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Illustration by Patrick Hruby / Los Angeles Times; animation by Li Anne Liew / For The Times

Plants

26 fantastic SoCal plant shops for holiday gifts

This is part of the L.A. Times 2022 Gift Guide. See the full guide here.

All nurseries sell plants, naturally, but what if you’re in the market for tools or pots or a nice garden hat? Where can you find the best selection of yard-related items, from patio furniture to decorative doodads?

Never fear! These SoCal garden centers offer a wide range of gift-worthy merchandise and yes, gift-worthy plants. Some of those stores sell holiday trees, wreaths and other decor, so you can manage lots of holiday shopping in one fell swoop.

These innovative, environmentally friendly gifts and stocking stuffers save water and power for the eco-conscious this holiday season.

Nov. 2, 2022

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Showing  Places
A corner sign above a fenced-in area that reads "Avalon Nursery & Ceramics"
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

Avalon Nursery & Ceramics

South Park Edible, native, drought-tolerant plants
South Los Angeles’ only enduring nursery feels more like a wild botanic garden than a family-owned business on a busy corner. This is a full-service nursery — it even offers cut Christmas trees in late November — with a wide selection of trees (including fruit trees), shrubs, squares of sod, vegetable seedlings, roses, succulents, soil amendments and colorful ceramics, in addition to a lush “green room,” where most of the houseplants reside. Closed on Tuesdays and rainy days.
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Many and varied potted plants on the ground and on shelves at C&S Nursery in Baldwin Hills, March 2022
(Jeanette Marantos)

C&S Garden Center

Lawndale Shopping and recreation
For more than 30 years the Rosales family has run a sprawling, 1-acre open-air nursery in Baldwin Hills, offering native plants, drought-tolerant plants, vegetable starts, fruit trees and a wide variety of decorative shrubs, trees and succulents, with many of the plants grown in their production facilities in Temecula. In 2021, the family opened its second location, C&S Garden Center, in Lawndale, with a wide selection of indoor plants, vegetable seedlings, garden tools (including a line of Japanese Kinboshi pruning and trimming shears), accessories, tons of colorful containers and even raw organic honey harvested from the family-owned ranch in Tecate, Mexico. They create cozy plant and furniture nooks for chilling in the store, with instructions on how to re-create the scene at home, so if you’re looking for green inspiration, you can sit comfortably and take in all the surrounding plants.
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Seedlings with a small signs reading "Biquinho Yellow Hot Pepper," left, and a larger sign reading "specialty peppers"
(Tom Zasadzinski)

Cal Poly Pomona Nursery at the Cal Poly Farm Store

Pomona Edibles
The nursery outside Cal Poly Pomona’s Farm Store has a big selection of vegetable seedlings, berries and fruit trees, houseplants, succulents, landscaping trees, vines and shrubs. Much of the inventory is grown by students at Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture. You can find gardening supplies at this nursery too, and while you’re there, take a minute to browse through the Farm Store, which features student-grown organic produce as well as specialty foods.
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A wood building in an outdoor display of plants
(Fig Earth Supply)

Fig Earth Supply

Highland Park Edibles
In addition to organic edible, native and medicinal plants, owner Conor Fitzpatrick stocks a wide variety of houseplants, including fiddle-leaf figs, philodendron and calathea. Fitzpatrick also presents regular classes — virtually and in person — spanning houseplant basics to cannabis cultivation.
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A white brick wall with shelves of houseplants
(Danae Horst)

Folia Collective

Eagle Rock Plant Shop
Every plant at Folia Collective, from Peperomia ferreyrae to staghorn ferns, comes with a care card written by owner Danae Horst, author of “Houseplants for All: How to Fill Any Home With Happy Plants,” detailing its specific needs. Staff will ask you questions to help you pick the perfect plant and offer tips. Horst stocks houseplant accessories and gifts.
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A koi pond inside a nursery
(Jeanette Marantos/Los Angeles Times)

