HOW TO START A PROFITABLE PLANT NURSERY
Starting a plant nursery can be a wonderful way to turn your love of plants and gardening into cash. It’s one of the best ways to turn a little investment into a good income.
When people think of a plant nursery, the local garden center usually comes to mind. Fact is, most garden centers produce very few of the plants they sell. Instead, they purchase their plants from specialty nurseries, who actually grow the plants.
You will find specialty plant nurseries ranging in size from tiny nurseries to wholesale nurseries, who might supply retailers . That’s the beauty of the plant nursery business. And it might surprise you to find out just how many of the corporate nursery operators got started as backyard growers with just a “shovel and a wheelbarrow”.
The secret to making good money with a plant nursery is to specialize in plants that are in demand and can be container-grown to save space. A relatively new development in container growing – called the “pot-in-pot” system, allows growers to produce larger trees and shrubs without the back-breaking hand digging and high water consumption required by field growing. For smaller plants, container growing saves time, water and transplanting.
Growers who live in a small towns or rural areas can also make a good income focusing on wholesale plant sales to retail nurseries and landscapers around their region.
One of the benefits of having your own plant nursery is being able to buy wholesale at deep discounts. You will need to re-plant them in a larger pot and wait a year or so for the plants to grow to saleable size.
It gets even better once you have got your “mother” plants. You can easily propagate more by cuttings or root division, and reduce your plant costs to zero. This can really make a difference with ground covers and ornamental grasses, for example, because most buyers need dozens of plants, not just one or two.
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