Top 10 Places for Houseplants in Orlando

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I kill houseplants. Ferns, aloe, ficus, cactus, succulent have all sacrificed themselves and gone to their deaths to avoid my plant-motherhood. I actually gave up on an orchid one time and flung it into someone’s side yard, only to have it be gorgeous and blooming just a few months later. My friend LeAnn Siefferman, professional ceramist and successful gardener, told me she’d teach me but I’m stalling. I’ve tried. I really have.

Hi, I’m Jenny, and I kill houseplants.

I’ve noticed that in the past year or so that something has happened to Orlando and the rest of America that has me wanting to try plant fostering again. My friends have all become plant parents; embracing the tiniest of cacti to the largest of fiddle leaf figs or tastiest fiddle fern. (Those are edible, btw.) They have dedicated themselves to keeping these small green beings alive. Beings? The blog, Plants are the Strangest People, seems to think so and gives names like Tyler and Jayvvon to Anthuriums. I know you came her for a list, so let me get on with it.

My picks for the best places to find houseplants and ceramics in Orlando:

  1. Porch Therapy is one of the best resources for not just houseplants or succulents or gardening, but landscaping too. If you’re thinking backyard oasis, get with these people. You can also pick up home goods and containers and gardening accessories here. Located at East End Market and The Heavy.

  2. Land of Alice Studio is available to ship you plants. That’s right, you can order plants by mail if you’re not able to get out to the shops. How convenient is that? Since very few people are doing it, she’s ahead of the trend. Go ahead, you know you want to.

  3. Palmer’s Garden & Goods is a beloved Orlando plant palace. Super duper cool and you can have events here too. Drive by at night to see market lights and dreamy garden parties happening within its fence. I did buy a lime tree here once that I planted in my friend’s yard over top of my dead cat. I have ignored that lime tree for two years now, letting my friend be the one to worry over it and water it and hope that fur or bone don’t resurface. I’m a good friend. Ha ha ha! (Sorry, Laura.)

  4. Palmer’s Feed Store where you can buy flats of peeps (baby chicks), a telephone pole, or vegetable plants and seeds. I’m just going to wait here while you click through to look at the picture menu. Scroll to ‘Pest Control’…impactful, right? I want that kind of pest control. They can tell you what’s safest to use around pets and best for your houseplants and gardens. It’s Florida, y’all, nature is b-r-u-t-a-l here.

  5. The Nook on Robinson is kind of a wild card entry but they have plants and amazing concrete containers provided by Till Plant Co. Go there and grab a kombucha and a new lil green friend if you’re far from the trailer location of Till.

  6. Florida Cactus Inc. is up in Apopka which is a teeny bit of a drive from Orlando. Maybe 40 minutes-ish. But SO worth the drive. Their greenhouses have zero competition around here. The colors and selection will blow your mind. So if it’s a cactus you want, it’s a cactus you’ll get.

  7. Craft & Common is where to stop in for delicious treats, killer coffee drinks and to find plants and sundries. It’s also where you can sit and sip for hours with friends under a neon sign in queen size wicker chairs. #Heavenly

  8. Hello Happy Plants is online and I want to think that she’s here in Orlando, so I just will. Best planters with messages that stick. Put on sunglasses and head to this website, unless you’re colorblind, and then just go ahead and click through.

  9. Orlando Pottery Studio is last but not least. The fact that you can actually learn to make and fire your own ceramics here in Orlando and that the place has been around for ages. After advancing to doing your own home ceramic work, check out Orlando artist Richard Munster’s kiln.

  10. The Sill is not in Orlando per se. It’s plants by mail. Gorgeously done with lots of resources. It’s the anti-Amazon of plant shopping online. They trademarked Plant Parenthood, I mean, can I even type that without paying them? Follow them on Insta with #PlantsMakePeopleHappy, also registered.

Instagram can’t be the only reason why people are suddenly becoming plant people. Plants are actually really cool. It’s what you can learn to take care of successfully before navigating a new relationship or getting a pet, or have a baby. Maybe it’s that they provide oxygen, and wellness is big business right now. So are plants though.

Since 2016, plant sales have actually increased 50% to 1.7 billion dollars according to the National Gardening Association. Fun fact, most of the growers are here in Florida but few of them sell online. Plant and garden stores themselves don’t have online shops available since they’re afraid of plants not arriving the way they were expected to. (If you’re looking to start a new business, this one is ripe for picking. Get it? So bad.) The article cited only underlines the fact that we can grow year round here. Our greenhouses are packed and lovely while the rest of the country suffers through something called seasons. The idea of gardening and growing your own food is just one leap further. Not such a big a leap from contributing your front yard to Fleet Farming to buying a little piece of land.

