Hone your green thumb: Local plant stores to help you spruce up your space


Chinelo Design: 237 State St, Los Altos

Chinelo Design offers an assortment of greenery, including houseplants, outdoor plants, succulents and cacti, making it the perfect destination for plant enthusiasts. Flowers and other various colorful plants line the floor and ceiling plants hang from above as customers make their way through the store.

For less experienced shoppers, Chinelo Design sells flowers such as tulips and lavenders. For more experienced plant enthusiasts, Chinelo Design offers over fifty species of Class A plants, which are the highest quality plants that benefit the environment. Prices range from $20 to $1000 for rarer species. Their best sellers include the mother-in-law’s tongue, also known as the snake plant. Snake plants have tall, sword-shaped leaves and an abundance of yellow and fern green colorations. Another popular tree is the fiddle-leaf fig, a native species of Cameroon and Sierra Leone that can grow up to 12 to 15 meters tall. A unique service that Chinelo Design offers is orchid arrangements. Customers can call and request a specific arrangement and pick up the finished product in store. Customizable aspects include color and the number of stems and plants.

Most plants are nationally sourced and grown in California, although some rarer plants come from overseas and most tropical plants come from Florida. The pots are from around the world, with a few pricier but higher quality ones from local stores in Mexico. All products that Chinelo Design carries are directly bought from the sellers.

Chinelo Design also features a skincare brand called Eighth Day. Products include hand lotion, room spray and bath salts. They sell diffusers, essential oils and cards for different occasions as well.

Next time you visit Los Altos, make sure to stop by the newly renovated Chinelo Design and pick up a few plants and flowers of your choosing.

Leaf & Vine: 1532 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz

When visiting Santa Cruz and its Boardwalk, visitors must not forget to stop by the tropical store Leaf & Vine Urban Plant Shop. Located in downtown Santa Cruz, this shop is hard to miss with its impressive interior that boasts hanging plants of different types. When visitors enter the shop, they are transported into a citified jungle of greenery. Sunshine radiates into the store through glass panes, and plants complement the light to create a comforting atmosphere. Leaf & Vine Urban Plant Shop was founded in 2019 by a young engaged couple. Maria Isabel Alvarez and Clay Powell strive to spread the love of plants locally and help visitors find a plant that resonates with them. Currently, they are exclusively based in Santa Cruz.

Alvarez moved from Florida to California and worked in the agricultural industry. She dreamt of opening a plant shop when she retired, and her fiancé Clay supported her. Since then, the shop has transformed into a relaxing place for visitors to stop by and ask plant care questions.

The shop carries over 50 diverse plant species, including succulents and tropical foliage. The store is unique in its way of promoting environmental sustainability by using reusable packaging. They also restock and add plants each week. One species they sell is the Hoya Carnosa, also known as the Krimson Princess. It is a houseplant known for its waxy foliage and blossoming flowers. Other species include the Satin Pothos, philodendron and the Alocasia Silver Dragon. Many species are from California, though rarer species range from out of state to internationally sourced. Ultimately, Alvarez and Powell look to sell diverse, affordable species.

If you visit Santa Cruz, stop by Leaf & Vine Urban Plant Shop to look around and find your ideal houseplant.

Leafy: 482 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto

Located in downtown Palo Alto, Leafy is an urban plant shop started by a husband and wife duo looking to share their love for plants. Since its opening in 2018, Leafy has expanded around the Bay Area to San Jose, Roseville and Pasadena. Despite its multiple locations, visiting the Palo Alto store is an authentic experience that features soft music and an urban forest atmosphere. Different plant species adorn the store on shelves and the floor. There are also carts filled with numerous succulents. Majestic plants hang from the ceiling, giving the store a welcoming environment.

Leafy primarily sells pet-friendly, indoor plants. Thought they carry more than 30 types of plants, their most popular plant is the Pilea plant, also known as the Chinese Money plant, at $18.95 per pot. With green coin-shaped leaves, the Pilea plant is believed to bring luck and fortune to its owner. Rarer plants range in price from $70 to $650, depending on the rarity of the plant. One plant is the Monstera deliciosa, also known
as the Swiss Cheese plant, which sometimes has an albino coloration. Most of the plants are locally grown in
California, ranging from the Half Moon Bay area near San Mateo to Santa Barbara.

In addition to urban houseplants, buyers can also choose from a variety of succulent and cactus plants, as well as                 refined gardening tools and an assortment of pots in different colors, shapes and sizes. Leafy sells es-
sential gardening equipment and resources, including water cans, potting soil, nursery pots, plant nutrients,


shears and decorative sand. Prices range from $5 to over $25.
Whether you are just starting out on your plant journey or already a plant enthusiast, Leafy is a perfect
and convenient local store to create your dream plant garden.