After a Sunday night bidding showdown, the houseplant smashed Trade Me’s previous record by more than double.

A rare houseplant up for auction on Trade Me has attracted a winning bid of $27,100.
The variegated minima is a variety of the philodendron minima, which is a vining plant that is native to tropical forests. The variegation refers to the colouring of the leaves, which happens by mutation.
The auction had met reserve with a bid of $9000 on Friday but on Sunday evening, bidding between two would-be buyers pushed the price up to $27,100. There were a total of 248 bids on the houseplant.
The plant was described as having eight leaves, with the ninth just about to uncurl. Each leaf has excellent variegation as does the stem and is well rooted in a 14cm pot.
READ MORE:* Why NZers are ready to spend $9000 on a houseplant* Houseplant madness continues, but it’s got to be better than puppy farming* Meet the tiny home owner addicted to houseplants
Trade Me spokeswoman Millie Silvester said it was the most expensive houseplant sale the site had recorded.
Plants have increased in popularity in recent years, taking prices with them.
The previous record was just over $12,000.
After a heated bidding war in the auction’s final minutes, the rare plant had over 102,000 views and more than 1600 watchlists which just goes to show how much Kiwis adore houseplants, she said.
Carlee November, 19, is an obsessive houseplant grower.
In May 2019, the average sale price of an indoor plant on the site was $34. But in May this year, it was up by 141 per cent, to $82.
University of Auckland head of marketing Bodo Lang said that could be due in part to people being stuck at home, and unable to travel, due to Covid-19.
I think this is a big driver because many peoples 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.
Members of an indoor plant group on Facebook expressed surprise at the final bid. Some said it was the sort of money that would be better spent on a house or car.
The pressure to keep that alive would be insane, one wrote.