Where to shop for houseplants

The most frequently asked question on my Instagram is where do I buy my plants. I decided to write a quick and totally subjective guide to my favourite sources.

I live in Bromley, South East London and that gives me a lot of options when it comes to shopping for plants and.. well it’s London so pretty much anything else. I will try to include some wildly available stores, so all of you could find something for yourself.

1. Flower markets – Columbia Road Flower Market

My number one spot for plant shopping. This amazing London market is open every Sunday from 8am to 3pm. It does get pretty crowded, but the selection is amazing. The common misconception is that they only sell fresh flowers there, but I can assure you that is not the case.
If you don’t live locally check if your town has a flower market.

Prices: Depending on a stall and a plant. Not always the lowest prices, but definitely on a cheaper side. Remember never to buy from a first stall you see, even if it’s crowded and you just want to get out! The prices for the same plant can vary by up to £30. You can always try to haggle – especially if you want to buy more than one plant from the same seller.

I got that beautiful blooming opuntia for £25!

2. Supermarkets

Last year was great for plants and almost every big supermarket chain decided to have their own selection. My favourite two are:

Sainsbury’s

The selection is pretty decent for a supermarket and whatever they offer is usually in stock.

Prices: Good! You can buy Alocasia amazonica for as little as £3.50

Lidl:

By far the best supermarket for plants! The only problem in London is that they are usually selling fast and you have to be lucky to get the good and big ones.

Prices: Great! They start from just £3.

3. Garden centres

There is no way you can leave a garden centre empty handed. I like Thompson’s Plant & Garden Centre in Chislehurst, but you can just google one that’s close to you.

Prices: Not as cheap as a supermarket, but the selection is bigger.

4. Car boot sales

I loooove car boot sales for many different reasons. It’s a fantastic opportunity to find some vintage treasures. I wouldn’t recommend going to a car boot sale just for plants, but if you are there already – try to spot some green babies. Sometimes there is a big plant stand, but mostly it’s just people selling small plants that they propagated.

Prices: Bargains! I was lucky to get a jade plant and a spider plant for 50p each.

5. Ikea

There is a lot to choose from now, so don’t skip their plant section on your visit.

Prices: Good. It depends on a plant. Last time I was there they had amazing large calathea plants for only £9 each, but their midium high monstera plant was £15, which is close to an average garden centre pirce.

6. Small local shops and nurseries

It is always good to support your local small businesses. What I like to do is go to a place that offers more than just a plant. Like independent Alexandra Nurseries in Penge that also has a great cafe (you can eat your cake between gorgeous plants) and small vintage shop.

Prices: Higher than average, but it’s difficult to compete with the large chain stores.

7. Online

I do not recommend getting your plants from an online store. I had some bad experiences with plants being damaged and the benefits are just not there in my opinion. I do encourage you though to check Gumtree and similar places for “pick up” offers and plant swaps.

I hope that you find that small guide helpful. If you’ve got any questions or plant shopping suggestions, please share!

Here’s a picture of my guest bedroom with a selection of plants from almost every place mentioned before.

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