Best Nurseries and Plant Shops in Adelaide

Updated October 20th, 2022


Despite eased restrictions, you’re probably spending more time at home than ever right now. Of all the ways to zhoosh up your place and generally lift the mood, a bit of greenery is right up there.

House plants are a vital connection to nature (however tenuous) and many species even purify the air. And treated well, plants grow and improve over time, rather than gradually falling apart like everything else you own. (Keeping them alive isn’t nearly as difficult as people make out.)

Shop for new indoor plants at these spots – from chic, tiny homewares stores to sprawling, multi-acre nurseries. Alternately, if you already you know what you want, order online at Green Leaved Garden, Emma Sadie Thomson, Little Plant Co, Heyne’s Garden Centre or Stubbytubby (for cacti and succulents).

  • The big outdoor nurseries might have the range, but Suci has the inspiration. Owner Kirrily Hurst keeps her petite corner store looking like the house you wished you lived in. Canvases from Adelaide artist Belinda Benton (and others) line the walls, while ranks of lush indoor plants stand to attention in eye-catching pots from the likes of Melbourne label Milk & Sugar and Adelaide’s own Sticks & Stones. As much as it’s a place to buy indoor plants, Suci is a convincing demonstration of their aesthetic value.

  • White (tiles and walls), black (plastic pots) and green (leaves) are about the only colours in this small store, where mature fiddle leaf figs lean over the walkways and tropical aglaonemas tickle passing ankles. If you want to smarten up a loungeroom, bedroom, kitchen or bathroom, everything you need is here, from cacti and succulents to terrariums and ceramic pots.

  • We can’t say for certain, but Heyne’s, founded by notable German botanist Ernst Bernhard Heyne in 1869, would have to the oldest privately owned nursery in the country. That’s a lot of intergenerational know-how – five generations’ worth, in fact. The staff shares its accumulated knowledge at regular workshops, and through downloadable house-made fact-sheets on growing veggies at home, dealing with pests, and other common gardening topics. The nursery sells a certain amount of plants online, but we’d recommend visiting in person for the full experience. There are seeds, seedlings, fruit trees, cacti, pots, statues, flowers and more.

  • This handsome brick building looks the kind of quaint, well-maintained place you’d expect to find a good Devonshire tea. But no – since 1975 it’s been peddling plants, gardening advice, furniture and homewares, with an emphasis on higher-end heritage brands such as William Morris and Burgon & Ball. In keeping with all this, The Conservatory is something of a specialist in topiary. More generally it has a strong catalogue of species well-suited to Adelaide’s hot, dry summers, such as lilly pilly, viburnum, azalea and gardenia.

  • Though this is a Mitre 10 franchise, it feels more like independent operation. The garden centre is staffed by qualified horticulturalists, who can help you navigate the neatly arranged rows of seedlings, shrubs, trees and bulbs, and even design your entire home garden. There’s a surprisingly personal touch here, as evidenced by the smattering of one-off iron sculptures by local artist Rod Manning (yes, they’re for sale too).

  • The state government established this nursery in 1886 and has run it ever since. Over the years it’s fulfilled a number of different functions, including propagating grape vines and distributing free seeds to rural landowners. These days, though, the nursery is solely focused on native species and grows more than 1000 different grasses, shrubs, trees, climbers and aquatic plants at a larger production site in Murray Bridge (also open to the public). If you’re keen to establish a hardy, drought-tolerant garden, this is your place. It’s one of several good nurseries in and around the Hills, including Hancox Nursery, Cleveland Nursery and Karkoo Nursery in Blackwood.

  • Ensemble houses four individual businesses, including that of plant stylist and retailer Emma Sadie Thompson. Stop by for advice on how to beautify your loungeroom, then leave with the necessary new friends, from philodendrons to ficuses.

  • This succulent and cacti specialist is primarily an online business but trades for three hours a day on weekends, out of owner Angela McGoran’s backyard. Ring the bell to peruse hundreds of exotic plants, from tiny matchbox-sized specimens up to those requiring two hands to carry home. Quirky ceramic pots shaped like people and animals also abound.