If the robin is the herald of spring, the annual return of Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is probably the first signal that fall is upon us once more — and it’s here.

Not ready? You’re not alone. Like it or not, it won’t be long before the air turns crisp (and then cold) driving everybody back indoors for the winter. Before that happens, however, you might want to head to your local plant shop for a late-season splurge.

Why Buy Plants in the Fall?

Aside from the fact that it’s a good time to pick up some items on sale, there are two excellent reasons to hit the local greenhouse or nursery right now.

First, if you have a green thumb and a garden, you need to do a little planting. This is the best time of year to plant spring-blooming bulbs like crocuses, daffodils and tulips. Trees and shrubs also do well when they’re planted early in fall since the cooler weather prevents heat stress and slows their above-ground growth, both of which allow the plants to pour their energy into their developing root systems.
Don’t have a garden (or even a yard)? Well, the second great reason to head to the garden center in the fall is to stock up on houseplants before winter hits. Live, green plants in the home have been proven to remove toxins from the air and boost both productivity and concentration — which may be particularly important if you’re working from home right now.

Where Are the Best Local Places to Find Plants?

Whether you’re looking for flower bulbs so that you’ll have a colorful yard in the spring or just need a few pieces of greenery for your home office, these are some of the best places to look:

Dammann’s Garden Centers

All Dammann’s are locally owned and operated, and they source from local nurseries and growers. They’re also one of the area’s premier sources for native plants, so if you’re trying to build a low-maintenance garden that’s hardy enough to withstand Indiana’s weather shifts, this is a great place to start. Plus, their website offers plenty of tips and gardening advice that can help you.

The Botanical Bar

Where do “plant people” meet up? Why, at the Botanical Bar, of course! Their self-described mission is to help people connect “back to their roots,” and they’re trying to build a community of plant lovers. This place specializes in high-quality indoor plant decor and plants with a modern, curated approach that combines wellness with style.

Rosie’s Gardens

When you’re looking at more than 12 acres of plants, greenhouses, nursery stock, garden accessories, fountains and pottery, it’s hard to believe that Rosie’s Gardens started out as a side business for a local mowing company back in 1982. Whether you’re looking for the perfect accent pieces for your yard or the right potted plants to match your indoor decor, this is the place to go.

The Forest Flower

Born from the now-defunct Bash Seed Company, The Forest Flower is a full-service garden center that specializes in customer care. If you don’t know the first thing about plants and couldn’t identify a ficus from a magnolia, this is the place to go. Their staff will listen to your needs and help you pick the perfect plants, whether you want them indoors or out.

Habig Garden Shop & Cottage

What’s better than a garden shop full of plants? A garden shop/gift store combo that specializes in one-of-a-kind floral creations, that’s what! You can find everything at the Habig Garden Shop & Garden Cottage from your standard garden fare to unique indoor plants and silk flowers (for those with black thumbs) that are so well-made that they look real.

Monon Plant Co.

A plant junky’s playground! Located in the heart of Broad Ripple, Monon Plant Co. is the perfect spot to fulfill all your plant dreams. Along with beautiful houseplants, hand crafted ceramics, home decor, and other small gifting items, they offer a variety of services to fit every customer’s needs.

Grounded Plant and Floral Co.

Looking for a fun, boho vibe? Look no further: The Grounded Plant and Floral Co. has just about every plant imaginable, especially if you’re looking for indoor arrangements to brighten up a room. Plus, their staff is very knowledgeable and helpful, and they believe in educating their customers about plant care. Got a cactus that isn’t thriving? Take it in, talk to someone and see what they can do to help.

Eagle Creek Nursery & Landscape

If you’re ready to re-do your outdoor spaces and you want a one-stop-shop that can handle everything from design to installation, including landscapes and hardscapes, Eagle Creek Nursery is the place to go. This is a fourth-generation family company that has been cultivating plants with a passion and providing homeowners with everything they need for gorgeous yards since 1916.

Sullivan Hardware & Garden

Sullivan Hardware & Garden isn’t your average local tool and plant center: It’s darn near an Indy institution. They carry just about everything you need to build, repair or maintain your garden, along with all of the outdoor living accessories you might want, like grills and patio furniture. Plus, they’re famous for their holiday train rides. Soon, you can take the kids on the Sullivan Express to Pumpkintown and then head for a bite at Sully’s Grill.

Geist Nursery

Family-owned since 1977, Geist Nursery specializes in locally grown shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials and more — and they hand-select all the specimens they have for sale. Their focus on native plants makes it easy to find something that will thrive in your yard with little effort on your part.

Since the cold weather is mere weeks away, don’t hesitate to explore all of the best plant shops in the area as soon as you can. Keep in mind, if landscaping work seems like a bit much with your hectic schedule, help is just a quick message away.

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