Wondering What to Plant? And Where to Find Plants in DC?
Washington DC tends to transform beautifully after daylight savings time ends. In the springtime when the sun is back, and suddenly your DC apartment seems less alive and green than it should be- get some plants.
Even in the summer or wintertime, you should always have plants indoors as they clean the air and overall are excellent for your well-being. If you’re craving for new plants or more houseplants to take care of, check out where to find them below.
Read on for a list of plant possibilities and for information about a few of our favorite nurseries, garden centers, and plant shops in the city.
4 Types of Houseplants to Consider
1. Classic Indoor Plants
If you’re looking for tried-and-true houseplants that are hard to kill then you probably know about all the old standbys. We’re talking snake plants, jade, ferns, pothos, aloe, peace lilies and more. If you’re just starting out but want to start a real indoor garden, it’s recommended that you buy a few succulents and maybe just one or two sturdy ones. Ones like pothos or snake plants, and see how that works for a season. Almost any of the plant shops you choose to visit should have a large variety of classic house plants to match your style.
2. Herbs & Spices
If you want to challenge yourself a bit more without much risk, consider growing some herbs like basil, mint, and lemongrass. These can be a tasty experiment and give you a sense of accomplishment as a chef and gardener.
3. Got The Case for Fakes?
While the idea of displaying a fake plant might not initially appeal to you, hear this out: fake plants can have just as good of an effect on your mood as actual plants.
Some of them can look quite real, and there is something to be said for letting them do their thing in the background and never having to worry about watering them, sunning them enough, etc.
The drawback? They don’t purify the air as real plants do.
4. Wild Card Plants
If you have a rooftop, yard, or balcony space you can always try experimenting with some food.
Peas, cabbage, turnips, beets, carrots…all of these and more usually grow well in this climate.
You can also consider wildflowers (those bad boys grow best in full sunlight but also require almost no attention).
If you’re willing to put in some extra time and attention, consider a citrus tree, bonsai plant, or terrarium.
These can grow indoors, but in the case of the citrus tree, you might need to consider investing time and money into cleaning the leaves to make sure it doesn’t get eaten up by little mites.
Luckily, there are many arborists at these plant shops located throughout Washington, DC which are listed below that will be able to help you with that and so much more.
6 Plant Shops in DC to Visit
Where is it located? 1401 S St NW (Logan Circle)
Little Leaf is less of a garden shop and more of plant boutique. They sell plants, coffee table books about plants, art, and a certain je ne sais quoi. Seriously, located in the ever-fashionable Logan Circle and with a very Instagramable interior they are clearly keyed into a certain lifestyle fix.
Technically, it’s a plant and paper shop you should definitely stop by. Explore the beautifully arranged space and speak with the friendly staff about anything you need, or just to learn more about all the cool plants there.
Where is it located? 911 11th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Ginkgo is more than just a place to buy plants. You can go to them for garden/landscape design, consultation, installation, and maintenance, and, of course, buying plants.
You can expect a large warehouse-sized greenhouse filled with trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials, herbs and vegetables, pots and seeds. The friendly staff will help you with anything you need.
Where is it located? 821 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011
Are you serious about growing plants indoors?
Ask for Chris when you stop by Capital City Hydroponics. He or another member of the knowledgeable staff have made a business out of helping your garden thrive. Customers have said that they even help you find the least expensive solutions.
This is where you can go to find fans, lights, pumps, nutrients, and the plants themselves.
Where is it located? 1924 8th St NW Suite #100, Washington, DC 20001
This little spot is a real gem.
They offer botanical workshops to help you help your plants, sell plants themselves, and can hook you up with one-of-a-kind flower arrangements. Rewild is technically also a florist shop — you can buy floral arrangements and book them for events that need flowers, perhaps even a spring wedding.
Rewild has a certain quality to it that you don’t often find in many plant shops anymore. When you walk in you don’t feel like you’re in a city, but rather in a down-to-earth plant shop with people who really appreciate the beauty of the earth.
Where is it located? 925 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001 (this location is currently not open according to Google Maps as of September 2019).
Every garden center in DC has its own niche; little things they do that set them apart from the others.
At Olde City Farm you can attend their workshops, peruse their plants, and utilize their landscaping services (they design and implement!) but you can also take advantage of two other special services: event hosting and tree care.
You can host an event (think wedding, baby shower, birthday party) in their lovely gardens! They will decorate for you or leave the space as-is if you want.
They can also hook you up with Nova Arborist, a group of enthusiastic tree specialists who can help survey, preserve, treat, and maintain your trees!
