Edinburgh is such a wonderful place to shop for plants as there are so many independent shops across the city that sell hundreds of plants, pots and accessories. As a self-declared plant mama whose bedroom is turning into a jungle, my spending habits are somewhat encouraged by the abundance of leaves and flowers just waiting to be taken home. In my eyes, plants can turn a house into a home, therefore the more leafy babies that are around, the merrier.
This blog post is orientated towards shopping for indoor plants because that’s where I have a definite fondness. Over the past couple of years, I’ve become a lot better at caring for my plants so whilst I may not be the most qualified person to write this post, as a greenery enthusiast, I wanted to share these joyous places across the Scottish capital.
Location: Fountainbridge and Stockbridge
Grow Urban combines my two loves of coffee and plants to create the most beautiful urban jungle spaces in Fountainbridge and the recently opened shop in Stockbridge. Not only do they have a gorgeous plant selection but they are also great for all the extra bits and bobs with many bags of different soils, plant food and gardening tools. Their Instagram page (@growurban) is a great place for learning about new stock arrivals and reflects and showcases their greenery aesthetic.
The ‘potting sheds’ of Grow Urban deal with the more practical side of plant care with a selection of gardening tools, watering cans and plant food. You’ll also find some great gifts like books and cards dotted around their shops too. The staff at Grow Urban are also super lovely, when I visited twice in a week for large bags of soil, they remembered me and were kind to ask about my monstera, Frank, and the blog post that I’m writing on plant shopping. (Have I now come full circle?)
Leafy Love Affair
What a sanctuary. I could spend all day in Leafy Love Affair as it’s so incredibly relaxing that even a yogi has hosted classes there before. The walls are white with blush accents and feature propagation jars, making it super cute inside. I love the variety of plants available with some plants I’ve never seen before and definitely want to buy. I’m not often in the Abbeyhill area so last time I popped in for a nosey, I (sightly embarrassingly) stayed for an hour chatting to the owner, Ariel, and her husband about Edinburgh and plants. They are both super lovely and it really made Leafy Love Affair stand out for me in Edinburgh’s plant scene. Plus, the reels that Ariel posts to Instagram (@leafy.love.affair) make me giggle and capture the true essence of being in love with houseplants. If you’re like me and don’t live nearby to Leafy Love Affair, it is definitely worth the trip and there are plenty of little cafes nearby too.
Location: Across Edinburgh
The more plants I buy, I’ve learned that florists will often have a selection of houseplants in stock alongside bouquets. I often spot florists having small selections on display outside the shop door and that usually lures me in, it’s how I spotted a £2 lavender plant from Banks Florists in Stockbridge. Other great places to try are Snapdragon in Bruntsfield and Lily West at West Port. Vases and pots are often for sale too and as with specialist houseplant shops, local florists will often stock local artists.
Dahlia is an absolute dream to walk into because the space is so lovely and bright. It’s as if someone took one of my Pinterest boards and made it into a reality. With colourful candle displays dotted in between the foliage including colourful wreaths and gorgeous dried flowers. It was in Dahlia that I fell in love with Calathea’s where I first saw the gorgeous purple underside of the leaves as they stand out against the pink backdrop of the shelves and walls.
Plant Shop Pop Ups
Location: Across Edinburgh
During Fresher’s week in September, it’s always worth checking out university campuses for some bargains. I’m unsure about other universities but on the George Square campus at UoE, there is always a large plant sale targeted towards students moving into new flats and halls and as far as I’m aware, they’re open to all, just be prepared to queue! There’s usually a large selection and all for really good prices. I bought my darling Monstera, Frank, a few years ago for about a tenner and he has grown so much in the time since. There’s a lot of classic and popular plants for sale such as cacti (some with googly eyes or sombreros), succulents, bonsai trees and bamboo. What is a particularly nice surprise is they also sell plants for chilli peppers and citrus trees.
Independent floral and interior brands of Edinburgh also do pop-up shops across the city. A great example is the Style Your Spaces flower shop on St. Stephen Street in Stockbridge. My favourite feature was the dried flower bar where I built my own bouquet consisting of some of my favourites, eucalyptus and baby’s breath.
