As I was readying my houseplants for their annual trip back indoors, I started to count. I’ve never taken a full inventory before. Apparently, I have 67 houseplants. How on earth did I get here?
Long before the plant trends of the pandemic, I had a modest collection of peace lilies, African violets, spider plants and a few other odds and ends. But when March 2020 forced me into my tiny Cape Cod in Parkville full-time, I found myself seeking Zen in any place I could. A little hanging princess Hoya to adorn my new living room/office window; a deciduous Lycaste orchid for the dining room; and a funky-shaped Monstera adansonii for a nook in my bedroom. With each new addition, I felt more and more at peace in my new normal.
So, that’s how I got here — buying whatever I found appealing. With a massive collection of everything from the more ordinary pothos to the rare, and coveted Jose Buono philodendron. No collection would be complete without a pink princess philodendron either (and of course, I have two!).
But, I didn’t get here alone. I had a lot of help from plant influencers and stores around Baltimore that fed my habit with frequent online pop-up sales and free delivery to my doorstep.
Check out a list of some of my favorites:
Kristen Tranberg’s private Facebook group, which started during the pandemic, features frequent plant sales, guest vendor pop-ups and information about plant care.
Certified horticulturist Hannah Brookfield started selling plants in September 2020 at Farm Chicks Corner Market in Reisterstown. She began with two shelves and a sign and has now taken over a quarter of the store. In fact, Brookfield recently won the 11th Annual Carroll Biz Challenge in August and opened Carroll County’s first brick-and-mortar plant boutique in mid-October.
Farm Chicks Corner Market: 1141 Berrymans Lane, Reisterstown
New Location: 7550 Main St., Unit 1, Sykesville
Nestled in the bustling Remington neighborhood, B. Willow is not only a great source for houseplants but hosts a series of workshops and events. If you get in trouble with a plant, they offer virtual plant consultations, which I have found helpful, especially when dealing with particularly difficult situations. They’ll also repot your plant for you, too!
220 W. 27th St., Baltimore
The collaboration between plant stylist Hilton Carter and good neighbor owner Shawn Chopra features a curated collection of plants and accessories, including some unique, textured pots by local artist Whitney Simpkins of Personal Best Ceramics. Since its launch, the shop has hosted in-person workshops and started plant consultations. Carter calls it “a shop full of plant lovers who love plant lovers.”
3827 Falls Rd., Baltimore
The Little Greenhouse in Parkville
The unassuming greenhouse off Harford Road is only marked with a small wooden sign that reads “Orchids/Rare Plants.” The first time I stopped here, I didn’t know what to expect, but once I stepped inside the greenhouse door a wave of humid air and an earthy scent wafted over me, revealing an oasis of orchids, staghorn ferns, bromeliads, and more. Co-owners Gary Krause and Tom McBride have been running the greenhouse for over 40 years. It’s hands-down the best place to find those more unusual, rare varieties true plant collectors seek.
9845 Harford Rd., Parkville
It started as an online-only sales operation, with delivery to locations in the Baltimore area. In fact, I remember getting an overflowing Hoya pubicalyx and a hanging plant holder delivered to my front steps at 9 p.m. in the middle of the pandemic. But owner Christopher Kelley opened a physical location in Fells Point in 2021, which boasts a wide variety of plants, plant care items and cute merchandise with the shop’s pink cat/cactus logo.
501 S. Ann St., Baltimore
The 57-acre farm, located just south of Frederick, was founded in 1980. You can find unusual varieties of perennials, annuals and shrubs. The farm also offers a CSA subscription box of seasonal vegetables for those who live nearby.
1619 Buckeystown Pike, Adamstown
If you love exotic tropicals, a trek to Plants Alive in Silver Spring is a must. It has some of the largest stock of highly sought-after plants like the Philodendron Jose Buono, Anthurium clarinervium and Thai constellation.
15710 Layhill Rd., Silver Spring