Note: If you plan on visiting this plant shop, check out their Facebook page for updates on their new location as they plan on relocating by the end of 2019.
Where is it located? 1200 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Neighborhood: Thomas Circle
Urban Jungle calls itself a boutanique and does a great job of living up to the name. They sell exotic flowers (think carnivorous and tropical) as well as boasting a serious collection of succulents, cacti, and bonsai. They even go so far as to sell everything in magnificently chic potting.
They started off by just selling to florists in the city in 2015, but then their orchids came to be in such high demand that they began to sell straight to individual customers. Rumor has it that their orchid game is still the best in the city.
They also go so far as to offer same-day delivery, so if you forgot to get that gift for your mom for Mother’s Day, they’ve got your back.
This is one of our favorite plant shops in DC for classes and personalized help on taking care of your plants so that your personal garden in Washington, DC can thrive!
So How do you make your House Plants Thrive?
Studies have shown that houseplants reduce stress levels, improve air quality, enhance productivity, and even help heal injuries.
But of course, for your indoor plants to bring you these (and many other) benefits, you need to learn how to care for them properly, which includes learning how often to water houseplants, where in your house to place them, what type of container to put them in, and more.
We’re here to give your plat babies the best life ever!
How Often to Water Houseplants
Generally, people pick low-maintenance plants for their houses.
But even within the group of commonly chosen indoor plants, you’ll find that different species require different amounts of water and light to thrive.
It’s always a good idea to ask your florist for details on how to care for the plant you purchase and even look for further clarifications online.
But as an initial guide, we’ll separate houseplants into three big groups: small, large, and cactuses and succulents.
Let’s take a look at how to care for each of them!
1. Small House Plants
Best Small Houseplant: Devil's Ivy
The Devil’s Ivy is the dream plant of anyone who seems to be a pro at letting plants die in their homes. Why? Well, the fact that its name derives from the fact that it’s almost impossible to kill says everything.
This plant does well under bright, indirect sunlight or even artificial light. Regarding its water requirements, it should be enough to water it once a week. Perfect for forgetful people!
2. Large Houseplants
A big plant can be a great statement piece in your home, and a few of them can make your whole place feel like a fantastic jungle.
If that’s the look you’re going for, many plants grow above 5 feet tall that you can choose from.
To keep plants like this alive and well, you’ll likely need to place them somewhere where they get indirect sunlight during the day. Water needs differ, but you won’t have a hard time finding a large plant that thrives with infrequent watering.
Best Large Houseplant: Dracaena
We’re sure you’ve seen a dracaena plant in a house, office, cafe, or restaurant before, and that doesn’t come as a surprise: this is one of the most popular choices when it comes to indoor greenery.
Why is that you may ask?
Just like the Devil’s Ivy plant we mentioned before, this one requires straightforward maintenance to stay alive. Some filtered indoor light, some water every time the soil seems dry, and they’ll be all good!
3. Cactuses and Succulents
Technically, cactuses and succulents are a small houseplant.
However, we believe they deserve a special mention, not only because they are quite different from most other plants, but because they’ve become so popular over the last few years.
These beautiful little plants are elementary to take care of, as they only need watering once or twice a week (given that the container they’re in has drainage holes).
Place them somewhere with indirect sunlight, and they’ll be sure to thrive!
3 Other Tips on How to Water Your Indoor Plants
Knowing the frequency at which you should be watering your plants is crucial, but other additional details can significantly prolong the lifespan of your greenery.
These three tips are a good starting point, and, over time, you’ll learn even more about plant maintenance.
Oh, and don’t worry, it might seem like a lot to remember at first, but in no time, all of this will become a natural part of your routine!
- Change your watering routine according to the seasons
Once again, we can compare plants to human beings. We all drink more water during warmer days, and most plants also tend to get thirstier as temperatures rise.
When you start to notice the seasons change, keep a close eye on your plant’s soil, particularly on how quickly it gets dry, and change your watering habits accordingly.
- Avoid getting the leaves wet
For many plants, wet leaves are a synonym for fungus growth.
To avoid fungus to damage your houseplants, make sure to water them in the morning (so that any water that might land on the leaves can dry fast) and choose the right watering method (watering the plant from the bottom is a great option).
- Observe your plant
Articles like this give you a broad idea of how often you should be watering your plants.
However, the only way of knowing the absolute correct answer to that question is by observing how your plant reacts to your watering habits.
There’s no point in keeping a strict watering routine – although it might be easier for your memory, it doesn’t work in the long run.