Glendora Gardens

Glendora Edible, native, drought-tolerant plants
This 4-acre nursery is part garden inspiration — with scenic paths and koi ponds (where you can feed the fish) — and another 6 acres of growing grounds, where many of its ornamental trees, shrubs and perennials are grown. This must-see garden center is designed for strolling and exploring, with a large selection of California native and Mediterranean-climate plants, berries, veggies, fruit trees, roses, succulents and houseplants along with bagged and bulk soils, pots and garden equipment. There’s even a Little Free Library filled with children’s books for antsy kids.
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Plants and gardening accessories under a glass and metal roof at a Green Thumb Nursery store.
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

Green Thumb Nursery

Ventura Shopping and recreation
Green Thumb Nursery is a locally owned Southern California chain, with five stores in Canoga Park, Lake Forest, San Marcos, Santa Clarita and Ventura. It’s hard to imagine what kind of garden-centered merchandise you can’t buy here — the offerings include Christmas trees and wreaths, a huge selection of vegetable plant seedlings and seeds, fruit trees, ornamentals, houseplants, bagged and bulk soils and amendments, fountains, trellises, tools, furniture, bird feeders, even garden gazing balls. Green Thumb carries a good variety of drought-tolerant plants, including California native plants.
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A shop full of houseplants and gifts.
(Jamie Curtis)

Greenwood Shop

Studio City Plant Shop
In addition to houseplants, Jaime Curtis stocks ceramics, candles, home decor and apothecary items in her Studio City shop. For the holidays, Curtis will have pots from Front Range Terracotta, custom stained glass by Debbie Bean, Mar Mar candles and Boy Smells (both made in L.A.) and her own line of Greenwood candles. Curtis also offers design services to help you transform your space according to light, environment and maintenance needs.
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Pots of plants outdoors
(Jackalope Pottery)

Jackalope Pottery & Plants

North Hollywood Plant Shop
This longtime North Hollywood garden center offers fountains, pottery and indoor and outdoor plants, including unusual varieties (aquatic plants, trees, unique succulents and drought-tolerant plants), sourced locally from responsible growers.
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Laguna Hills Nursery in Santa Ana
(Jeanette Marantos)

Laguna Hills Nursery

Santa Ana Edibles
This family-owned nursery features its own specially designed “Top Pot” potting soil mix, along with an extensive selection of fruit trees, vegetable starts, berries, herbs, roses, annuals, perennials and “exceptional ornamental” landscape trees and plants, along with garden supplies and containers.
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A patio filled with plants
(Jeanette Marantos)

Lincoln Avenue Nursery

Pasadena Edible, native, drought-tolerant plants
This century-plus-old nursery was started by a German immigrant family in 1903, then purchased in 1923 by the Takemura family, who owned it until it was sold in 2003 to the present owner, Ramon Franco, who immigrated from Mexico and became a landscape contractor and frequent customer until taking over the business. This is a great place to wander for inspiration and bird song, as well as for an enormous selection of garden pots and equipment as well as landscape and fruit trees (including citrus), vegetable seedlings, herbs and other edibles, roses, shrubs, shade and houseplants and a good selection of California native and drought-tolerant plants.
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Many pots of flowers outside a store with "Louie's Nursery" awning
(Jeanette Marantos/Los Angeles Times)

Louie's Nursery

Riverside Edibles, drought-tolerant plants
This is another traditional, little-bit-of-everything type nursery, with a big selection of vegetable seedlings, berries and fruit and nut trees, including citrus, along with ornamental trees, shrubs and blooming perennials, California native and other “water-wise” plants, roses, soils and amendments, gardening equipment and lots of pots.
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A large "Enter Here" sign with a giant arrow pointing right, and above it a "Marina Del Ray Garden Center" sign
(Jeanette Marantos/Los Angeles Times)

