Plant Stores: A Pandemic’s Saving Grace

It’s a wonderful time to be a home gardener, because you’re home.”  – Gay Austin, National Garden Clubs President


As the COVID lockdown has progressed, we’ve all become a little obsessed with our personal spaces. Growing a pandemic garden has been the solution for many people. From potted plants to full-out vegetable gardens (if you’re lucky enough to have the space), gardening has provided a welcome respite for many people from the incessant doom-scrolling that is 2020. Especially in Los Angeles, where the summer wildfires have forced many of us inside, indoor plants have been the only nature many of us have seen.


In fact, sales revenue for the building material and garden retail sector actually increased by 8.6% between Spring 2019 and Spring 2020. (So have liquor store sales, but that’s a different story!) While you’re getting your COVID green-thumb on, think about branching out from the big chain stores that dominate the landscaping market and supporting small businesses in your community. Often smaller stores have a better variety selection, fresher plants, and better deals than large chains. Small business owners will often help you pick out the perfect plant for yoru place, and give you tips on aftercare – unlike large stores, they’re invested in seeing your plant journey succeed!


Below are a few of our favorite small plant stores in the greater Los Angeles area. Like all of the businesses we highlight at FOUND/LA, these local entrepreneurs represent a range of identities and are all invested in giving back to their communities. So next time you feel like beautifying your home, visit a small business for your plant purchase, and invest in your community, too.

Owner, Pop AnneMarie, started collecting plants to decorate her first business, a vintage clothing pop-up store that was part of a group of businesses at The Container Yard. When her collection of plants started getting more interest than her clothes, Pop rethought her trajectory and enrolled in the UCLA Extensions Horticulture program. Pop decided her plant shop would be a plant SPOT. A taco guy, a dj, and a box of logos later, WYLDBNCH was born. 


Now settled in the brick and mortar location of Lucky Corner in DTLA,  Wyldbnch remains a part of the community that helped bring it to life. As owner Pop says, “Wyldbnch is not only a plant shop, I like to consider it a safe space where anyone and everyone is welcome, whether you’re here to buy a plant or not. For me first and foremost it’s providing a memorable experience. We thrive off of our ethos: always evolving!” 


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When Hank Jenkins opened The Plant Provocateur, he was an anomaly. As a black and queer business owner, he had to overcome people’s perceptions about what a plant store owner looked like. When the Black Lives Matter movement gained strength this year, Jenkins grappled with the emotional ramifications of being a black business owner in an LA Times feature on local black-owned business. 

A Silver Lake destination for the past five years, Jenkins was forced to move his business from a brick and mortar location to online this year. Like many small businesses, he’s had to cope with the effects of the COVID pandemic on his business by making the e-commerce transition. However, he has befriended the tight knit community of mom-and-pop merchants along Sunset Boulevard and says he, “roots for them daily, and they do the same for me.” [Source: LA TIMES]

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If you’re looking for COVID-safe plant shopping experience, PLANTA in Highland Park is the store for you. Their website lets you book private, in-store shopping appointments in 30 minute segments for a safe, luxurious in-store shopping experience. In pre-COVID times, PLANTA was also available to be booked out for private shoots and events, so trust us, the trip is worth it. 


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If you’re looking for a kid-friendly activity that is good for the planet and doesn’t involve a computer screen, Greenwood in Valley Village has a build-your-own terrarium kit that you can pick-up! In pre-pandemic times, this kit was a live workshop they hosted in their store, but like many small businesses, Greenwood has had to get creative in this era of social distancing. Their kit comes with instructions and all the materials you need to create four fun, colorful terrariums, so every member of your pod can have their own. And listen, if your pod is all adults, we won’t tell. 

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Founded 15 years ago by a former art director and a one-time screenwriter, POTTED in Atwater Village started off as an outdoor home and garden store. However, over the years, they have embraced the theatrical flair and diverse style that is their trademark and have become an outdoor lifestyle destination. They’ve developed relationships with local designers and artisans, expanding their collection beyond just greenery. If you want that one-of-a-kind macrame wall hanging holder, or an adorably instagrammable garden chair, Potted is the place for you. 

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Happy planting!