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Petals, Pots & Peonies: 3 Flower Markets In Shanghai

Looking to exercise that green thumb? Then know where to go for those naturalist needs.
2021-04-20 12:00:00
Photos: SmSh Photographers

In recent years, flower markets in Shanghai have gradually been closing down and moving to new areas. Rising rent, the competing convenience of inner-city shops, and the flood of e-commerce options appear to be the core driving forces. The few that struggle to stay afloat, barely manage to keep their locations and consequently need to continually move to stay in business.

Hongqiao Bird and Flower Market

An anchor of the Hongqiao district, this flower market has sat at the same place for almost two decades. It's the residential go-to for folks living in peripheral neighborhoods, like Changning, Xujing, Minhang, even Jing'an. Popular with expats that regularly frequent the market on a weekly basis, one shopper mentioned that they've been visiting the market for the last 14 years and loves it to this day.

There are main areas: a central greenhouse, an outdoor shopping strip and a courtyard.

80% of the greenhouse is occupied by florists selling cut flowers. There are a couple of gardening-plant stores, selling small potted plants and young trees. During the winter season, many of the stores begin setting up for the winter holiday, selling Christmas trees, decorations, and centerpieces. These stores even offer landscaping services, as well as wedding-related services. The stock for flowers shifts from season to season (favorite of the Spring, Venus flytraps). The cost of flowers is relatively cheap, with a bouquet of peonies for about 25-45rmb.

The outdoor strip specializes in potted plants. The stores offer delivery services for 70rmb. Prices for potted plants vary depending on size and species, with small ones between 10-15rmb, medium ones from 30-80rmb, and big ones from 90-150rmb (e.g., a big bougainvillea is around 150rmb). Stay aware, during the summertime, the plants tend to welt pretty fast.

There are also a couple of art stores (mostly earning profit from framing services) and furniture stores. There is an eclectic store that sells a range of wares from decorations to seasonal and holiday specials which have been the ideal go-to place for expats in search of great gifts or prepping materials for the holidays.

The courtyard has about a dozen stores, selling miscellaneous products: everything from plant-related goods like garden pots and rock fountains to household kitchen items, to an antique store that sells qipaos. If you're looking for a smallish pet, there's a pet store located on the main drag that specializes in birds, fish, hamsters, terrapins, etc; be aware that the ethics of the pet stores might be questionable.

Meichen Flower Market

This two-year-old market is new to the scene (relative to the lifespan of the usual flower market). It has three-floors dedicated to plants: a basement for cut flowers, a first floor for potted plants and the second floor for artificial plants. Located all the way out in Jiading, it's a long trip to get to for people living in the city.

The basement is refrigerated, to help keep the flowers fresh, especially the imported and seasonal flowers. It's ideal to stroll during the hot summers that hit Shanghai. The cost of flowers are generally around three times cheaper than flowers purchased in inner-city floral shops. A bouquet of tulips can range from 35-90rmb (depending on the species) and peonies are from 40-55rmb for a bunch. The stores offer same-day delivery for a fee of 30rmb.

Shaung Ji Flower Market

Located in the New Pudong Area, this flower market is within one building, occupying only the first and second floors.

The layout is in three areas: the east building which holds the potted plants, the west building for cut plants, and the connecting second floor for miscellaneous shopping.

The cut flower section of this marketplace is relatively small, with a dozen stores still offering a service. For a bouquet of peonies, it will cost around 25rmb. The plant diversity is broad, with a large range of imported flowers for sale from kangaroo paws to fringed tulips just to name a couple.

The potted plant area not only offers small to large gardening plants, but also palm trees, easy-to-grow herb plants, and the ‘rarely found', like sensitive plants and bell-shaped pitcher-plants.

There is a pet store corner, with vendors selling both common and exotic animals. As a caution: There is a section that has endangered animals like the ones listed on the IUCN. Please avoid this section in an attempt to show your quiet and reserved protest of selling such animals. Visiting these stores will only give the store owners more incentive to continue in this trade.

On the second floor are stores selling assorted items. There are a couple of art shops that offer framing services, some porcelain pottery stores, an artificial flower shop, and even a place dedicated to selling minerals (apparently, there is a fossilized dinosaur egg set going for 100,000rmb).


Shanghai is decorated with florists and other flower markets, so head to SmartShanghai's Flower Shops Venue Directory to know where to go.