Floral Tattoos and Disco Balls Take These Plant Stores to the Next Level
The allure of a local plant store with a little something extra is unmistakable. Here are six of the coolest plant boutiques from Los Angeles to Seattle.
I love finding a new, local plant store. There I’ll be, driving down the street, when all of a sudden I spot someplace new. Next thing I know, I’m entering a green, new world that’s simply humming with chlorophyll and air that smells alive with possibility.
Now that I’m inside, you know I’m going to walk out with something special. Maybe I want the “new” Fiddle Leaf Fig? Or perhaps I’m interested in the houseplant of the year? Or perhaps I’ll just get both.
And let’s not forget about the expertise and personal touch one can find in a local plant store like the ones on this list, as opposed to a big box store. “In the last few years, especially since the start of the pandemic, the increase in interest in houseplants has been explosive,” says Jesse Waldman of Pistils Nursery. “At a store like Pistils, you have decades of industry experience and a highly curated aesthetic, rare and unusual plants, and handmade goods like pottery from local and national makers.”
You can also find community, as people do at Queen Los Angeles, which is both Black and female owned. “People that were never even into plants come to me and end up as plant parents because I speak their language,” says owner Amorette Brooms. “They feel safe and seen and free to engage and ask questions.”
So what makes a “cool” plant store? My unofficial criteria are that first of all, all plant stores are cool because they all have plants, of course. But the stores on this list have a little something unexpected. Like a store where you can get a potted fern and a new tattoo of a fern to match. Or a plant store that sells bikinis. Intrigued? By all means, read (and plant) on…
Queen Los Angeles
Why It’s Cool: This store is the brainchild of Brooms, who used to sell fashion accessories in the same space. Since pivoting to plants in 2020, Queen Los Angeles has become the locally owned go-to for greenery in her Mid-City neighborhood. (“It’s really us or Lowe’s,” she says.) Go for houseplants and her gorgeous, neon painted pots. Inspired by nail polish, they come in matte colors like hot pink and gold.
Why It’s Cool: Carrie Lynn’s, a plant shop and boutique, is named after owner Brooklyn Martell’s mom. (“To me, she’s the epitome of a mother,” Martell says, winning daughter of the year.) The store should have some razzle dazzle—it’s in Vegas, after all—so it features a groovy wall mural and a disco ball. Even cooler? Not only does Carrie Lynn’s sell indoor tropical house plants and small batch ceramics, it also sells bikinis from Spain. You can’t get much more Vegas than that.
Why It’s Cool: Botanik has been keeping plant life chic and beachy since 1997, and specializes in curated plants, and home and garden decor including topiary, candle holders and handmade birdhouses. Check out their gorgeous gravel courtyard for major garden inspiration and aged terracotta pottery. Meanwhile, their unique succulent arrangements are tightly clustered to resemble fresh flower bouquets.
Why It’s Cool: Nightshade is a combination plant and tattoo parlor that features a rotating collection of desert and tropical plants (many of which are low-light tolerant), while co-owner Joseph McSween is a colorblind tattoo artist who specializes in black and gray fine-line tattoos. “He loves creating botanical-themed pieces, which are extremely popular,” says life partner and plant specialist Aleisha Tilson. Lately, she says, customers have been asking for tattoos with groups of larkspur, foxglove, peony, orchids, and ferns.
Why It’s Cool: With two locations in Portland—one in the Mississippi district and one in Slabtown—Pistils’ flagship location is gorgeous; think an installation of stag horn ferns mounted over a farmhouse kitchen sink that looks like it came right out of a home decor magazine, or a section full of air plants artistically spilling out of jars in a way that screams both mad scientist and mad-talented stylist. Pistils also offers online workshops like Japanese “moss ball” kokedama and advanced propagation techniques.
A Succulent Day
Why It’s Cool: Located in Boise’s historic West End neighborhood, A Succulent Day is housed in a remodeled Richfield Oil service station built in 1954, complete with roll up glass doors—a touch the owner says the plants love. Inside, a DIY potting bar allows customers to choose their succulents, cactuses, and a pot. Then staff gets their hands dirty planting their arrangement on the spot. Of course, you can also choose from pre-made arrangements, but where’s the fun in that?