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A semiformal garden with wide, curving paths of decomposed granite circular planting beds—raised and ground-level—full of blooming plants with a variety of shapes and textures. Large leafy trees are in the background.
Garden goals
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Austin’s best gardening and plant stores

Believe it or not, it’s time to get growing

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Garden goals
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To the uninitiated—or just unobservant—January might seem like an odd time to start working on your gardens and landscaping. Sure, most people know it’s the season to plant and trim trees—maybe fertilize them (preferably with something organic). But—whether you made it your intention to renew and refresh the greenery in and around your house last July, when it was already way too late, or put it on your list of New Year’s resolutions—it’s time to get going.

Or at least a good time to start. In fact, it’s never too early to start creating and planning garden beds, getting your compost up to snuff, sprouting seeds in a greenhouse or sunny windows if you have them, weeding and clearing dead plants and leaves, and otherwise just getting your environs as excited as you are about spring.

Because of the temperate (overheating?) climate locally, there are some plants you can go ahead and put in the ground now (the staff at the stores on this list can tell you more about that and all of this). And even if you’re a staunchly indoor cat, house and porch plants provide many benefits besides just sprucing up your place.

So really, there’s no excuse (not that most of us need one) for not exploring the local gardening stores on this list posthaste. In addition to the huge variety of plants of all kinds—herbs, vegetables, fruit-bearing, decorative, drought-resistant, and on and on—they all have knowledgeable staff members who are full of advice and answers to just about any question you have. They all come recommended by Central Texas residents (a few are located just outside of Austin, to serve the burgs and ‘burbs around the city), and they’re all fun to visit, even if you don’t buy a thing (though you’ll probably have a hard time resisting).

Map points are ordered west to east.

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The Natural Gardener

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The Natural Gardener really needs no introduction, as it’s far and away Central Texas’s organic gardening HQ—and has been since 1993. Founder John Dromgoole is a pioneer in the advancement of organics, environmental issues, and sustainability and is responsible for introducing much of Austin to the mentality and the methods—and has spread the gospel on TV, radio, and in public appearances for more than 40 years. Also, there’s a cat.

Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery

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The five-acre Cedar Park establishment is a destination nursery that specializes in hands-on service and coaching and has demonstration ponds, disappearing streams, fountains, fish, statuary, pottery, and garden art on the premises.

Barton Springs Nursery

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Barton Springs Nursery specializes in native Central Texas plants, most of which it grows on the premises. It’s been around since 1986, and the owners and staff know their stuff when it comes to creating fantastic local gardens.

Sledd Nursery

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A neighborhood fixture and Clarksville go-to since 1978, Sledd Nursery specializes in high-quality plants suited to life in Central Texas and in organic solutions to common garden problems. (No, literally solutions—its live compost “tea” is anaerobically brewed on the premises and works miracles.)

The Great Outdoors

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Another perennial (plant joke, hah) Austin favorite, the Great Outdoors has managed to keep its space on ever-busier South Congress Avenue filled with a large, well-curated selection—and to keep the towering oaks, waterfall, greenhouse, and winding paths a not-so-secret oasis in the big city. You’re almost guaranteed to find unusual plants there, and it has a large selection of planters, tools, decorations, wind chimes, supplies, and the like for sale as well.

Shoal Creek Nursery

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Central Austinites swear by Shoal Creek Nursery for both its convenient location and its colorful, 1.5-acre grounds, where you can wander among its wide selection of high-quality plants, imported pottery, water features, gardening supplies, and gifts. There’s also another cat. And quite a few butterflies.

Miguel's Gallery and Garden

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The longtime Burnet Road supplier of planters and pottery, statues, talavera, outdoor furniture, and accessories changed its name from “Miguel’s Imports” in 1996, when it started carrying a variety of plants suited to its southwestern styles and climates.

