House Plants on a Budget

The one thing I knew I wanted for my apartment when I moved to Santa Barbara was lots of new plants. Since I can’t have my cats with me at the moment, I’m all about the #plantlady life.

Of course, I didn’t want to drop a ton of money on my fledgling jungle, and living without a car means I had limited options for shopping. I had to buy plants and supplies from somewhere on the bus route or within walking distance, or I had to fine suitable options online.


Luckily, I found several vendors selling very affordable plants at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market. I got a small fiddle leaf fig tree and a Madagascar dragon tree for under $25 and two beautiful succulents from another vendor that were very healthy and unusual varieties you wouldn’t find at the grocery store. Plus, the larger sizes were still only $4 each.

Of course, carrying all that home was a bit much (it’s just over a mile from my home to the farmer’s market) so I did end up getting an Uber.

The only thing else I needed were some planters and soil. But after some research and extensive window shopping downtown, I realized I wasn’t likely to find some locally, so I started looking online.

Where to Find Budget Friendly Plant Supplies Online


Wow, planters are actually quite expensive, and when you add shipping costs, the prices were ridiculous! So I turned to Amazon.

I found these white plastic planters that were simple and had the benefit of being lightweight (I didn’t want to lift heavy containers when I had to vacuum).  They were perfect for the Madagascar dragon tree and the fiddle leaf fig tree.


For the succulents, I combed through dozens of listing and diligently read the reviews. Many products that looked fine in the photos had low star ratings and comments indicated they were of dubious quality. I settled on these white ceramic vintage style planters for the succulents. I loved the way they turned out! For propagating, I also purchased this white ceramic planter and also thought it was a good value and reasonable quality.


I was also able to get the soil from Amazon. This succulent mix was great, and I got this regular houseplant soil for the trees.

The vendor who sold me the succulents also recommended mixing pumice stone into the soil to improve drainage and add air, so I added that across the top of the plants and incorporated it into the soil before planting as well.

So far, my plants are doing well beneath a sunny window in my living room, and they add much needed life to my apartment, which is still sparsely furnished, even as I slowly collect new pieces.

Looking for more tips on keeping houseplants healthy and using them in your home decor? Check out my Pinterest board.

What are your favorite houseplants? Any tips for keeping them healthy? Where do you find cute planters? 

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  • So pretty, and great tips. I really do want to have a less black thumb! I love all of these lovely pots too! Especially that little crescent moon. Great post, can’t wait to reference it later. 🙂 XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • These plants are super easy to take care of! I have a big sunny window in my new apartment which helps. But I know how cats can get in the way. I have one that loved to dig up our old plants in Lawrence!