Some favorite places to buy plants, according to local green-thumbs

plant shop
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I may know a thing or two about getting plants on the cheap, but on the rare occasion that I need a little retail therapy, you can often catch me cooing at a plant baby (or a few) at a really twee plant shop. Whenever I’m traveling, I love popping into a cute nursery even if I can’t bring something home—it just brings my heart peace to be around all the plants.

I asked around to find out where other plant lovers like to shop, and got some good inside tips. Here are some of the sweetest plant shops the West has to offer.

Note: Some of these establishments may be temporarily closed due to Covid-19 concerns. Definitely check before you go.

Arium Botanicals (Portland)

I don’t just love Portland’s vegan/queer-owned Arium Botanicals because its *a d o r a b l e* owners have absolutely no chill about aroids (one of my favorite plant families as well!); I love this store because of the sheer variety of plants they cram into a relatively modest space. They just upgraded to a new storefront, and it’s packed to the rafters with rare plants for collectors, easy-care specimens for new houseplant parents, and impressively large specimens for folx with deeper pockets. They also offer classes and workshops accessible to all budgets.

Cactus Store (Los Angeles)

If you are on the hunt for hard-to-find cactus and succulents and bespoke, handmade stoneware pots to house them (and don’t mind coughing up a little extra dough), Cactus Store is your new happy place. Their selection of rare succulents is truly impressive.

Clement Nursery (San Francisco)

Open since 1941 on a dairy farm that’s been around since the turn of the last century, Clement Nursery is San Francisco’s oldest plant shop! (I’m such a sucker for historic claims to fame.) They also have their own bespoke soil blend that they created specifically for growing cannabis.

Fig Earth Supply (Los Angeles)

This wonderful L.A. shop not only has tons of gorgeous plants, but Fig Earth Supply in historic Mount Washington also offers fruit tree and cannabis classes to help green thumbs perfect their home growing. The space is also available to rent for events and shoots, in case you want to party with the plants.

Flora Grubb Gardens (San Francisco)

Flora Grubb Gardens is both a plant shop and a wholesale plant nursery that grows their own stock. Credited with contributing to succulents’ skyrocketing popularity over the past decade, the shop stocks a fair bunch of ’em, plus many more indoor and outdoor varieties. They’re serving up solid #outdoorliving vibes, too, with stylish backyard furniture scattered throughout, where you can sip a latte from the onsite cafe and dream of all the pretty things you’ll buy and put in dirt.

Gardenwerks (Helena, MT)

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This Helena plant shop and garden center has a gorgeous selection of bulbs, perennials, and green gardening supplies, and because they have an on-site flower farm (great for weddings!), they offer classes in flower arranging and flower crowns too. Gardenwerks also has a staff landscape architect to help get your yard in order.

Indoor Sun Shoppe (Seattle)

I know I’m a sucker for pretty much anything 1970s West Coast, but even modern plant parents will love Indoor Sun Shoppe in Seattle. This groovy Fremont houseplant shop is doing their part to keep that crunchy old-school houseplant vibe alive—they’ve been making the Evergreen State a little greener since 1970. They also sell light therapy boxes (or as I call mine, “happy lamps”), bringing the sunshine indoors for those dark and soggy, SAD-inducing Pacific Northwest winters.

Mickey Hargitay Plants (Los Angeles)

Opened in 1980, Mickey Hargitay Plants in L.A. looks like a secret garden oasis in the city. They sell plants and indoor gardening supplies, obvi, but this plant shop offers a super-special plant nanny service; they’ll come take care of your plants for you so you can enjoy all the benefits of having houseplants without worrying about keeping up with the maintenance.

Paiko (Honolulu)

Not that Hawaii needs any help getting more beautiful, but Paiko in Honolulu is making it happen anyway. They sell plants, botanical crowns, leis, and incredible bouquets of sumptuous tropicals, and their founders also wrote a book on Hawaiian flower arranging. They even have a flower bar!

Pistils Nursery (Portland)

Pistils has pretty much everything a garden geek like me needs: ✔️gorgeous houseplants (including probably the most exquisite selection of staghorn ferns I’ve ever seen outside a botanical garden) ✔️Japanese hand tools ✔️urban chicken supplies and ✔️garden plants that are anything but run-of-the-mill. They offer classes on everything from tying up your own kokedama to DIY terrariums. They’re also a woman-owned small business, so you can feel good about giving them your money.

Plant Shop (Seattle)

With two Seattle locations, Plant Shop isn’t just a place to buy your next little green buddy; this houseplant shop also offers delivery and installation after helping you choose the right plant for your space. With the help of their homewares sister-shop Homestead, you can even find the perfect Modernica pot for your Monstera or Pilea.

Plant Therapy (San Francisco)

In San Francisco’s Tenderloin District is a magical place. Plant Therapy has everything you need to green up your home or office, but more importantly,  that they have a plant workshop/happy hour situation called Plants & Wine, and now I just want to know why I can’t have a glass of wine every time I shop for plants? Plus instead of an ugly painting or useless ceramic plate, you end up with a terrarium.

Pueblo Life (Phoenix)

Balancing a great mix of tropicals, carnivorous plants, and succulents, Pueblo Life in Phoenix is bringing a lot of lushness to the desert. They also have pots, posters, and other art—everything you need to update your interiors.

Solabee (Portland)

With two locations, Solabee isn’t just one of Portland’s most Instagrammable flower shops; the plant shop sells huge, healthy houseplants, including these Alocasias, monstrous Monsteras, and beguiling begonias. They have some rare variegated specimens, too, and will help you curate the right plant collection for your space and level of experience.

Thyme and Place (Salt Lake City)

For plant lovers looking for mature cacti and succulents, Thyme and Place in Salt Lake City has a nice selection. They seem to have a particular fondness for vining Swiss cheese plant (Monstera adansonii), too, plus lots of classes and art shows in the plant shop.

Xera Plants (Portland)

Though I didn’t include many plant shops that carry outdoor plants, this Portland garden center always gets props for carrying the broadest and, in my opinion, best selection of Northwest native and unusual plants in one small nursery. Their website is also highly informative, packed with great tips for growing their plants in the biomes (and problem spots) throughout the Northwest. Die-hard plant geeks should definitely keep Xera top of mind.