10 High Maintenance Plants For Gardeners Who Like Challenges

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Here are some High Maintenance Plants that need a little extra care and attention. Great for people looking for some quirky specimens!

We all want easy care routine when it comes to growing houseplants but there are a few of us, who want to grow some out of the box, high maintenance plants just to have a variety. For those, this list is the answered prayer!

High Maintenance Plants

1. Lady’s Slipper Orchid

high maintenance plants

Botanical Name: Paphiopedilum spp.

Starting the list with the lady’s slipper orchid, it is a high-maintenance plant that requires a stable temperature without any fluctuations and a humidity level above 50%. If these conditions are not met, its delicate flowers may struggle to survive and thrive.

2. Kokia Cookei

Botanical Name: Kokia cookei

Highly specialized and adapted to specific environmental conditions, kokia cookei is an endangered flowering species that makes growing it a significant challenge.

The plant usually grows best in its native habitat and creating the same condition in the home garden can be extremely difficult.

3. Venus Flytrap

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Botanical Name: Dionaea muscipula

The most unique and definitely not beginner-friendly plant with high maintenance needs is the Venus flytrap. It requires a specific feeding routine, if it is not able to trap the insects on its own—if you fail to do it timely, the plant will die in no time.

4. Chilean Rhubarb

High Maintenance Plants to grow in garden

Botanical Name: Gunnera tinctoria

This is an ornamental plant that can be quite difficult for a beginner to grow successfully. It requires large container, proper watering routine and a right mix of sun and shade—definitely not something a carefree plant owner is known for.

5. Titan Arum

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Botanical Name: Amorphophallus titanum

This massive flowering plant is one of the foulest smelling one, which is why it is also known as a corpse flower. It does best in a controlled environment like a large greenhouse, and thanks to its size, it is almost impossible to grow it in gardens or homes.

6. Franklin Tree

Botanical Name: Franklinia alatamaha

Another high-maintenance plant that’s a very rare sight, it can pose challenges of every degree while growing. It requires consistent moisture but cannot tolerate waterlogged soil. Also, it is sensitive to extreme temperatures, be it hot or cold climate.

7. Blue Java Banana Tree

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Botanical Name: Musa ‘Ice Cream’

This Southeast Asian native hybrid banana variety is both unique and difficult to cultivate. It needs careful feeding regime and a very controlled watering schedule—both of which can be  tough for a day to day gardener.

8. Tree Tumbo

Botanical Name: Welwitschia mirabilis

A quite spectacular plant to look at, thanks to its wavy and long leaves, it is also quite a headache to maintain. Do a little mistake in watering or sunlight exposure, and you will find it drooping.

This plant generally thrives in its native environment the best, and growing it in the urban setting will surely be a challenge.

9. Saffron

Botanical Name: Crocus sativus

Growing saffron is surely possible in the home garden, but it is not going to be easy like growing an azalea or pothos. You have to be very attentive towards its watering, feeding, and sunlight requirements. Best reserved for those, who are serious about gardening.

10. Black Pepper

Botanical Name: Piper nigrum

Black pepper needs a constant warm environment to thrive, and it would be still difficult to to get the kind of harvest you see in the image above.

If you are a committed gardener and want to go for it, you can know all about growing these high maintenance plants in this article.

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