Growing and Selling Specialty Plants

By Eric Hammer

First of all relax, when we refer to specialty plants we mean legal ones. If your interest in growing drugs, please look elsewhere since we won’t be discussing it. Now that we have that out of the way, there are a number of specialty plans that you can grow and earn a tidy profit from. Especially popular are decorative plants that people might like to put on their windowsills.

The thing is, the seeds and the raw materials to grow these specialty plants are really very inexpensive. It does take some time and of course, you need to know what you are doing, however it is perfectly possible and even feasible to grow specialty plants and to create a nice business from it.

You don’t even need much in the way of special equipment. While a greenhouse would obviously be a big help in making your backyard nursery into a successful business, it’s really not necessary. There are many plants that can be grown out in the open using ordinary pots, seeds and soil.

How Much Can You Make?

How much you’ll make depends largely on what you plant and how much time you want to put into your business. Consider however that your raw material cost for a plant (after your initial investment in starter seeds – don’t forget that plants provide you with seeds to grow more plants) that you grow will probably be under a dollar a piece and that most plants you buy from a nursery cost anywhere from $5-$25 and you can see the potential here.

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Another possibility is growing flowers in your backyard. Not only will they look beautiful, but you can also harvest them and sell them to people who want to buy a bouquet for special occasions.

Keep in mind that the kind of plants you can grow will depend largely on where you live. Consult a good gardening book to figure out which specialty plants can be grown in your climate and then start growing them.

You may also want to consider planting a fruit tree or two if you have the room for them. Fruit trees, once they start sprouting fruit should continue to fruit for many years, providing you with year after year of profits. While they may not be as profitable as some specialty plants, they do have the advantage of being easier to maintain.

Qualifications / Requirements

Check with your state board of health to find out if there are any legal issues regarding running a small nursery at home. Beyond that, you don’t need any kind of degree or even a high school diploma. You just need to know how to grow plants and keep them healthy.

First Steps

Start by planning your garden. Find out what kinds of specialty plants can be grown in your area. Then, stop by local nurseries and see how much each plant is selling for. Pick the most valuable plants to grow in your garden and then read everything you can about them.

The key here is to start small – don’t invest thousands of dollars at first. Spend a few hundred dollars to start up and see where things go. Once you’ve gotten your new business off the ground, you can always expand. Also, consider starting to grow just for the busy spring/summer season. See how things go and then, if it goes well, you can move to a full year round growing cycle.


Profitable Plants – This web site is actually designed more to sell you something than to give you good information. It’s designed to sell you their guide to specialty plants. However, there is some good basic information here.

New Terra Natural Food: Make Money Selling Plants from Your Backyard Nursery – More information available here than at the previous site, though you’ll still need to do your own research on which plants you can grow in your backyard and how to grow them.

Growbiz – Another web site trying to sell you something, but they have some very good information here as well on getting started with specialty plants.

About.Com: Make Money from Your Herb Gardens – Another related idea, to sell fresh cut herbs. These also have tremendous markups and can be grown easily at home.

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Every Way to Make Money | Growing and Selling Specialty Plants