Like many cities across the world, San Francisco fell in love with houseplants during the pandemic. And while a monstera might no longer fetch $4,000, the joy a bloom or bud may bring to one’s home during the holiday season could be priceless.
We’ve rounded up a selection of top plant shops in the Bay Area, with shoutouts to a few of our favorites.
Not many plant stores can boast that they also serve natural wines, but Arcana is the spot where lovers of vines and vino can meet. The beautifully designed shop transforms into a hip wine bar by night, offering sides of plant-based bites and hosting live music multiple nights a week.
Haight, Mission, Pac Heights
Arcana is not the only SF plant store where you can vibe with live music. The Mellow, which has three locations across the city, hosts an intimate jazz concert series at its Haight Street location as well as workshops on floral design, wreath-making and more.
True to its name, succulents abound at this Bernal Heights plant store, which also boasts a planting bar where you can make your own terrariums, vertical gardens and more. You can even work with Succulence to customize your own moss wall.
This shop specializes in the rare and the unusual, from hanging and pet-friendly varieties to flora that thrives in low light.
This petite plant store is an oasis of greenery off of Haight Street and also holds a treasure trove of unique gift items with earthy and botanical themes. It’s the perfect spot to pick up a potted plant with a complimentary greeting card as a gift.
Can’t decide between a potted plant or a beautifully scented candle for yourself or your friend? You don’t have to at Often Wander, a boutique on Valencia Street with a botanical bent that also specializes in soy candles and other scented gift items such as incense, reed diffusers, bath and body oils for the hair and hands.
Pro-tip: Go home with one of these Often Wander products and get half-off on refills as well as an excuse to go back for another potted plant when you run out of hand sanitizer.
This legacy business is known for its array of taxidermied curiosities and animal oddities, but did you also know that it sells plants in the back? Whether you choose a fern, an air plant or a bonsai, you’re bound to find something unique amid this array of curious collectibles.
Sloat Garden Center
Various NorCal Locations
This Northern California chain, born out of San Francisco’s Sunset district and popular with locals, has three locations in the city and four in Marin. All Sloats carry a big selection of indoor beauties suitable for gifting—and outside, you can be sure to find a local rose, tree or cactus to wrap a bow around.
The site of a former dairy farm from 1904, Clement Nursery’s unique location makes its visitors feel a million miles away from the city. Find an array of trees, grasses, plants and flowers.
San Francisco Botanical Garden Bookstore
Golden Gate Park
A must-stop for green thumbs and those who buy them gifts. The shop is located on the edge of the garden and open every day, showcasing all manner of plant-related books, decor and gifts—oh, and plants too!—including natives and veggie starts. (And if you’re wondering, the Conservatory of Flowers across Golden Gate Park also sells poinsettias and other plants.)
Flora Grubb Gardens
The brainchild of the West Coast’s “modern plant maven,” this expansive nursery recently branched out from outdoor plants to houseplants and specializes in plants that need little water to flourish.
The Plant Lady SF
This plant shop in the heart of SF’s Ingleside District spotlights artisan and environmentally friendly indoor plants and products. All plants are locally sourced and restocked biweekly.
Of Soil and Moss
Find something truly unique at Of Soil and Moss on Telegraph Avenue. The minimalist plant store specializes in Kokedama, the Japanese gardening technique that perches a highly manicured plant atop a moss ball and stems from the art of bonsai.
And if you’re down in the Peninsula, be sure to check out the community plant shop Las Selvas, which sells plants from around the world, as well as handmade artisan items from Mexico and offers an educational youth plant program for families and youngins with green thumbs called Plant Pals.
Finally, if picking up a plant or sending a bouquet afar is not possibility, Meta Florist might be for you. You may have seen ads for the mysterious floral service in SoMa, and if you’re wondering what it is, it’s the brainchild of renegade Japanese floral artist Azuma Makoto and a virtual flower shop where you can send NFT digital bouquets to loved ones. Several blooms are available on Meta Florist’s website for $27 and you can watch its website for more flower drops in the future.
An Oakland-born startup, Farmgirl’s burlap-wrapped bouquets are still as fresh and lovely as they were when the company started in 2010. The company assures customers that Bay Area-styled-arrangements a shipped anywhere by FedEx and UPS, and they’ll get ’em there on-time.
Christina Campodonico can be reached at [email protected]