Whilst they’re not a permanent fixture in Edinburgh these pop-ups provide extra opportunities to purchase houseplants outside of the usual permanent shops. It makes it easier for a wider range of people to explore, especially when they appear in places less populated by specialist plant shops such as the Bergamotte Pop Up Jungle that frequents Leith. With a limited but gorgeous selection each time, it’s best to book a time slot as early as you can for the full selection and they can be an absolute gem.
Growing up, I used to love going to Dobbies Garden centre because it meant looking at all the fish and going for a cake and juice with my parents and grandparents. Large garden centres are not easily accessible to those who don’t have a car as they are usually located outside of the city centre… until now. Little Dobbies has just opened in Stockbridge, about a 20-minute walk from Princes Street. There was a lot more inside the shop than I was expecting as the unit is so much smaller than previous Dobbies I had visited. There’s still a little cafe for hot drinks and a great selection of plants, tools and seeds. And as with pretty much all gardening centres, it is absolutely amazing at Christmas!
Moss and Fern
Situated right in the midst of Newington, Moss & Fern is a fabulous place for students looking to fill their Edinburgh flats. When I visited, Moss & Fern was stocked with all the classics like monsteras and devil’s ivy, one of which I bought for myself. There are also teeny succulents going for £1 or £2 and some gorgeous glass bottle terrariums. Personally, I would definitely class it as one of the more budget-friendly plant shops in Edinburgh.
P.S. There’s a shop dog called Spud!
Pentland Plants is a garden centre located just outside of Edinburgh, near IKEA. Whilst having a wide selection of outdoor flowers, plants and bushes they have a surprisingly large houseplant section inside. Upon my last visit, I bought some ivy and a dwarf umbrella tree and the prices are cheaper than what you would find in the city. They’re also great for plant accessories such as pots and moss poles. I got a cute hanging pot for my ivy with a wee face on it for about £7, dreamy. Even without a car, Pentland Plants is pretty accessible by public transport. I took a tote bag with me and was able to carry my new plants and pots home very easily on the bus so don’t be put off by the location. It makes for a lovely little afternoon out and there’s a wee cafe too.
Location: Across Edinburgh
Perhaps only second to plant shops, independent gift and card shops are my favourite kind for retail therapy. Some of them are really unique such as Caoba in Stockbridge which sells Mexican gifts so, alongside gorgeous tiles and candles, there is a range of cacti and pots. Like with florists, gift shops will sometimes have an outside display of houseplants to entice you in. (Works for me!) Cloud 9 on Easter Road have some lovely jewellery bits as well as houseplants and also some of my favourite pots in Edinburgh. It’s no wonder plants are stocked in similar places where you can get wrapping paper, they do make excellent gifts.
Forge & Foliage
Forge & Foliage is not only a plant shop but also a hot chocolate bar! Think enormous toasted marshmallows melting on your drink as you peruse plants and craft kits. They’re located in Marchmont, a really student-y area close to Napier and UoE and also do student discount (if I remember correctly) which is great and only means it’s a short walk back to your flat with your new plants. Again, look out for wee dugs in the shop.
Wonderhouse is first and foremost a creative communications agency that works in content creation Public Relations and social media. As part of their office, next door to The Shore in Leith, they have a plant and coffee shop that sell a few added bits like soaps and cards. I visited by chance before and was delighted to find Calathea Medallions as they’ve been on my plant wishlist for a while. If it wasn’t for my afternoon plans with my pals, I would’ve bought one on the spot. As well as being their own shop, they host pop ups in-store from clothing to hairdressing, something I’ve never seen before.
Even though I already have a lot of plants, I’m always on the hunt for more. There are also a few places that I am yet to visit but they are on my list. Holly Grows in Portobello and Seb’s Urban Jungle on Easter Road are at the top and I’ll add any more that catch my eye. I really fancy getting some sort of tree for my new room but I feel like there’s more pressure to keep it alive the bigger the plant is. And with single glazed windows, I can sometimes struggle with the conditions! Whether I give in to my spending habits or not, you’ll always find me popping into these shops, especially if there’s coffee… Maybe I’ll see you there!
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