Whenever we tell people what we do for a living they always ask:“Can you make money growing plants?”
The answer is: “Yes! of course, you can.”
We have have been living off the profits from our wholesale plant nursery for 7 years now.
“Is there much money in it?” is always the next question.
There can be, it depends on how much time and sweat you want to put into the business. We generate over $100K in sales each year.
We could easily grow this figure however we value our lifestyle more. There’s more to life than just money.
Our nursery allows us to set our own hours, this allows us to spend time with the kids, exercise and write the odd blog post;)
“How do we get to do all this?” We are a wholesale nursery! This means that we supply plants to retail plant nurseries.
“Nurseries buy you plants?” Yes, Nurseries buy our plants and then sell them directly to the public.
What is a wholesale nursery?
A wholesale nursery is a plant nursery that grows plants in large quantities. By growing in large quantities and selling in large quantities we are able to offer our customers a large discount for buying in bulk.
This allows them to usually double the price they paid to make a profit!
The appeal of a wholesale nursery for us was the fact that we could focus solely on growing plants without needing to deal with the public.
Some people like to talk to people and offer advice. We prefer to focus on the task at hand and get our work done as quick as possible. Because we don’t need to stop every 5 minutes to answer questions, we are able to do this.
As I mentioned the price is lower per plant than retail but the time savings and selling in bulk more than make up for it!
Is the work enjoyable?
Well we love it! Outside all the time, working with plants, seeing all the frogs and other critters and working from home! Whats not to like?
Beats the heck out of sitting in an office all day or stuck in traffic during that daily commute!
The only time we need to travel is once or twice a week to deliver the weeks orders. Even this isn’t so bad as we can choose the time when we leave home. No peak hour traffic for us 😉
It’s only during the height of summer when I’m watering everyday that I wish I was on the beach.
But then summer ends and everyone else goes back to their regular 9-5 jobs and I’m still just plodding along at home and I know I’ve make the right choice for me.
How much acreage do you need?
Our’s is very small we only have 1.25 acres of land.
And of that only 1/2 is nursery!
We grow the majority of our plants in 140mm(5.5″) pots. These are quite small pots but by no means the smallest.
We are able to keep 30,000 plants on the ground at any given time. Of course if we grew plants in smaller pots we would fit more.
Some wholesalers we know that grow plants in 50mm(2″) pots can fit hundreds of thousands of plants into the same area!
The trick is to work with what you have. If your land size is large you can grow more advanced plants in bigger pots for larger profits.
How did we start?
Well we both worked for a wholesale nursery that specialised in roses. The money for a wholesale nursery worker is very low paid!
So we started our own!
But not specialising in roses! We both hate roses! Don’t get me wrong the flowers on a rose are quite spectacular. But a rose nursery is a lot of work! Spraying, Constant pruning and the damn prickles!
We liked the idea of selling things in very large volumes. Plants like hedges are great because people don’t just buy one plant.
However in our area there are quite a few wholesale nurseries that specialised in grown hedging plants.
So we focused on growing plants for landscaping. Again these types of plants are generally mass planted.
In the beginning we sold our plants at local farmers markets. Eventually we were able to build our stock levels high enough that we were able to approach retail plant nurseries and landscapers directly.
And the rest is history!
You might like to read the article on our income from the nursery.
Was it easy?
No, Not at the start!
We had just got married, had our first child and started this brand new business from scratch.
I can remember sitting on my back porch doing cuttings, empty beer cans all around me, wondering is this all for nothing?
The next day i went into town to buy some groceries. A brand new shopping centre had just been built. It was my first time going in, and there were people everywhere!!
So I decided if I build it they will come!
And we never looked back. We just put our heads down and our bums up and worked as hard as we could to propagate as many plants as possible.
And now it is, easy!
We know what plants will sell, we know when we need to propagate, when we need to pot, when we should cutback. Its all very laidback now;)
What would be needed to set one up?
The 2 main things needed are some land and water access.
Its best if you own your own land!
Also make sure the water supply is constant even in the most sever of droughts!
We did write an article on “what you need to start a plant nursery” if you want to check that out.
It will also help if you have some propagation knowledge. We are trying to help out there, we are publishing articles on all the plants we propagate in our nursery.
It’s not for everyone but if you love the outdoors and plants then it just might be your calling also:)
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