Austin Succulents

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Succulents are here to stay, it seems, and good for them. Austin Succulents puts a bit of a twist on the trend, functioning as a home and retail store in the Brentwood neighborhood and part of Austin’s long-established (1927!) King Florist Group. You’ll therefore find not only items for your own planting in its store but some of its incredible arrangements, which decorate spaces all over the city and well making fantastic gifts.

Succulent Native

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Native Succulents’ colorful North Lamar store and its frequent pop-ups offer a wide variety of of gorgeous arrangements, solo plants, and containers. It also hosts plant parties and—perhaps best of all—free events such as “How Not to Kill Succulents, Cacti, [and] Air Plants.”

Plant Party

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You’ll find plenty of succulents and other unusual plants to peruse and purchase at Plant Party, but half the fun there is in the making. The appropriately petite place, located in Central East Austin, offers opportunities to host, as the name implies, parties at which you and your friends can create your own green, potted wonderlands with the shop’s inventory and the staff’s guidance.

Desk Plants

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Desk Plants, an Austin-based business that until now has been online only, opened its first brick-and-mortar store recently at the Domain. While the whole office-plant thing is clearly their marketing niche, they’re of course a great resource and shop for plants destined for your house or any other indoor spot. Their selection offers all low-maintenance and hard-to-kill indoor tropicals of all sizes, so all have to do is pick a plant, pick a pot, have it potted while you wait, and receive easy-to-follow instructions on how to not kill it. They have a hotline, too.

Desk Plants at the Domain
Courtesy of Desk Plants

Tillery Street Plant Co.

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This wildly popular Eastside spot is lucky enough to have the space for all kinds and sizes of Austin-suited plants as well as soils, tools, amendments, and a staff full of advice and knowledge from its cumulative years in the nursery business. There’s also a cat. And a dog, but probably just the cat most of the time.

East Austin Succulents

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East Austin and succulents seem like a good fit, right? The nursery by that name, located basically next door to Tillery Street Plant Company, has a flair for creative twists on arrangements, goes in for a little fun and whimsy, and features a large inventory of plants, planters, plant hangers, and more. And a cat. A black cat, at that.

Tropic of Capricorn

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Being named after a Henry Miller book, that’s cool, right? Or maybe it’s the latitudinal thing. Either way, it’s another plant-oriented East Austin shop and mercantile with excellent taste offering a curated selection of healthy indoor plants, women-created ceramics, and apothecary and lifestyle items.

Round Rock Gardens

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A Central Texas stalwart from back when Round Rock was a tiny bedroom community, more known for its place on the Chisholm Trail than for its microchips (or something like that), Round Rock Garden Center continues to supply the tech center to our north with plants, associated sundries, planters, classes, and advice to all.

Green 'n Growing

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Since 1975, Pflugervillians find their plant and gardening needs fulfilled at family-owned and -operated Green ‘n’ Growing, which sspecialize in Texas native and adapted plants that will thrive Central Texas gardens, as well the organic supplies and soils you need to make them grow.

The Natural Gardener

The Natural Gardener really needs no introduction, as it’s far and away Central Texas’s organic gardening HQ—and has been since 1993. Founder John Dromgoole is a pioneer in the advancement of organics, environmental issues, and sustainability and is responsible for introducing much of Austin to the mentality and the methods—and has spread the gospel on TV, radio, and in public appearances for more than 40 years. Also, there’s a cat.

Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery

The five-acre Cedar Park establishment is a destination nursery that specializes in hands-on service and coaching and has demonstration ponds, disappearing streams, fountains, fish, statuary, pottery, and garden art on the premises.

Barton Springs Nursery

Barton Springs Nursery specializes in native Central Texas plants, most of which it grows on the premises. It’s been around since 1986, and the owners and staff know their stuff when it comes to creating fantastic local gardens.

Sledd Nursery

A neighborhood fixture and Clarksville go-to since 1978, Sledd Nursery specializes in high-quality plants suited to life in Central Texas and in organic solutions to common garden problems. (No, literally solutions—its live compost “tea” is anaerobically brewed on the premises and works miracles.)

