes, yes, I know these have been in tissue culture for years, but they’ve never been as widely available or affordable as they are now. Two years ago you would still pay $50 for a TC gloriosum, but now they’re being produced in huge numbers by several different companies and they’re *everywhere*.

I swear to God I saw a P. Gloriousum for sale at Coles for $15.00! They’re also now in most Bunnings stores in both the Easy Care and Envliven ranges.

I just wish someone would work on bringing some of the other Gloriosum forms to market in Australia. I would kill to get my hands on the “zebra” cultivar…

Shane Gowland

Hi! I'm a plant enthusiast from Adelaide with a passion for sharing my plant knowledge and experiences. You can check out my collection on Instagram or learn more about me on my website.

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