The Philadelphia Houseplant Guide

During the last few months of social distancing, I have been getting to know my plant-friends a little too well. Notorious F.I.G, the fiddle leaf fig, has a leaf that I watched steadily turn from green to banana-yellow in the last week (much like my social life). Pot-roast the pothos has a 47 degree tilt on the right which will result in him catapulting off my plant wall in the next two weeks.

While they are no substitute for human contact, caring for a plant does relieve stress and promote a positive well-being. Finding Insta-worthy large leafy plants is not always easy when you’re not near a suburban greenhouse. To help your search, we have compiled a list of the best plant stores in Philadelphia to adopt a green friend when quarantine subsides. Lugging them on mass-transit? Now, that’s for you to decide.

Stump-

A newcomer to Philadelphia’s plant game, Stump’s access to Floridan wholesalers has changed the availability of rare species in Philadelphia. If you are looking for 6-foot Audrey Ficus or a 9-foot Fiddle Fig, look no farther. The husband-and-wife team are in the process of completing a greenhouse at their sister-store in Ohio so don’t be surprised we start seeing hard-to-get varieties in excess. Stump receives delivery on Thursday afternoons — so if you are looking for a one-off specimen, make sure you come on a Friday.

Cultivaire-

Cultivaire is Brewerytown’s newest edition to its commercial corridors. Stocked with an abundance of small and medium tropicals, this store-front is your one-stop shop for gifts. Since it’s a small-shop, the owners are very hands-on and happy to DM you if a desired-plant arrives.

Secret Garden-

Hidden behind a beverage distributor in Roxborough, the Secret Garden is your cheap go-to for all of your indoor and outdoor gardening needs. Many of the plants are better rooted than your average big-box store. The store features a small number of very large tropicals which are deeply discounted.

Vault and Vine-

Part coffee shop, part green-house, part florist, Vault & Vine has products for all your millennial needs. Not only does the shop feature two greenhouses, it curates goods from local artists such as ceramicist Brian Ginealkski. In the cold months of winter, you’ll find me with a warm cup of chai seated next to a giant banana-leaf plant.

Terrain-

Part of the Urban Outfitters family, the best description of Terrain is Anthropologie meets garden. The two greenhouses are stuffed to the gills with fan-favorites like string of pearls and asparagus fern. In the summer months, check out their hard to find herbs like strawberry mint and thai basil. The real gem is their curated selection of modern planters and patio furniture for your little urban abode. Prices are a little steeps — a silver pothos could run you $20. Consider the purchase, your cover charge. After exploring the multiple indoor and outdoor greenhouses to check out, catch a bite in their on-site cafe where bread is freshly baked in terracotta pots. Don’t be surprised if you see lots of posing throughout the store. Terrain is a blogger’s paradise.

City Planter-

The OG of plant stores in the city, City Planter located in Northern Liberties has been serving plant-lovers for over a decade. The store features a variety of small and large tropicals and is moderate in price compared to much of its competition. While you’re there, make sure you check-out the 7-foott resident variegated monstera. Talk to the staff to sign up for rare plant cuttings, including pink princess philodendron and variegated tropical varieties. Don’t have a green thumb? The small store also features a plant hospital for all of your botanical mis-haps.

| Urbanist | Place-maker | Seeker |

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