10 Coolest Houseplants Perfect for Your Plant Parent Portfolio

You'll fall in love with these houseplants that will instantly raise the cool factor of your growing plant family.

Published March 14, 2023
hands holding sweetheart hoya in a pot

You love each one of your houseplants. They're all beautiful and special, but are any of them really cool? If you want to up the "it" factor of your growing plant family, then try one or more of the coolest houseplants. These cool houseplants have something special that'll make you stop and say wow. So grow them, love them, and then snap some photos to add wow factor to all that proud plant parent content you've been posting on your social media.

Corkscrew Albuca

corkscrew albucus

Corkscrew albuca (Albuca spiralis), also commonly referred to as frizzle sizzle, is a truly cool-looking bulb succulent. Its leaves grow as long spikes that stretch up from the bulb. They get about eight inches long, then curl to form corkscrew spirals. From late winter to spring, expect yellow blooms that smell like vanilla to form along the spikes. After it blooms, it will lose its leaves. This is normal - it is not dead. It just goes dormant for the summer. But man, does it look cool when it's in its full flowering glory. You'll be a proud parent indeed.

Creeping Fig

creeping fig

Out of the more than 800 ficus species known to exist, creeping fig (Ficus pumil) is the only one with a vining growing habit. I'd say that fact makes this climbing vine a true original. It's pretty special - and more than a bit cool - to be the only climbing variety in an enormous species when all your relatives are deciduous shrubs.

Mountain Rose Succulent

When is a rose not really a rose? When it's a succulent. Mountain rose succulents (Aeonium dodrantale) are small rosettes that grow close to the soil. They max out at a bit over two inches tall, with an equivalent spread. They don't have thorns or spikes, and they're as cool as they are cute. They're also easy to grow. Rose succulents grow in clumps, putting up multiple offsets as they grow. They go dormant during the summer.

Pebble Plant

pebble plant

Pebble plants (Lithops) are also commonly referred to as living stone plants. It's easy to see how this small and strange succulent gets its nickname just by looking at it. It does, in fact, look like a pebble or a stone - that's what makes it such a cool houseplants. It's easy to care for - and that's a good thing. After all, chances are good that a high-maintenance plant that looks like an inanimate object wouldn't appeal to even the most dedicated plant parents.

Prayer Plant

prayer plant

Prayer plants (Maranta leuconeura) are unique in that their leaves change drastically from day to night. This plant's beautiful and colorful leaves stay open during the day, but they fold up at night like little hands in prayer.

Rainbow Tree

rainbow tree

Do you love colorful houseplants? Rainbow tree (Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor'), aka Madagascar dragon tree, is one of the most colorful, with leaves sporting green, bright pink, and sunny yellow hues. That vibrant tricolor blend makes this unique cultivar a cool and colorful character in the world of indoor trees. Keep it in bright, indirect light to enjoy the richest color. It'll survive lower light conditions, but its color won't be as strong.

Red Aloe

red aloe

When is an aloe plant more than a popular basic houseplant? When it's red. That's right - there's red aloe. If you're looking to boost the coolness factor of your houseplant collection, get a red aloe (Aloe cameronii) plant. This unusual succulent needs a lot of light - the more sunlight it gets, the more vibrant the red parts of its stems will be.

Sweetheart Hoya


Want to let someone know that they have your heart? Give them a sweetheart hoya (Hoya kerrii), also known as the hoya hearts plant. This special succulent's unique and distinctly heart-shaped leaves are why it's such a popular Valentine's Day gift. It's a great plant to share any time you want to declare your love for someone in a more unique way than giving them a dozen red roses or a box of chocolates. It's also a great reminder that when you love your plants, they can love you right back.

Staghorn Fern

staghorn fern

Staghorn ferns (Platycerium) are cool-looking plants, but that's not the only reason they deserve a place on this list. They're ferns, which means they can reproduce via spores, but they're also epiphytic air plants, which means they don't grow in soil. In the wild, they grow attached to trees. As houseplants, they're usually grown in a wire basket or attached to a plant, with their roots in peat moss, sphagnum, or a similar growing medium.

String of Nickels

string of nickels

Any plant that looks like - and is nicknamed for - a form of currency is a cool plant in my book. The string succulents are all uniquely beautiful, with string of nickels (Dischidia nummularia) being the coolest of all (in my opinion). It's round, coin-shaped leaves are quite unusual, and they look particularly perky on the plant's cascading stems. It's a great conversation starter that looks terrific in a plant stand or hanging basket.

Which Cool Plants Are Right for You?

It's easy to get excited about cool-looking houseplants, but it's important to stop and think about whether a plant you're interested in is a good fit for your home. Before you go out and purchase more plants, consider if you have a good place for them and if they fit in well with the plants you already have. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have a spot to place the plant where it can get the light it needs without crowding other plants?
  • If not, is there an area where it would make sense for you to set up grow lights so you can expand your collection?
  • Are the plant's care needs similar to those of other plants you have? If not, are you willing to change up your plant care routine?

Feed Your Houseplant Habit

Once you know which of these cool houseplants you love - and which ones will work well in your space - it's time to start looking for the perfect specimens to bring into your home. After all, a houseplant parent's work is never done. It is, however, a labor of love.

10 Coolest Houseplants Perfect for Your Plant Parent Portfolio