This venue has closed.
Although many of the downtown versions have been moved to the suburbs in recent years, there are still plenty of flower and bird markets to be found throughout the city. One of them, on Putuo district’s Wanghangdu Hou Lu, masks a huge wholesale gardening market.
Skip past the slightly distressing pet market and smaller flower market out the front and instead head into the drab-looking building behind. Inside, you’ll be met with an overwhelming fragrance of flowers and greenery and will find everything from potted herbs such as rosemary (10RMB) and thyme (15RMB) to packets of seeds, planters and fertiliser.
If you speak a bit of Chinese, the shopkeepers are generally happy to talk you through the various plants that they have for sale, proffering tips for how to best look after them and which types may be best suited to your needs – though with a blisteringly hot summer being forecast, it is perhaps wiser to focus solely on the various cacti that you’ll find dotting the warehouse.
Prices for the plants and cut flowers on sale here range vastly depending on rarity and size but a general rule of thumb for getting the best bargains is to buy in bulk – this is a wholesale market after all. And if you’re worried about carrying an entire window garden back on your bike, be aware that most of the units here offer home delivery.