Lake County is just next door and has a few farms available. You could be like the Pasture Brothers and start raising your own chickens. Did you hear that Ikea is teaming up with designer Tom Dixon to come out with a new gardening tool line? The hope is that it will inspire urbanites to grow more food at home and in their communities. My dream has always been to be a goat farmer, but before jumping onto that path maybe I should start with something smaller. I could start with a succulent for my windowsill. I could…if I didn’t kill houseplants.

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Fill Your Life with Flair from Craft & Common

Craft & Common is a new coffee and retail combo in downtown Orlando filled with ferns, femininity, funky trinkets, and plenty of fabulous photo ops.

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Craft & Common lives up to its name with a full craft coffee and espresso bar, including pastries and other baked goods.  Pictured here is a very satisfying everything croissant that caught my eye.  They also make a cheddar jalapeno croissant and store a selection of vegan breakfast sandwiches in the cooler.

Shelves upon shelves of brightly colored gifts and dainty knick-knacks line the walls of Craft & Common's spacious layout.

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You can't have a storefront these days without a super cute backdrop to take fun photos with while you peruse the goods. Craft & Common does not disappoint with the Biggie Smalls reference, "It was all a dream."

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Parking is in the back of the building and there's plenty of seating and table space for bigger groups for hanging out with friends or holding meetings.

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Craft & Common

47 E Robinson Street, Ste 100
Orlando, FL 32801

www.craftandcommon.com
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Tina Fleming is a partner at Townie Tourist and an Orlando-based travel and lifestyle blogger at Tina In The Sun. She's a cat mom, self-proclaimed foodie, and moonlight singer in an a cappella group called Geekapella.

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Why you need to start hanging out at The Heavy in Winter Park

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The space is filled with inspired plant combinations, floral arrangements, and home decor by Porch Therapy (Sound familiar? You've probably seen them in East End Market).

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The Heavy

SHOP. DRINK. EAT.
1152 Harmon Avenue
Winter Park, FL
@theheavywp
http://theheavywp.com

Last week, we visited The Heavy for a sneak preview of the very Instagrammable chill space opening this July in the old Lombardi's Seafood building in Winter Park.

The Heavy is bringing your favorite local vendors together, featuring a Downtown CREDO coffee bar and rotating pop-up restaurants. Bangrak Thai Street Kitchen will be popping up three times per week with their traditional Thai food and (great news for me!) an expanded menu to include more vegetarian and vegan options.

Long farmhouse table, perfect for dinner parties.

Long farmhouse table, perfect for dinner parties.

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The Heavy will have regular open hours to the public starting in July and will be the perfect place to setup and work, study, or hang out and take creative photos with your friends. 

The best part is all of the cute plants and decor are for sale! See something you like? Let one of the employees know and you can bring what you love home with you. 

 

Tina Fleming is a partner at Townie Tourist and an Orlando-based travel and lifestyle blogger at Tina In The Sun. She's a cat mom, self-proclaimed foodie, and moonlight singer in an a cappella group called Geekapella.

Instagram |Twitter 

Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Florida

I used to live in Sarasota and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite places to wander.  Named for Marie Selby who lived on the property with her husband, William, for over 50 years.  She loved nature and when she passed in 1971, she left her home and gardens to the community "for the enjoyment of the general public." 

Selby Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to epiphytes.  They research, study, display, and conserve these plants that live on other plants.  Like air plants, they don't harm the host plant but rather just hang around as pals.  Some of the best examples are orchids, bromeliads, and gesneriads.  (Say that three times fast!)

It's a place of research and the scientific staff here have discovered more than 2,000 plant species. The collections on property include an herbarium of more than 110,000 dried and pressed specimens and over 30,000 preserved in fluids with some of the rarest dating back to the 1700s. 

If you're in Sarasota, take a couple hours to visit Selby Gardens.  The LIVE video below takes you on a walking tour through this living museum and shows the unique Warhol: Flower in the Factory works all over the property.  The exhibit is open from February to June 30, 2018 and "explores the surprising, and little known, role of nature in Warhol's art and life."

Leu Gardens: LEGO Bricks and Botanicals in Audubon Park

"Just as LEGO pieces interconnect, everything in nature is interconnected in a delicate balance. Insects and plants have important relationships; different species of animals have connections with their families just like we do."

Leu Gardens has a very special event happening called Nature Connects and it involves over 450,000 LEGO Bricks. Artist Sean Kenney is a self-proclaimed professional kid and he uses LEGO Bricks to create contemporary sculpture. This traveling exhibition has been touring the world since 2012 and truly is an incredible sight to see. 

It's available here in Orlando until April 22, 2018 so be sure to visit before it moves on. Brendan and I took a walk through the garden and saw every single one of Kenney's creatures. Did you know:

  • Over 464,770 LEGO Bricks were used for the exhibit.

  • There are 16 sculptures, so grab a map to find them all.

  • It took Kenney over 4,500 hours to build all the sculptures.



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Be sure to look up!