I’m not sure if I can pinpoint exactly when plants changed their association with the ‘sad plant lady’ image to the epitome of ‘hipster millennial realness’, but it seemed to occur overnight. Not so long ago, he only people who proudly owned plants and posted photos of them also had seven cats, no children, and no mates. But nowadays, plant owners are effortlessly cool cacti fanatics, posting plants alongside their selfies and snaps of acai bowls. Before I even had a chance to take a snap of my sad-looking hydrangea, content creators were going wild (literally) on Instagram with photos of house plants-galore posed next to their cuppa ‘ chino and a hard-backed copy of Vogue.
This is a global phenomenon and has hit Argentina in a big way. Unlike many global fads, such as Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes, or that time when Gangnam Style was disturbingly on every radio station everywhere, I actually approve of this one. Plants are just great: they give us a chance to bring the wildness and beauty of the outside world into the urban jungle of the city; plus they freshen up the air. They are actually calming too, just looking at my healthy-looking cactus instantly improves my mood. It is also a scientifically proven fact (#science) that plants lower your blood pressure and reduce muscle tension related to stress.
Luckily, Buenos Aires has a few plant shops where millennials and Gen X members alike can nurture our maternal/paternal feelings without going all in and having pets or kids.
Palermo Soho’s POTIT Plantas
This is a really beautiful plant shop that screams hipster vibes, while not overstepping into the boundary of ridiculous hipsterness, like a cocktail bar selling drinks from light bulbs (yes, that exists).
I spoke to Violetta the manager of the shop, who is the owner’s right-hand-(wo)man. When I meandered in, Violetta was crouched on the floor, iPhone in hand, balancing various plants in the natural light for the perfect pic to be uploaded on to their gorgeously aesthetic Instagram page. Her hard work really pays off: the shop is an urban jungle haven as plants pile on top of each other in a gloriously chaotic way, and they hang down above you from handmade macramé plant holders.
Violetta informed me about the importance of having plants at home, especially when living in a busy city like Buenos Aires: “Plants purify the air you live in, and in Buenos Aires where there is a serious lack of green space, plants open the doors to keeping in touch with nature.”
Most of these plants are really easy to maintain, ideal for those who have to balance their schedule around working several jobs, pay rent and doing fun activities like going to the theater. “Houseplants are way less hassle than garden flowers that need constant care”, Violetta explains. “You only need to water most houseplants once a week. So it’s an excellent way for women and men to nurture something, without any complications”.
Information: Honduras 5877 | Opening hours: Tuesday- Friday 11.30 AM – 8PM. Saturday-Sunday 1 PM – 8 PM | Website available here.
Vivero Mario Scalabrini Ortiz
Stepping inside Vivero Mario, you are welcomed by an entire army of plants with thousands of species of herbs, firs, trees, shrubs, flowers welcoming you from every corner. You are also welcomed by the entire Giudici family, as this family business opened in the 1960’s and the whole group works here. Andrés Giudici similarly raved about cacti and the impact that indoor plants have had on consumers. People simply prefer these no-fuss tropical plants which survive in the warm, light climate of a home much better than the sometimes extreme conditions of Buenos Aires. They can fit their care around their daily routine, and succulents like cacti can last months without watering.
What is really great about this place, is that there is always a group of consultants available, ready to help you with your every gardening need. If you would not call yourself a green-fingered God(ess) then you can flag down a kind-looking gardening whizz to learn the top tips about any plant you purchase. Their policy tends to be that they give you as many tips as possible for every plant/flower/etc that you purchase to help city-folk be more in-the-know when it comes to gardening.
Information: Avenida Scalabrini Ortiz 1240 | Open Mon-Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 9.30am-8pm. | Visit the website.
The online shop Compañía Botánica runs workshops as well as sell their plants and plant products on their website. They provide an insight into how you can look after your plants, with an extensive list of care tips.
Their workshops look really great (their next workshop is on Saturday 20th October and teaches any plant-fanatics the top tips on how to create an aesthetically-pleasing cacti garden and also how to grow different herbs Their Instagram is really great; if you ever need a bit of inspiration to get out there and get down with the dirt, check it out first!
Information: Their website is available here.
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Ayer no fue un día cualquiera! Ayer dimos un Workshop increíble en @mercadodontoto! Y la emoción y la felicidad todavía nos dura! . ?? ?????? En un jardín encantado desplegamos nuestras más lindas suculentas para que llenaran los más lindos tesoros vintage! Brotaron terrarios de las manos de todas las que fueron parte! Con una mesa repleta de delicias de @boulevardsaenzpena arrancó el break y el clima de fiesta! . . ?Cada día de Workshop agradecemos la posibilidad de compartir que nos da nuestro trabajo! Y de conocer gente increíble! . ?? Gracias a todas las que fueron parte! Porfa comenten así Lali tiene todos los nombres! ? Y nosotras también! Y especialmente gracias a todo el team Don Toto con @sole.benvenuto a la cabeza y la genia de Mechi! . . ❤️ Gracias a uds amigos que desde siempre nos acompañan y que ayer y hoy explotaron nuestra cuenta con mensajes, fotos y cariño! Los queremos! . ? La ultima foto de este carrusel la sacó nuestra querida amiga @felizza_anunciatta y nuestras sonrisas lo dicen todo! Fue una mañana de #felicidadbotanica ! . Hasta mañana amigos! Que empiecen la semana llenos de #inspiracionbotanica !!! . . . . ?Gracias @veromarianipics por el aguante siempre! . . . #workshopsbotanicos #succulent #succulove
Vivero El Nuevo Vergel
Over 40 years ago the Almazán couple set up this garden center that is crammed full of plants and flowers from every angle. They too have understood the recent revival of indoor plants, but also provide a large variety of seeds, outdoor plants and compost heaps. What makes this place stand out over other competition in Buenos Aires is that they do delivery; they have a van that they load up with your purchased goods and the shipping is even free if you live within a 15 block radius.
Information: Paraguay 4382 | Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10.30 AM – 8 PM.
Paul French Gallery Courtyard
You may well have come across this gorgeous courtyard on Gorriti in Palermo Soho. If you haven’t, it really is a secret little haven of all things bright and beautiful; you can poke your head down the narrow cobbled street, and you’re surrounded by bright tulips and other bold flowers, when I walked further down there are bigger houseplants that you can purchase to jazz up your apartment or terrace. I definitely recommend this as a trip as the courtyard also has a tea shop and Paul French’s design store where you can pick a few interior items to equally brighten up your home.
Information: Paul French Gallery | Gorriti 4865 | Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 11 AM – 8 PM.