A few days ago, I asked a friend if he wanted to go halfsies on the purchase of 20 tiny succulents; ten for each of us. He declined, claiming that being responsible for that many new plants—in addition to the three he was currently “very devoted” to keeping alive in his tiny New York apartment—was “too much.”
That’s fair I suppose. Ten succulents is a lot of succulents. But at SG HQ, we remain 100 percent Team House Plant, actively campaigning for everyone we know to embrace their green thumb.
Before diving into where you can purchase all the plants you’ll soon refer to as “babies” (just go with it), it’s important to knock through a few of the practicalities of keeping these living things, y’know, alive.
First of all, how much natural light do you actually have? (This is different from what your real estate broker told you, by the way.) Because as much as you might want ten succulents, if you don’t have a nice, sunny, and not-too-humid spot for them to live, they will absolutely wilt and die and it will be all your fault.
Next, what level of care are you prepared to offer? I don’t want to pick on you, but if you’re someone who never changes the filter in your Brita, a Fiddle Leaf Fig is not for you. (Those things are particular!) If, on the other hand, you’re looking to take up indoor gardening as a serious hobby, you can try your green thumb at raising a more exotic, needy variety of plant, like an orchid.
Finally, what’s the reality of your living space? How much room do you have? Do you have a pet who thinks eating grass then getting extremely ill is fun? Maybe you don’t have a way to get that giant palm tree to the top of your fifth floor walk-up. All these factors will affect what kind of plants can thrive in your care.
This is the thing about plants, you have to make room for them in your home and your heart.
From cool kid shops like The Sill to subscription services like Horti, we’ve rounded up four SG-approved online plant shops that will have you cultivating an indoor garden in no time. (Oh and we included a couple big box retailers too because, hey, $40 for 20 succulents is a really good deal!)
Our pick: Snake Plant Laurentii, $16
Founded in 2012 by Eliza Blank, The Sill began as a chic little plant shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and just opened their first location in Los Angeles this month. With more Instagram followers than plenty of pretty famous celebrities and a very aesthetically pleasing e-comm site, a purchase from The Sill has become a millennial New Yorker status symbol. It’s just that this one actually has the power to improve your life (no offense, Boy Brow).
“Gramability” aside, we love how easy it is to filter The Sill’s offerings by pet friendliness, difficulty of care, light availability, and size. Plus, if you want to pay a little more, you can purchase your plant already potted in a chic, shelfie-ready vessel.
Bloomscape (More options available via Huckberry)
Our pick: Extra Large Bird of Paradise, $195
About a year ago, Bloomscape delivered an enormous, extremely mature Monstera Deliciosa in an extremely large box to the vestibule of my building. Heavy as it was, the box had two easy grip spots so I could carry it up the flights of stairs to my apartment. When I opened the box in my living room, my Monstera burst forth with its big, bright green “swiss cheese” leaves and my apartment was never the same. (It’s honestly his apartment now, I am merely a paying guest.)
It’s great that you can buy really big plants from Bloomscape, like a nearly $200 Bird of Paradise, and trust that it will arrive at your home upright, recently watered, relatively easy to carry, and ready to dominate your space. They also have petite and medium size plants, if that’s your thing...
Our pick: Chinese Money Plant, $12 and up
My favorite thing about shopping Greenery NYC’s selection of houseplants is actually shopping for the vessel your plant comes in. Purchase your plant in a temporary plastic planter for a steal, or choose a display-ready pot. From colorful ceramics to metal, artistic porcelain and glazed stoneware—they’re as fun to shop for as the Rattlesnake Plants and Victoria Birdsnest Ferns that will grow and flourish inside them.
Our pick: Pet-Friendly Bundle, $22
Created in New York City specifically for urban gardeners, Horti sets itself apart with a subscription service mode for its offerings. Customers can choose between monthly and bi-monthly deliveries, and Horti curates your plants to help build your confidence and green thumb skills. They’ll start you with easy-to-maintain selections and gradually introduce more exotic varieties (with care instructions included, of course). Plus, you can cancel the subscription or skip a delivery anytime in case you reach full plant-care capacity.
“Our entire subscription is designed around the idea of building planting confidence,” says Puneet Sabharwal, Horti’s CEO and co-founder. “So the first four to six plants that you receive are curated with that in mind. They are hardy plants that are perfect for beginners and also appeal to the plant enthusiast. That includes plants like Philodendron Brasil, Satin Pothos, and Crispy Fern to name a few.”
While you can shop for plants a la carte, I love that this company wants to take you on an exciting, ever-evolving plant parent journey. They’ve even got a subscription specifically for pet-friendly greens!
Our pick: Costa Farms’ Golden Pothos in Mid-Century Modern Planter, $33
Adult me shops Amazon the same way college-age me shopped at my local Target. I go in for face wash and a roll of paper towels and check out with six throw pillows, an adult coloring book and oops, a baby fiddle leaf fig tree!
Succulents and cacti, bonsais and vines—you can even buy a literal orange tree on Amazon! Or an avocado tree! But more realistically for those of us living in apartments or anywhere not sunny California, they’ve got easy-to-cultivate indoor varieties, too. What are those varieties, you ask?
“Three of the very best plants for beginner are snake plant (Sansevieria), ZZ plant (Zamioculcas), and Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)” says Costa Farms’ Horticulturist Justin Hancock. Why? Because they won’t be judgy of the light in your home or hold it against you if you ignore them.
“They all tolerate low light well, but also thrive in medium or bright light. They all tolerate low or average relative humidity levels (that can cause other houseplant leaves to go brown and crispy on the edges), and they forgive you if you forget to water for a week or two. So they’ll grow practically anywhere in your home or office.” You could say they are the “cool girls” of plants.
Our pick: Hirt’s Gardens 4” Pothos, $9
Don’t sleep on Jet, guys. This Walmart-owned e-commerce site’s selection of house plants is not nearly as well-organized as the other sites on our list, but you can find really great prices if you’re willing to surf around a bit. Lots of their house plants come in pairs as well, with succulents, vines and tropical blooming plants for $20 or less. Oh, what’s that you say, you want to grow (and feed!) your very own Venus Fly Trap?! It’s yours for just $12!