There are a couple of Los Angeles florists that I follow on instagram, and I am always amazed at the flowers that they use in their work. Some of the flowers they use look so exotic, and nothing like the stuff I see in my local grocery store. But if you’re willing to make the trip to Downtown Los Angeles in the wee hours of the morning, you, too, can buy yourself those flowers.
There has only been a few times in my life so far where I needed certain flowers for photo projects, and whenever I do, I go to this place – The Original Los Angeles Flower Market. This building is located in DTLA’s flower district, and holds dozens of floral vendors. They mainly sell to wholesalers but luckily, they also sell to the public. It is here that you can find your orchids, peonies, dahlias, rainbow-colored roses, hydrangeas in all the possible colors, and much more – and what’s more, at a more affordable price!
The Market opens either at 6am or 8am, Monday thru Saturday.
This last trip, I got there at 6:30am on a Saturday and was able to score free street meter parking a block away. The meter starts ticking at 8am, so that meant I had an hour and a half to get stuff done. If there were no street parking (which happens as this area gets VERY crowded very quickly), there are parking lots that go for about $4+.
The entrance to get in is $2 on weekdays and $1 on Saturdays. Be sure to bring dollar bills because the admittance cashier usually “doesn’t have change”. I luckily had brought some coins that were meant for the parking meter.
There are SO many flower variations, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Or at least, that’s how I felt. I came in thinking that this would be an easy in-and-out job, and I ended wandering the warehouses several times, pondering in my head what the best options would be to make the prettiest and the most affordable bouquet.
3 BUNCHES for $10! How awesome is that?! There were also a dozen roses being sold for $7, a bunch of ranunculuses for $8, and a bunch of peonies for $20 (and they’re not even in season!).
- Come as soon as they open: Not only will you get the best flowers, you will also get prime street meter parking for free until 8am. (Obviously if you go on the days the Market opens at 8am, this tip does you no good).
- Bring cash: Only some vendors accept credit cards, and the majority of them have credit card minimums.
- Scout the place: Many vendors sell the same plants, so I suggest doing a loop around the place and see which vendors have the best quality / price first.
Keep in mind, as well, that there are MANY floral shops in the area that DON’T charge an entrance fee.
This is what I ended up leaving with, for just over $20.
On a normal day, I would not make the drive before the crack of dawn to come here and buy some home decor flowers. But if you’re having a special event or need specific flowers, this place is worth the (slight) trouble. I can’t wait for peony season because now I know where to get them! (Seriously Trader Joe’s, why aren’t you stocking them!?!)