When you first begin buying plants, there’s a multitude of places to shop, which can be overwhelming for a first-time plant owner. To help out, we’ve graded a list of 4 places to purchase indoor plants at different price points. To grade these shops, we’re using 4 different categories: price, quality, accessibility, and range of products
Etsy — B+
Range of Products: A
Etsy is an online platform for independent sellers to sell their products. Although Etsy is mostly filled with DIYs and custom products, there are many shops that sell a wide variety of plants. Because of this, you can find a wide variety of indoor plants for sale at a range of price points. It’s also accessible to anyone– if you don’t have a plant store near you or access to transportation, Etsy is a great way to get plants sent straight to your door. Etsy’s biggest con is that the quality of products sold is not guaranteed, as they come from independent sellers. Despite this, if you order from a shop with high ratings, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a good product.
The Sill — A
Price: $$$ Quality: A
Range of Products: A
The Sill is one of my favorite websites to online shop for plants. They sell both plants and plant accessories (pots, soil, tools, etc) and have plant tips and tricks on their website. Again, plants are shipped straight to your door, but if you’re located in New York City or Los Angeles, you can visit their in-person shop. Their plants can be a bit on the expensive side, but you can find small ones on their site for an affordable price. You can also become a member for $39 a year and receive benefits like free shipping, 10% off purchases, and a newsletter. If you plan on ordering a lot from The Sill, the membership may be worth it.
Local Nursery — A-
Range of Products: Ranges
Local nurseries are one of the best places to find a new plant. If you are new to plant ownership, going to a local nursery can be a great step as you can talk to a professional about any questions you have. Another great thing about going to a local shop is that you can physically choose which plant you want. Many times they have multiple of the same plant for the same price but range in quality or growth. If you go in person, you can choose which one suits your needs more. The range of products depends on the size of the nursery you visit, but most nurseries have high quality plants as keeping their plants in good shape is their main goal. Unlike online shops, local nurseries and shops aren’t available to everyone. If you lack transportation to a nursery, or there’s none in your area, you’re out of luck.
Big store Garden Sections — C+
Range of products: B-
Walmart, The Home Depot, Target, Menards, you name it: many big name stores have a garden center attached to it, and generally houses plants in the summer. These stores typically price their plants at a low cost, and often have clearance racks, but with a low price often comes with a low quality of products. Often times these big stores will physically glue plastic flowers on cactuses or succulents on the plant to give the appearance of the succulent flowering. Many of these plants also can catch diseases in their transportation and spread to other plants in the store. Also, at big stores you never know the training or experience the garden center workers have. While you can find trained professionals at these stores, some of the workers may not be trained in plant care and often over/underwater their stock. Also, because big stores focus their sales on those who don’t have plant experience, they don’t have a wide range of plants as they have at nurseries and online shops.