Top 10 Interesting Plants To Grow
4 min

Top 10 Interesting Plants To Grow

4 min

Growing plants at home is rewarding and fun. Try one, or some, of these peculiar cultivars for some extra joy, dazzling aesthetics, and the most delicious flavours. Which of these interesting plants will you choose?

Looking for a little gardening adventure? You're in the right place. We’ll introduce you to ten fascinating plants that you can grow at home this summer.

Why you should grow these unique plants

The reasons are endless. To start with, they look incredibly cool—some are weird, others are classic beauties. Also, some make a great addition to your kitchen, both in terms of taste and nutrition. Or, if you’re simply looking to mix things up, the process of growing these unique plants is fun and rewarding.

Top 10 interesting plants

Each of these ten curious plants has its own character. Get to know them all and pick your favourite.

1. Hot Lips/Hooker’s Lips/Psychotria elataHot Lips/Hooker’s Lips/Psychotria Elata

Native to the tropical rainforest understory flora of the Americas, this unique plant features bracts resembling a pair of full puckered lips in a vibrant red. It likes rich, humid soil and naturally seeks out sheltered spots with trees protecting it from the most powerful sun rays.

Hot Lips not only impresses with fancy looks—it also contains a psychedelic, dimethyltryptamine, and is used among the Amazon people for a variety of holistic purposes.

Growing Pychotria elata at home requires some equipment and dedication, but growers will be rewarded with truly exciting results. If you want to give it a go, you’ll need to imitate their natural environment—get a heated greenhouse, make sure the humidity is high, don’t expose it to harsh sunshine, and ensure your soil mirrors the drainage and moisture retention of the tropical understory environment these babes love.

2. Bitter gourd

Bitter Gourd

This plant produces fascinating fruits containing lots of vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium—plus, they look really cool! Its high concentrations of nutrients reserve bitter gourd the prestigious position of a superfood among the health and well-being community.

Native to Africa and Asia, bitter gourd today is heavily cultivated in China and India, but you can quite easily grow it at home. Except for harsh winters, these plants can grow during pretty much any time of the year, and need little maintenance. For best results, cultivate them between April and September. Start seeds off in a greenhouse for four weeks before moving plants outdoors.

Bitter gourd is a delicious addition to fish or meat dishes, but let your taste buds guide you anywhere else, too.

3. Lemon apple cucumber

Lemon Apple Cucumber

Named after the three elements of its makeup, add this bizarre fruit to salads, or simply cut it into slices and enjoy the moreish flavour on its own. Its flavour is slightly sweet and truly refreshing.

Cucumis sativus enjoys full sun and needs regular watering, but otherwise it won’t require much of you. Start the seeds under glass and then give the plants all summer to flourish outdoors.

4. Venus flytrap

Venus Flytrap

Native to the subtropical wetlands of the Carolinas, this carnivorous plant lives on arachnids and insects. It catches its prey between pairs of rosy-hued leaves. The terminal part of each leaf features a trapping structure that includes “trigger hairs” or “sensitive hairs” on their inner surfaces. When these are stimulated twice within 20 seconds, the leaves will snap. This mechanism helps the plant to preserve energy spent reacting to random stimuli, and to focus its attacks on objects with nutritional value.

Grow this plant at home and watch it for hours as it does its tricks. The easiest way to start is to get a bulb (or bulbs) from a specialised company. If you start it from the seed, it may take up to five years to mature.

Venus flytrap needs moist soil and adequate sunlight. If you place it outside in the summer, make sure to provide plenty of water, as the heat might dry out the soil quite quickly. If you choose to keep it in a greenhouse/terrarium, make sure it doesn’t get burned in the sun. And if your growing environment doesn’t get much sun, you can use a fluorescent grow lamp to imitate a regular day’s worth of light.

5. Kiwano horned melon


Don’t let kiwano’s horns deter you. This prickly, peculiar-looking fruit has a wonderfully soft and sweet core. This gelatinous substance houses lots of edible seeds, with flavours reminiscent of lemons and bananas. You can spoon it away or add it to fruit salads and desserts.

Kiwano horned melon is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, protein, and various other nutrients, making it a highly nutritious fruit.

Start these seeds in a greenhouse before placing them outside for full sun. Provide a warm environment and some dedication, and watch these plants thrive.

6. Alpine strawberry

Alpine Strawberry

Also known as wild strawberry and woodland strawberry, among many other names, this perennial herbaceous plant produces lovely little fruits and is pretty easy to cultivate.

These fruits are smaller than modern strawberries, and taste superb. You can add them to salads, make jam out of them, or just snack on them on a hot summer day.

Provide a bright, sunny location and well-drained, fertile, moist soil, and plants will produce fruits throughout the summer and beyond. Prepare for continuous deliciousness from June all the way through to October.

7. Physalis ixocarpa tomatillo

Physalis Ixocarpa Tomatillo

Great things don’t always require a great deal of labour. This plant is a real eye-catcher, and its fruit is a wonderful item to have in your kitchen. It is used as an essential ingredient in salsa verde and southwestern chilli, making it a perfect ingredient to spice up a hot summer.

Physalis ixocarpa tomatillo boasts vigorous growth and is drought-tolerant as well as disease-resistant. Plants enjoy well-drained soil and full sun. Add regular organic fertilisation, and these darlings will remain happy.

8. Solanum aethiopicum/pumpkin on a stick

Solanum Aethiopicum/Pumpkin On A Stick

If you’re looking for some truly unique decoration, try growing this intriguing plant.

These vegetables not only feature mesmerising looks, but make for a fantastic ingredient in an array of dishes. Interestingly, these pumpkin lookalikes are ornamental eggplants!

While the botanical facts might be slightly confusing here, growing this plant is quite easy. Start your seeds indoors in spring, let them bask in the sun and thrive all throughout summer, and harvest the fruits of your labour in fall. Believe us, you’ll be in for a treat.

9. Passion flower

Passion Flower

With passion and vigour, these plants will quickly climb up a wall or fence. From July to October, they boast some of the most stunning flowers you’ll ever see.

The fruits of these mesmerising plants are edible, though not particularly delicious. Passion flower seduces with looks, not so much its taste.

If you choose to grow this beauty at home, you can select from a couple varieties. Passiflora caerulea, for example, can be found across Britain, although it is native to the tropics of South America.

Passion flowers like well-drained soil and require a warm, sheltered spot. Place them in full sun to partial shade and apply some pruning after flowering to keep plants neat. Some varieties need to be cultivated in a greenhouse, and most need winter protection. Do you research, provide some love and care, and watch these wondrous beauties live their lives.

10. Sensitive plant

Sensitive Plant

Also known as the humble plant, dancing plant, mimosa, or touch-me-not, this plant has a special trait; when Mimosa pudica is touched, its leaves fold up and its stems droop, and it can take minutes to unfurl again. It is thought that this behaviour is a defence mechanism against being eaten—fair enough!

Native to South and Central America, sensitive plant likes warmth and light. Temperatures should be 18°C or higher. Ideally, grow it in a humid environment like a kitchen or bathroom—yet another plant to be watched for hours!


From flowers and herbs to vegetables and fruits, get your hands on some of the finest seeds and products courtesy of our Plantshop.

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Curious plants for curious minds

Found your favourite? Or favourites? Gather your seeds and equipment, and get growing today. This season will be like no other!

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