6 Things You Didn’t Know About IKEA’s Plant Department

updated Jul 18, 2020
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(Image credit: Diana Paulson)

What can’t you do at IKEA? You can furnish a whole house in one trip. If you don’t find something you like, you can hack any number of IKEA offerings. You can get an entire meal or stock up on specialty groceries. Hey, I even know moms who spend rainy days at the superstore, because it keeps their kids entertained for hours at a time.

What you might not know, though, is that in addition to its maze of furniture and decor, restaurant, and kids’ play areas, IKEA also has a substantial plant department, so you can outfit your living space with affordable greenery.

Here’s what you need to know about the IKEA aisle you may be overlooking:

1. IKEA buys locally, so plants may vary by store

Part of the reason IKEA manages to keep prices so low is because it sources plants from local suppliers whenever possible. In the U.S., most of the plants come from Florida; in Europe, most plants come from the Netherlands. Because of this strategy, inventory may also dictated by weather in those areas.

2. The cheapest plant is just $1.99

If you aren’t sure whether you have what it takes to keep a houseplant alive, IKEA’s extremely low-cost options make it easier to take the risk. The Dracaena Marginata, or dragon plant, is just $1.99. The bulk of IKEA’s plant offerings range from $4.99 to $9.99, and even the most expensive plant—the Tropisk, or assorted tropical plants—rings up at just $34.99.

3. IKEA introduces new plants four times per year

If you’re looking for something new, unique, or seasonal, stop by IKEA’s plant department quarterly. The superstore lines the shelves with new offerings in February, April, August, and October. Look for special seasonal items like Poinsettias during the holiday season and daffodils during the spring.

(Image credit: Brigitt Earley)

4. There’s a secret to picking the best plants

Though you might instinctively grab for the plants featured front and center on shelves, there’s a little more strategy involved in picking the right one. Once you settle on a varietal, spend some time examining the choices on the shelf.

Don’t be shy: Reach deep into the shelf. Those on the fringe are more likely to have been handled, and may be damaged. You’ll also want to look for a plant that feels heavy—if it feels unusually light, this likely indicates the soil has dried out. And finally, if you’re buying a flowering plant, look for buds rather than blooms. Though blooms look pretty, they won’t last as long as you might hope.

5. You can’t buy live plants online

Though you can browse some live offerings on IKEA’s website, you can’t order these plants online or reserve them for pickup. You can, however, check your store’s availability.

The only plants available for purchase on IKEA’s website are of the artificial variety. The good news? There’s plenty of them, and you don’t need a green thumb to keep them for years to come.

6. Plants cannot be returned

So your succulent didn’t quite go the distance? Although IKEA has a relatively flexible return policy (you can return unused items within 30 days of purchase), it’s no Home Depot, which allows you to return plants a year after purchase. IKEA, on the other hand, doesn’t accept returns or exchanges on plants, even if it died shortly after you bought it.

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