The Great Outdoors

Another perennial (plant joke, hah) Austin favorite, the Great Outdoors has managed to keep its space on ever-busier South Congress Avenue filled with a large, well-curated selection—and to keep the towering oaks, waterfall, greenhouse, and winding paths a not-so-secret oasis in the big city. You’re almost guaranteed to find unusual plants there, and it has a large selection of planters, tools, decorations, wind chimes, supplies, and the like for sale as well.

Shoal Creek Nursery

Central Austinites swear by Shoal Creek Nursery for both its convenient location and its colorful, 1.5-acre grounds, where you can wander among its wide selection of high-quality plants, imported pottery, water features, gardening supplies, and gifts. There’s also another cat. And quite a few butterflies.

Miguel's Gallery and Garden

The longtime Burnet Road supplier of planters and pottery, statues, talavera, outdoor furniture, and accessories changed its name from “Miguel’s Imports” in 1996, when it started carrying a variety of plants suited to its southwestern styles and climates.

Austin Succulents

Succulents are here to stay, it seems, and good for them. Austin Succulents puts a bit of a twist on the trend, functioning as a home and retail store in the Brentwood neighborhood and part of Austin’s long-established (1927!) King Florist Group. You’ll therefore find not only items for your own planting in its store but some of its incredible arrangements, which decorate spaces all over the city and well making fantastic gifts.

Succulent Native

Native Succulents’ colorful North Lamar store and its frequent pop-ups offer a wide variety of of gorgeous arrangements, solo plants, and containers. It also hosts plant parties and—perhaps best of all—free events such as “How Not to Kill Succulents, Cacti, [and] Air Plants.”

Plant Party

You’ll find plenty of succulents and other unusual plants to peruse and purchase at Plant Party, but half the fun there is in the making. The appropriately petite place, located in Central East Austin, offers opportunities to host, as the name implies, parties at which you and your friends can create your own green, potted wonderlands with the shop’s inventory and the staff’s guidance.

Desk Plants

Desk Plants at the Domain
Courtesy of Desk Plants

Desk Plants, an Austin-based business that until now has been online only, opened its first brick-and-mortar store recently at the Domain. While the whole office-plant thing is clearly their marketing niche, they’re of course a great resource and shop for plants destined for your house or any other indoor spot. Their selection offers all low-maintenance and hard-to-kill indoor tropicals of all sizes, so all have to do is pick a plant, pick a pot, have it potted while you wait, and receive easy-to-follow instructions on how to not kill it. They have a hotline, too.

Desk Plants at the Domain
Courtesy of Desk Plants

Tillery Street Plant Co.

This wildly popular Eastside spot is lucky enough to have the space for all kinds and sizes of Austin-suited plants as well as soils, tools, amendments, and a staff full of advice and knowledge from its cumulative years in the nursery business. There’s also a cat. And a dog, but probably just the cat most of the time.

East Austin Succulents

East Austin and succulents seem like a good fit, right? The nursery by that name, located basically next door to Tillery Street Plant Company, has a flair for creative twists on arrangements, goes in for a little fun and whimsy, and features a large inventory of plants, planters, plant hangers, and more. And a cat. A black cat, at that.

Tropic of Capricorn

Being named after a Henry Miller book, that’s cool, right? Or maybe it’s the latitudinal thing. Either way, it’s another plant-oriented East Austin shop and mercantile with excellent taste offering a curated selection of healthy indoor plants, women-created ceramics, and apothecary and lifestyle items.

Round Rock Gardens

A Central Texas stalwart from back when Round Rock was a tiny bedroom community, more known for its place on the Chisholm Trail than for its microchips (or something like that), Round Rock Garden Center continues to supply the tech center to our north with plants, associated sundries, planters, classes, and advice to all.

Green 'n Growing

Since 1975, Pflugervillians find their plant and gardening needs fulfilled at family-owned and -operated Green ‘n’ Growing, which sspecialize in Texas native and adapted plants that will thrive Central Texas gardens, as well the organic supplies and soils you need to make them grow.