Buying Plants in Orlando
Nothing soothes me quite like putting in my earbuds and walking around some of our local nurseries and greenhouses. I try to take special advantage during the cooler months so I can take my time slowly inspecting the selections. On the home front I’ve begun adding to my plant family to fill the front and back patios, but I want to do so without paying crazy prices and without just running to Home Depot.
While trendy plant shops seem to grab most of our attention (and who can blame us), we would be remiss to neglect the long standing establishments that are not only full of experts, but in many instances are providing most of the plants we love to the local shops. This round-up shows appreciation to them both, while indulging my love of fun, badly drawn maps.
This so much more than a nursery. It’s like a mini amusement park for plant and nature lovers.
First of all, it’s huge. We probably spent over an hour strolling the property looking at the different varieties of plants, trees, and flowers. Second, there is a butterfly encounter where you can let these delicate creatures rest on your hand. Admission is $6 per person, and includes walking through their greenhouse gardens where different species of butterflies are flying free and small quail and finch birds are running around. There is a designated, enclosed area where you can put nectar on your fingers and let the butterflies feast. Third and lastly, there are photo opportunities all over the place. Random dinosaurs, a Bigfoot, bears, and more kitschy places for photos of the kids or maybe just a selfie.
This is a fourth-generation family business with serious roots in Oviedo. Once you go, you just might get addicted to visiting.
On my last visit I purchased two types of Caladium (shown in the second picture below) and the cost was $22.
Hours are 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. every day of the week.
Husband and wife team Gary and Grace Li opened Piante in Winter Park over a year ago, and they’ve become a must stop shop for those who stroll down Park Avenue. They started with a small space on Fairbanks which they quickly outgrew. Now that space is used for workshops and a meeting space for garden design clients.
The lush retail space is now off Lincoln Avenue, fully stocked with plants, pots, and other carefully selected gifts and goods. You can also hold private workshop events here. I hosted a build your own terrarium night with a bachelorette party and it was the perfect way to do something a little more hands-on with a group of ladies.
Gary’s background is deeply rooted in botanical knowledge, including a post-grad diploma in Garden Design with distinction from the Inchbald School of Design in London, UK. Clearly, if you want to keep your plant babies alive, they’ll know exactly what steps you need to take.
I’ve made several purchases at Piante including a barrel cactus and fiddle fig I’m proud to say are still alive!
Hours are Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. / Friday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. / Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. / Sunday noon - 5 p.m.
Apenberry’s home is in College Park right on Edgewater Drive. You’ve probably noticed that large iron sphere out front when you’ve drive by. They’ve been in business since 1995, long before plants were trendy. Their garden center is ripe with plants, trees (I’m totally going back for a lemon tree), but also several types of gorgeous flowers if you are looking to give your yard or patio some color.
Indoor you will find decor including pots, indoor hanging plants, and seeds if you wish to start your own garden which they can also help you with.
On my last visit, I purchased a beautiful pink Anthurium with a stylish modern pot, and a
Lime Zinger Creeping Sedum for a total of $22 (see last photo in set below).
They are open Monday - Saturday 9 a.m - 6 p.m. and closed Sundays.
I dare you to walk around Palmer’s Garden & Goods outdoor oasis and not take a few inspirational pictures for your own garden. This is another multi-generational business dating back to the 1920’s, now run by Florida natives Allison and Jeff Palmer.
In addition to loading up on your own bounty of garden goods, Palmer’s offers landscaping and gardening services, delivery to certain zip codes, and you can even rent the lush outdoor area for a private party. With the string lights and glowing Palmer’s sign, it’s a beautiful, natural backdrop for a party. Inside you’ll find plenty of potted plants, home goods, and gifts if you can’t decide on what plant to take home.
On my last visit I purchase and ornamental pepper plant ($5.31) to add pops of orange to my collection.
Hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays / 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday / 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday
Do you want your plants delivered to your doorstep? Then check out local plant lover Land of Alice. She travels to markets around the state but also sells directly through her Etsy store. You can also shop her beautiful retail space located in her sun room.
If you find it odd to come shop in her home, she understands if some may be hesitant and she tries to take precautions as well for her own safety. She suggests coming out to meet her at one of her markets first. Her regular schedule right now consists of the Winter Garden Farmers Market on Saturdays and the Downtown Orlando Farmers Market on Sundays.
She takes appointments via direct messages on Instagram and tries to be flexible Monday thru Friday. She also lets customers use her potting soil and supplies if they wish to bring their own pots (she sells some as well) and plant what they buy.
It’s been blogged about, grammed to high heavens, and could be the main reason people are exploring Apopka. I’m usually just plant shopping when I go, but even still, I can’t resist to snap a few pictures of the rows and rows of beauty.
If you’ve never been, you can walk into the main office/cashier area and let them know you are there to make retail purchases and grab a plant tray.
So many people wholesale from this nursery that often you will notice pink tape around rows of plants because they’ve already been purchased. Don’t worry, there are several greenhouses holding succulents, cacti, and other plants, so you will find your next plant babies here for sure.
Every time I visit, without fail there is a photo shoot happening. I have no clue if that irritates the owners or not, but I would absolutely implore anyone that goes with that purpose to PATRON the business and respect the people working hard in the sweltering greenhouses. They’ve been in business for fifty years, so recognize the OG of the cactus game and give them your love and respect.
Hours are Monday - Friday only!
The Heavy + Porch Therapy
Owner Jenn Crotty started her plant-venture with Porch Therapy which is much more than the booth you’ll see inside the East End Market. They’ve done work for local businesses (Alchemy, Black Bean Deli, The Guesthouse) and of course leave their signature trendy style on local weddings.
Their sister brand is The Heavy, a larger space holding even more greenery along with home goods and gifts, and a flower bar where you can make your own bouquet or you can let their floral artists do it for you.
Hours at The Heavy are 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday - Thursday and 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Hours at the Porch Therapy reflect the hours of the East End Market.
Central Florida is rich with nurseries, especially in Apopka which is the Indoor Foliage Capital, however several of these nurseries are for wholesalers only. The places listed are open to the public. Always check that a wholesaler license isn’t needed before you go to a new nursery.
All photos are property of LemonHearted Creative, all purchases mentioned were paid for personally. No businesses were made aware they would be mentioned in this post. Support your local people that are working year round in this Florida heat so you can have cute Instagram plants in your photos.