6 Cursed Houseplants with Threatening Auras
Screw the lush, overgrown jungle look: these monstrosities will have your house looking like a scene straight out of The Last of Us! Ok, maybe that was a little aggressive; these six rare varieties are still houseplants, after all, but they’re pretty far from your run-of-the-mill Boston ferns or spider plants. We’ve handpicked six of our favorite plant oddities that we think might add a touch of terror to your home.
Venus Fly Traps
Probably the best-known of all the rare and weird houseplants on our list, the venus fly trap is also by far one of the coolest. Being insatiable carnivores, these perennial snapping hunters love eating those pesky little insects buzzing around your house. They do have some particular demands, though, and we recommend giving them what they want. After all, a cranky venus fly trap won’t be your friend:
- Use sandy, acidic soil. Sphagnum moss with a tad bit of orchid bark works great.
- Venus fly traps need sun! Give your little bug killer a nice sunny windowsill.
- Keep their soil moist, but use rainwater or distilled water only.
- Don’t fertilize! Venus fly traps only thirst is for blood…
Pitcher Plant – Nepenthes
Another eerie carnivorous plant, pitcher plants go a bit further on the creepy scale by eating not just insects, but small animals, too! The pitcher plant varieties you’re likely to keep as houseplants are known for their infamously inviting pitfall traps, and hopefully won’t be eating anything but bugs (hopefully). Look for the Asian or purple pitcher plant varieties to try indoors, but be mindful of their growing needs. Otherwise, you won’t keep this menacing plant monster appeased for long:
- Sphagnum moss works great for potting, and add in some perlite and orchid bark for a well-suited mix.
- Pitcher plants need bright light. Insufficient light will stunt the growth of new pitchers (and then who will eat those fruit flies for you?)
- The soil of this rare houseplant needs to stay humid, but don’t let them sit in water, or their fine roots will rot. Like the venus fly trap, use rainwater or distilled water only to water these carnivorous beauties.
One of our favorite rare houseplants, Lithops, or “Living Stones,” are native to Southern Africa and look like something straight out of a science experiment! These slow-growing succulents resemble animal hooves or brains and don’t normally grow more than an inch above the soil. Although these extraterrestrial houseplants are hardy and drought-tolerant, they also have some basic needs that must be met:
- Use a cactus mix for proper drainage, and don’t let them get their feet wet!
- Lithops only need watering from late summer to early fall, then from late spring into summer.
- Give lithops full sun; these little weirdos love to tan!
This curly wurly succulent hails from South Africa and is oddly reminiscent of Medusa’s hair. It’s the perfect rare houseplant to add to your collection in Oceanside and is a crowning jewel for houseplant hunters. If you do find this beauty, here is how you can make it happy:
- Bright but indirect light. This succulent is sensitive to direct harsh rays.
- Keep this baby dry. This super-rare houseplant won’t tolerate humidity.
- Only water trachyandras during active growing seasons and leave them alone during summer dormancy.
Trachyandra image credit: gardengotime.com
Marimo Moss Balls
Who isn’t going to want one of these fuzzy little guys rolling around in their collection? Marimo moss balls are actually cute little balls of algae rather than a conventional houseplant, but they make our list because they are weird, and we really like weird. They come from freshwater lakes, so their care requirements will be a tad different than what most people are used to:
- Marimo moss balls don’t need a whole lot of light as they’re used to the underwater lake life, so normal indoor light will be fine.
- Keep your Marimo moss balls submerged in cool water, preferably under 77ºF. Change their water every two weeks.
- Don’t worry about feeding these rare moss balls; just submerge them and enjoy their weirdness!
If you’ve ever wanted to mount a houseplant like some vegetarian big buck hunter, this is the one for you! Like air plants, the staghorn fern is an epiphyte, meaning it grows on other things in its natural habitat. Mature ferns are usually mounted to a wooden board or sometimes put in hanging baskets.
This rare houseplant can be quite intimidating, but if you’re looking for an exotic, tropical houseplant with some peculiar growing habits, nothing else compares. Here are some basic care tips to help you make the most of these weird little beauties:
- Unlike other ferns, Staghorns need bright, indirect light. Hang this guy on your brightest wall, but avoid harsh direct sunlight.
- This fern needs two types of watering: soaking and misting. Humidity is this plant’s best friend, and you can water less if placed in a bathroom or other high-humidity zones.
- Fertilize monthly during active growing seasons for vigorous growth.
We hope you enjoyed our lineup of weird, rare, and menacing houseplants! Come visit the Dees’ Nursery and Florist today for more cool, rare houseplants in Oceanside, NY, and we’ll tell you all about what people are adding to their collections in 2023.