Houston abounds with gardeners and plant-lovers, whether they’re growing vegetables outside, creating stunning flowerbeds, filling a private greenhouse or building an indoor jungle.
There are plenty of options available at local nurseries, which offer a wide range of plants to suit every taste and budget. Here are our top 11 choices for Houston’s best places to buy indoor and outside plants. Houstonians can find all these shops within a short drive from the ones we have included in this compilation.
Where: 2233 South Voss Road; Multiple locations
What: Part of the Calloway’s Nursery chain, Cornelius on Voss is the place to go for reasonably priced indoor and outdoor plants. The store has a large greenhouse, an outdoor tree and shrub section, and also sells pots and tools, pesticides, fertilizers, and home decor in a smaller indoor location near the entrance.
TipHoliday sales often include discounts of 30 percent on one item. This makes them the perfect time to buy your next big plant. Register for a free loyalty card to receive consistent discounts on larger orders.
Buchanan Native Plants has evergreen, hardy shrubs. Monday, February 22, 2021 in Houston.Marie D. De Jesús, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer
Where: 611 E 11th Street.
What: This Heights nursery is dedicated exclusively to native plants. This makes it a great place for beginners who are looking for plants that will thrive in the Houston climate. Local nurseries often boast the most dedicated and knowledgeable staff, and Buchanan’s is no different. The nursery welcomes potential buyers to ask questions.
Tip: Buchanan’s free monthly to-do list for gardening in Houston is a godsend for new and old gardeners alike. You can even use it as a guide to purchase, listing when to plant common kitchen garden items.
Where: 21328 State Highway 249
What: This family-run garden center is a favorite among local gardeners, and for good reason — its large selection includes everything from succulents and indoor plants to outdoor trees, shrubs and flowers. It’s also a great place to grab rarer items like live insects or large air plants, and will often be among the first locally to stock newly trending tropical plants.
Tip: Use Plants For All Seasons’ Online tools to calculate your soil and mulch needs or find the right time to plant vegetables in Houston’s climate. For prominent outdoor planters, the store’s Pot to Trot service will design custom arrangements in your containers.
Joshua Kornegay, owner of Joshua’s Native Plants, points out various flowering plants that help feed hummingbirds and butterflies in a file photo from 2008.Craig Hartley Freelance / For the Chronicle
Where: 502 W 18th St.
What: Tucked into a corner lot in the vibrant Heights neighborhood, Joshua’s is an unexpected plant haven in the city. Winding but well-organized corridors lead customers through the outdoor native plants and open to the store’s back side, where succulents and indoor plants abound. The huge warehouse is filled with pots, statues, and sculptures.
Tip: The warehouse has everything you need for outdoor decor and garden accessories, including antiques, metal sculptures, and fountains.
Where: 4809 Breen Drive, 11701 Alief Clodine Road
What: Houston’s JRN nursery locations offer enough varied plants to impress indoor and outdoor gardeners alike. Even for trendy items, prices are affordable (see the $19.99 hoya-obovata splash). The nurseries have a strong Vietnamese influence, with hard-to-find Southeast Asian fruit tree varieties and impressive bonsais. It is almost certain that you will find unique and inexpensive items by digging through the pots.
Tip: This is the place to go for home decor lovers who are passionate about beautiful centerpieces. Spend on a multi-tiered orchid arrangement. Or, spend on a beautiful bonsai arrangement.
Houston Garden Centers: AmaryllisJill Carroll / For the Chronicle
Where: Multiple locations
What: It is hard to miss the huge yellow and red canopies at Houston Garden Centers. The garden centers are primarily focused on outdoor plants and offer a wide range of annuals, perennials shrubs, trees, trees, vines ferns, succulents, and other plant varieties. This is a great place to buy bulk bedding mix or mulch.
Tip: Use the online What to Plant Now? to find the best shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals for your outdoor garden from a huge selection, including photos and care.
Where: 9191 Katy Freeway
What: Blink and you’ll miss it — Tall Plants is located in a small lot right off the freeway, but the nursery lives up to its name. The store has huge climbing pothos with sheet-like foliage, gargantuan palms and towering fiddle-leaffigs. You will also find smaller indoor plants, including hanging baskets full of trailing vines. Outside, you might find palms and hibiscus as well as a staghornfern that seems to defy gravity.
Tip: If you’re looking for an indoor show-stopper, this is the place to go. Ask the employees and they’ll package your huge purchase in paper and even help load it in the car.
Where: 7900 Interstate 45
What: The Cactus King is a nursery that has a speciality. This eclectic business is all about succulents. It aims to provide regular gardeners with the same access as professional gardeners to succulents. Website. The family-run nursery holds an impressive 15 greenhouses filled with all kinds of cacti and succulent species, but those won’t be the only things to turn heads; numerous funky sculptures dot the spread out nursery, seemingly created from found or junk items.
Tip: When you visit, make sure to wear closed-toed shoes and bring cash.
Where: 15809 Texas 249 Road Access Road
What: This rolling four-acre nursery sits at the intersection of 249 and Sam Houston Tollway, but you’ll forget you’re still in the city once you’re inside. According to the nursery, you can explore rows upon rows of trees and shrubs that were grown by RCW and adapted to the Gulf Coast. Website. This is a great place to shop for roses. RCW carries hundreds.
Tip: The nursery’s tree care advice and planting guide are invaluable if you’re buying a new outdoor tree. The library going back through 2010 and beyond includes detailed care guides for various plants.
An arrangement taken from Another Place in Time.Sharon Steinmann Staff / Houston Chronicle
Where: 421 W. 11th St.
What: Heights Nursery is known for its rare and exotic plants. It is a popular choice among local collectors. The nursery is large enough to house a wide variety of species. Its prices are competitive with other local nurseries. Another Place in Time also offers special sales and deals each week, which means that you could score a wishlist plant at a discounted price.
Tip: APIT sports an active social media with regular updates on new shipments(!) You will also receive information about sales and specials. Follow the nursery’s pages to snag your favorites before they sell out.
Where: 1015 Arlington St.
What: Located just near Buchanan’s, Zone 9 Tropicals is a weekend-only plant collector’s paradise. The nursery often stocks the most popular rare items and displays prices and plants on its website. WebsiteYou can also order online from the shop. The shop’s tropical specialty means most plants will only survive indoors in a Houston winter, so this business is geared toward indoor gardeners.
Tip: The shop is located in a bungalow and yard on a residential street, so parking can be difficult. Be comfortable and willing to walk a few blocks.