A Variegated Minima sold on an auction website earlier this week for $27,100 NZD Minima after an intense bidding war.
The plant was originally listed for $9,000, 9News reports.
The Trade Me website hosted the plant’s picture, along with a description of the leaves and the pot it came in.
248 bids were offered, but the auction came down to two bidders, who went back and forth until the price had tripled.
The plant is native to tropical forests. This plant has eight leaves (though a ninth is currently sprouting) and is now Trade Me’s largest sale.
Millie Silvester, Trade Me’s spokeswoman, said: “The rare plant had over 102,000 views and more than 1,600 watchlists, which just goes to show how much Kiwis adore houseplants.”
9News says the average indoor plant was $34 in May 2019, but prices have since jumped to around $82.
Perhaps we can blame the succulents trend, or simply the loneliness that filled homes during the pandemic.
Bodo Lang, University of Auckland Marketing Head, certainly thinks the world turning upside down could be to blame.
“I think…many people’s lives have been severely curtailed of variety with consumers being exposed to far fewer places, people, and experiences than normal. Therefore, there is a greater drive for variety and self-expression, and the houseplant is one good outlet for that,” he said.
And I’ve certainly found that to be true. While I wouldn’t necessarily spend $27,000 on it, I sure do love the cactus I bought when the winter isolation crept in.
But, hey, more power to ‘em.