Grow Small Plants
Make Big Money
You Can Earn Big Money at Home Cloning Small Landscape Plants in Your Yard!
By Jeff Edwards
Suburban or rural matters not, if you have any kind of extra space in your yard that you can use to grow plants, you have a way to grow money by propagating small plants from larger ones you have or can use in your landscape. In an area as small as 30 by 40 feet, or a mere 1/40th of an acre, you can make a nice supplemental income that will go a long way towards helping to pay the bills while enjoying the most popular hobby in the world today.
The number of plants you can grow on a plot that small will amaze you, as will the amount of money you can potentially reap when the plants you created for less than 50 cents sell for 10 times that amount or more! With a bit of creative thinking, even urban farmers can grow lots of small plants on balconies, patios, rooftops, even indoors with the help of new, more efficient plant grow lights. If that doesn't work, check into community garden space or network with neighbors. One may have a small plot of land that you can use, rent, or even form a partnership with.
Can you really sell small herb, vegetable, and landscape plants? Believe it or not, the retail market for plants is huge. With our recent economic troubles, more families are vacationing at home... improving their backyards and planting new plants in the process. Demand for small plants is strong, not only from a retail perspective, but even wholesale growers are in the market for small rooted cuttings. Your advantage is your low overhead, as opposed to commercial growers who must maintain high overhead and labor costs.
So you are probably wondering exactly how many plants you can sell, especially folks in rural or less populated areas.
Thousands upon thousands if you are so inclined. Believe it or not, wholesale greenhouse growers buy the largest amounts of small plants. The markets for their small plants is so vast, they can't produce them fast enough to keep up with the demand, so they end up buying them from all kinds of different sources, including small backyard plant propagators. All you have to do is pack your seedlings in a box and ship them to virtually any location where shipping services deliver.
Even local nursery operators commonly purchase large numbers of small plants and have them shipped across the country to their greenhouses and nurseries. Why would nurseries buy plants if they could grow them themselves? For a number of reasons, with the primary one being convenience. It takes a long time to grow a Japanese Maple seedling from seed. If a nursery can buy the pregerminated seedlings from a small backyard propagator for $1.00 a piece, all the nursery has to do is pot them up and watch them grow into an inventory potentially worth many many times what they paid for it.
Nurseries also buy large quantities of flowering shrubs that are easily rooted by everyday people like you and me. The nursery will often buy the rooted cuttings for 50¢ to a dollar, plant them in a plastic nursery pot, and then sell them the very next year for $5.00. Of course, you can do this too. As icing on the cake, you or the nurseryman can take cuttings from these plants to propagate for the following year's crop, and as a result, you will never have to purchase that particular variety again. Wholesale greenhouses and nurseries are almost always looking for deals on quality grown small landscape plants. Generally speaking, when a greenhouse grower hooks up with a quality backyard propagator, the relationship is sealed, as they know they can get better quality plants for less money from you than they can from a large commercial nursery operation.
Since you don't have to pay for land, greenhouses, farm equipment and employees, you can sell your plants for a far more reasonable rate and still make a hefty profit, while the grower gets better cared for plants at a fraction of their normal cost.
So what's the catch, you're probably asking. How much of my life savings will I have to spend to get started?
Believe it or not, virtually nothing. Basically, once you have rooted your first batch of cuttings, you are well on your way! Dozens of plant propagation techniques exist that are so easy to learn even your kids can successfully propagate plants.
You can start out with virtually any size area you can come up with, but as an example of a good starting point, let's imagine an area about the size of a standard picnic table. Seriously. Cuttings are generally rooted in propagation trays or flats that are about 10 to 12 inches wide by 15 to 20 inches long. Each tray can hold between 100 and 150 cuttings, so in an area the size of a picnic table, you can root many thousands of cuttings simultaneously.
Now here's the bonus...
As soon as these cuttings have developed a decent root system, they have immediate value as starter plants and can be sold right away. See how easy it can be to grow your own money?
A typical rooted cutting is worth between 50 and 75 cents. So if you sell 2000 cuttings at 60¢ each, that's $1,200!!! For most of us, that's a significant amount of extra cash.
But if you're really ambitious and have the room, you can always grow the plants larger yourself and as a result, sell them for more money. That's what folks like Mike McGroarty did, he potted up his rooted cuttings, grew them for a year, then sold them in his driveway the following spring. He sold over $25,000 worth of small plants for $4.97 each, I'll say it again, from his driveway!!!
Of course you can also sell plants for a lot more than five bucks. If you love Japanese Red Maples, relatively small potted specimens of these can sell for as much as $50 all day long.
Backyard plant propagation can be one of the easiest, most rewarding, and fun home businesses you could start! Get your kids involved, and not only can they help with the modest amount of labor required, they will learn work ethics, business priciples, and other life skills that will help them succeed in the future. It's a great way to get the kids to understand the value of earning their allowance and creating living things in the process.
The cost is extremely minimal to get started. The potential rewards can be quite satisfying, not only from a monetary perspective, but as a fun hobby that actually gives something back. Let's make this point right now, though, this isn't a way to get rich quick. However, many folks have made a very respectable living in the nursery and greenhouse business. The primary requirements are determination and a little bit of hard work, which once the checks start rolling in, will seem all that much easier.
Mike McGroarty has documented exactly how he makes money selling small plants in a very informative how-to system that makes it virtually impossible to fail. One of the people that bought his Backyard Nursery E-book held a sale last year and sold over $2,750.00 worth of small plants in just her first weekend. Needless to say, she was a happy grower!
You can see videos of Mike's backyard nursery on this page: http://www.freeplants.com/backyard.htm
Michael McGroarty is a hands-on plant propagation expert and proprietor of the plant propagation site, FreePlants.com. He is the author of several books, publications and videos about plant propagation techniques.