Looking to buy a new house plant? Try one of these 8 indie plant stores in Denver.
By Linnea Covington, Special to The Denver Post
Though many retail shops faced a lull during the pandemic, independent plant stores have seen business grow as customers seek to beautify the home with nature.
“There are not a lot of silver linings with this whole virus, but it has gotten people into plants,” said Paige Briscoe, owner of ReRooted Gardens on Larimer Street. “There is an influx of people working from home who want their home space to feel good, calm and relaxing, and that’s something plants do for people, provide a source to something else that’s living.”
Before, she said, many people were too busy to tend to plants in their home, but now when you’re looking at the same four walls and furniture, it’s nice to nurture something to break up the day. A lot of ReRooted’s current customers are new plant parents, too, Briscoe said, and they come from a diverse demographic in terms of age, gender, race and background.
“That’s really exciting for a shop like ours because not only is connection (to customers) high on our list but so is education and making sure they will be successful in their plant journey,” said the 29-year-old.
ReRooted got started in 2018 inside the RiNo design collective Modern Nomad after hosting a successful plant installation there. Briscoe, who had previously worked a slew of jobs as a bartender, waiter, model and tour manager, decided to dedicate herself to plants and open up the shop. ReRooted moved to its current location in February 2020, but three weeks later had to shut down due to the pandemic.
“Slowly we got our online shop up and going, which was the long term goal anyway, and it was great. We would sell out of hundreds of plants within minutes,” said Briscoe, who sources greenery from Florida and California. “But then, slowly sales started to decline, and I asked fellow retailers and they were experiencing the same thing.”
Now ReRooted’s brick and mortar shop is open to four masked people at a time, and Briscoe has mostly closed up the online store, for now. She said business is good, and teaching people how to have plants in their home and lives is one of the best things she can do right now.
Jessica Schutz, owner of Green Lady Gardens, feels the same way. Schutz opened her colorful, Latin-inspired plant shop around the same time Briscoe did, though hers has remained in the Sante Fe Arts District the whole time.
“I had a dream about opening a plant store and one day I drove past this spot and a week later signed a lease,” said Schutz, who had been selling plants at farmers’ markets previously. “I love color and really wanted a colorful plant store with character.”
Schutz, who grew up in Southern California, stocks her shop with imported pots from Mexico, hand-crafted containers made locally, handicrafts that fit her motif that she gets straight from artists, and plenty of unique and easy-to-maintain house plants. The list of plants proves long, including money trees, fiddle leaf figs, jade, pothos, cacti, philodendrons, asparagus fern and so much more.
Like Briscoe, Schutz makes plant education a big part of her business, something customers can see as soon as they enter and take in the large “How To Find a House Plant” chart on the wall. It works too, and in the two years she’s been open she said a lot of her clientele are repeat customers, plus plenty of new ones as well.
“Everyone is at home so they want plants, thank goodness so many people still have jobs,” said the 37-year-old. “My sales go up every single month and I have a very robust following and a strong base.”
One such customer is Niki Knaub, a children’s book author in Harvey Park, who is one of those “plant moms” who has grown her indoor jungle to around 40 plants. Her love for greenery wasn’t born out of quarantine but instead had been instilled in her from her mom and grandmother. She started collecting in college with a single plant and has grown her assemblage from there, even while getting married, moving a few times and having two kids.
“I was raised with the idea of nurturing plants,” said Knaub, who tends to pick low-maintenance plants. “You learn as you go. Before I buy a plant I research what kind of care it needs and if I have the right lighting in the house.”
Even though Knaub said she has plenty of air plants, snake plants, ponytail palm, lipstick plants and cacti, she says if something special comes along, she will consider adding it. And, even though she’s not actively looking for more greenery, she still visits the independent plant shops around town, especially since Paulino’s, her “favorite greenhouse ever” she said, closed in July 2019.
“I made it my mission that when Paulino’s closed to visit every plant store in the city because I wanted that same kind of feeling I got from Paulino’s,” she said. “When you walk in and the plants look really great, you know you can buy a plant from there.”
Whether searching for your first plant or growing a mini jungle, these independent plant shops offer not just the means to stock that work-at-home space with a bit of life, but the tools to become a good plant parent and help potted organisms thrive.
Denver’s independent plant shops
Birdsall & Co.
The Urban Nursery
3040 Blake St.
This “urban nursery” is stocked with everything your city garden needs, including herbs, vegetables and hanging annual baskets.
The Garden Boutique
2870 South Broadway, Englewood
Add a bevy of pots, hanging plants, house plants and outdoor garden decor can be found at the two locations of this 25-year-old business. The shops also host classes for those looking to add a little oomph to their personal jungle game.
Green Lady Gardens
733 Santa Fe Drive
Stock up on bright pots, locally hand-crafted planters, cacti, large house plants, air plants, succulents and more at this Latin-inspired shop in the Santa Fe Arts District.
819 East 6th Ave.
This shop has been around since 1974, and resides in an old house that the owner lives in. It’s a unique place to buy plants and the owner is an encyclopedia of helpful tidbits about each one.
3824 West 23rd Ave.
Specializing in tropical foliage, flowers, succulents, air plants and hand-crafted wood planters and living art installations, this Sloan’s Lake shop proves great for anyone looking to bedazzle their indoor space with greenery.
1000 Acoma St.
Think outdoor nursery meets quaint greenhouse and you have the vibe of this breezy shop. There’s an indoor section too, and the venue sells both indoor and outdoor plants. Don’t visit without paying respects to the friendly, plant-loving shop dog, Henry.
1218 34th St.
For two years this shop has been peddling well-kept plants, and now it’s found a permanent home in RiNo. Once the stipulations due to COVID-19 pass, the owner will start hosting workshops again.
3785 Grove St.
Though this is is a small shop, it’s chock-full of locally-made goods, terrariums and sustainable plants like succulents, cacti, peace lilies, zz plants, foxtail fern and more. Visit the physical store or look at the goods online.