Marina del Rey Garden Center

Marina del Rey Edible, native, drought-tolerant plants
This nursery is surrounded by busy streets, but that all fades away as you wander its 2-plus acres of statuary, foundations, containers and plants, including drought-tolerant California natives as well as Mediterranean climate plants from South Africa and Australia, succulents, houseplants and lots of edibles including fruit trees, berries, vegetables and herbs.
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A woman peruses seedlings on many tables outside
(Jeanette Marantos/Los Angeles Times)

Parkview Nursery

Riverside Edible, native, drought-tolerant plants
This is the larger of Parkview’s two nurseries, with long wide tables of vegetable seedlings and herbs, native and drought-tolerant plants, annuals and flowering perennials, exotic shade plants and rows and rows of trees, both ornamental and fruiting. You won’t find any citrus here, however, as the store is in a citrus-controlled area, but its smaller sister store at 3841 Jackson St. in Riverside has a huge selection. Both stores also offer a vast collection of containers, soils and amendments and garden equipment.
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Dynelly del Valle, surrounded by plants
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Pippi + Lola

Long Beach Plant Shop
Populated with wreaths, one-of-a-kind planters, horticulture books and, of course, plants, Pippi + Lola strives to highlight a diverse group of makers, including women and people of color. “There are all these talented women out here,” owner Dynelly del Valle says. “Why not show their work?”
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A store space with housewares and plants
(Roger’s Gardens)

Roger's Gardens

Newport Beach Plant Shop
The popular gardening and outdoors supply store has made a name for itself for its themed garden displays and elaborate holiday pop-ups. The garden center features extensive indoor and outdoor plants, drought-tolerant native plants, planters, furniture, housewares, gifts and gourmet foods.
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Rolling Greens nursery and gift shop
(Lisa Boone / Los Angeles Times)

Rolling Greens

Culver City Drought-tolerant plants
The garden and home design flagship in Culver City, which rests on 2 acres, offers indoor and outdoor plants, succulents, planters and home decor. Owners Greg Salmeri and Laurie Resnick travel the world to shop for home and garden goods. Customers can create their own arrangement at the store’s Arrangement Bar. Also at 7505 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 934-4500.
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A small pond in a garden
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

San Gabriel Nursery & Florist

San Gabriel Valley Edibles, drought-tolerant plants
The street and parking area around San Gabriel Nursery & Florist is pretty bleak, short on greenery and heavy on traffic and blaring car alarms. But step inside the nursery and it all fades away into a fragrant oasis of color, serenity and piped-in chamber music. You can get lost just studying its many types of seeds, including Asian varieties. Customers pull red wagons laden with plants in a kind of stupor, taking in the many varieties of roses, vegetable and herb seedlings, berries and fruit trees, plus a huge selection of houseplants, garden equipment and containers, landscape trees and shrubs, perennials, annuals and drought-tolerant plants, including California natives.
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Sarah and Tadeh Bazik fill an order at Sarah Cotta Plants in Glendale
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

SarahCotta Plants

Glendale Plant Shop
Sarah and Tadeh Bazik stock houseplants both familiar and exotic in their Glendale boutique, as well as planters and plant-related accessories. They also have a “take-one, share-one” community board where customers can share their plant cuttings with other plant lovers. Both Armenian, the Baziks found their fluency in the language especially handy in Glendale, which has one of the largest Armenian populations outside of Armenia itself. Sarah traces her plant passion to her grandmother’s garden in Armenia. Her grandmother would lead her through herbs and hoya plants, pointing out each type and how it grew. While her mother had a black thumb, her grandmother could grow anything.
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Plants and gifts on shelves
(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

Stuff Hollywood

Hollywood Plant Shop
Belle Dankongkakul’s artistic flair shines at Stuff, where gifts and ceramics by Los Angeles artists are elegantly displayed among a wide selection of tropical plants and succulents. There are handmade weavings and funky velour macramé planters by Dapper House Menagerie, delicate ceramics by L.A.-based Thai ceramicist Echo Azure and Concrete Geometric, affordably priced vintage clothing, candles and plant accessories — potting soil, misters, plant food and tools. Dankongkakul’s warmth and sense of humor are reflected in the products she chooses, including tiny planters dripping with sparkling disco balls, miniature grab-and-go succulents and a discounted “Sad Plants Sale.”
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A pathway flanked by greenery
(Russell Akiyama)

Sunflower Farms

Torrance Edible, native, drought-tolerant plants
This full-service retail and wholesale nursery and landscaping business has been owned and operated by the Akiyama family since 1975 and is a lovely, restful place to wander. The nursery offers a wide selection of California native and water-wise plants, roses, vegetable seedlings, herbs, fruit and ornamental trees (including citrus), succulents and houseplants as well as sod, garden supplies, pottery and soils. The nursery also offers periodic gardening workshops and sells firewood for pickup or delivery.
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A room full of plants
(Lisa Boone / Los Angeles Times)

Sunset Boulevard Nursery

East Hollywood Edibles, drought-tolerant plants
Ask plant professionals for their favorite nursery and Sunset Nursery is often at the top of the list. This family-run nursery, established in 1959, has a small wedge-shaped footprint on a busy street with very limited parking, but that doesn’t keep customers away. The store is always busy, with a deep inventory of vegetable and herb seedlings, succulents, California native plants and houseplants, along with organic soils and amendments, pots and garden equipment. Note: The entrance and parking are on Fountain Avenue.
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Plants, baskets, planters and home decor inside a store.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Tansy

Burbank Plant Shop
In addition to plants, owners Shawna Christian and Colette Fowler offer bohemian home goods with flair: colorful fair-trade garlands, plants, metal bells, mobiles, pom-poms and suncatchers. “It’s all about color and plants and fabrics,” says Christian. “I am trying to perfect the art of being insanely creative without being claustrophobic.”
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A person pulls a red cart full of green plants past a sign for the Theodore Payne Foundation.
(Marie Astrid Gonzalez)

Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery

Shadow Hills Native plants
The Theodore Payne Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to researching and preserving native plants, restoring native habitat and propagating and growing a huge selection of native shrubs, trees, wildflowers, bulbs and seeds, is the center of SoCal’s native plant universe. Visit the nursery and demonstration garden Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for inspiration, and pop into its store for collections of seeds for wildflower displays and pollinators, as well as related books, art and other items. TPF also maintains the Wild Flower Hotline, providing regular updates in the spring about the best wildflower-viewing spots, and puts on the Native Plant Garden Tour, a self-directed walking tour of more than 30 Los Angeles-area yards where at least 50% of the landscaping involves native plants.
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A table of blooming shrubs and perennials at Trancas Canyon Nursery in Malibu.
(Debbi Stone)

Trancas Canyon Nursery

Malibu Edibles, native plants
This garden center has a small footprint, but it still packs in a lot of plants, including roses, flowering perennials, succulents, vegetable and herb seedlings, native and drought-tolerant plants and houseplants, along with containers, gardening equipment and decor.
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A path lined with pots of plants
(Jeanette Marantos / Los Angeles Times)

Tree of Life Nursery

Native plants
In the late 1970s, Mike Evans started a nursery dedicated to growing and selling California native plants on 40 acres in the hills outside San Juan Capistrano. In those days, the location was remote and other nursery owners thought he was nuts — who wanted to landscape with plants many regarded as weeds? But, some 40 years later, Tree of Life Nursery is thriving when many of its competitors have closed their doors. Visit this nursery Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. just to savor the fragrant plants, marvel at the rustic buildings made from straw bales covered with adobe plaster, and browse the selection of books, gifts and an exceptional collection of containers. Just try leaving without buying at least one of the more than 500 species of California native plants — one of the largest collections in Southern California.
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