For anyone who enjoys gardening and growing plants, you know how satisfying it is to watch them grow and thrive. But have you ever considered using your green thumb to make money? You don’t need to be a full-time farmer, or live on a large piece of property to be successful.
Rather than trying to grow stereotypical farm crops, if you choose a specialty plant, you can make a living off it with less than an acre of land. If you are ready to take steps to start your new career, or just want to make some extra money, by choosing a highly profitable specialty crop you will get the best results.
7 Profitable Plants to Grow and Sell
If you want to make some money from growing plants, here are some of the most profitable options:
Whether you are an experienced gardener, or just getting started, lavender plants are a great option for everyone. It is relatively inexpensive to grow and is a very flexible and versatile plant. They are fast-growing, can thrive in a wide range of climates, and are disease resistant.
Lavender is used as is, as well as in soaps, fragrances, cleaning products, and essential oils. There is always a need for lavender and a single acre of lavender can make over 10,000 bouquets. This would help guarantee a steady yearly income.
Mushrooms, especialy gourmet and exotic mushrooms, are in high demand for restaurants and foodies. Mushrooms are a great option for those wanting to make a career out of growing and selling plants because they can be grown inside without soil, in relatively small spaces and average six crop cycles per year.
Because mushrooms do not travel well, local growers are a hot commodity and provide higher quality than transported mushrooms. On average, mushrooms can sell for anywhere from $5 to $20 a pound.
You can grow up to 25 pounds of mushrooms in just one square foot. You can also consider drying certain types of mushrooms, like oyster and shitake, to help preserve them longer and make it easier to distribute further away. A simple 10 by 10 square foot space can easily be enough to make a living and can be grown anywhere.
Ornamental plants are used to help create aesthetics and are typically very low maintenance. The most popular types of ornamentals are woodies and grass. Woody ornamentals are plants like red twig dogwood, holly, pussy willows, forsythia, and hydrangeas. You can grow different plants at different times of the year, creating profit without worrying about off-seasons. Woody ornamentals are very popular in florist shops, as well as craft stores because they are ideal for floral arrangements, wreaths, and natural home décor.
Ornamental grass is very popular amongst landscapers because of its low maintenance and tolerance to drought. This makes them ideal for a wide range of climates and they come in hundreds of shapes and sizes. You can use ornamental grass to add curb appeal to your home, as well as a more natural solution to costly privacy fences.
Ornamental grass is also very easy and inexpensive to grow and can produce thousands of plants in a very small space. This means you can expect a pretty sizable income from the high demand.
Bamboo has become hugely popular over the past decade because of its versatility and how quickly it grows. This plant is used in everything from flooring to furniture, utensils, landscaping, fishing poles, and is even included in materials like mattresses and pillows. While bamboo typically takes around 5 years to reach maturity, once it does they grow at a very quick pace.
Bamboo is a type of grass and can grow nearly anywhere, including sub-zero temperatures. By growing them in pots, you will not only eliminate the need to dig and replant them to sell, but this also allows you to grow around 600 plants in a 30 foot by 40-foot room.
Because bamboo is used for so much, it comes at a very high price tag. A single pot of bamboo can cost up to $150, with the average being about $45. This means you are making a very high return on your investment with every pot you sell.
Garlic plants are referred to as the “mortgage lifter” for a reason. These plants are extremely durable and can grow in a wide range of weather conditions. This means that it is unlikely that you will lose a crop of garlic, no matter how harsh the weather is. However, you do want to aim for producing the highest quality of garlic possible. The better the quality, the more flavorful and desirable it is.
Gourmet garlic, also known as hard neck garlic, has a far superior taste than regular garlic, making it much more desirable to buyers. Rocambole, porcelain and purple stripe garlic strains are seen as the highest quality and will fetch around $10 a pound.
Other popular garlic strains like elephant garlic can get you around $8 a pound. Taking into account that a single acre of garlic can yield around 15,000 pounds, you can make a very good living this way.
Landscaping Shrubbery and Trees
Landscaping plants are always highly in demand because of their versatility and aesthetic appeal in yards. Specialized trees and shrubbery plants grown in five-gallon pots can bring in up to $100 per pot. This allows you to make a nice profit without needing a lot of space. You can grow around 1,500 two gallon pots in 1,000 square feet.
It typically takes around two years for you to be able to sell the plants for top dollar, but once you do, you are looking at a huge profit. Wholesale growers sell seedlings for a dollar or less and can provide you with a minimum of 750% mark up when you resell after two years. To get the most money for your plants, it is recommended that you find a specialty or niche. This will help you gain expertise with certain plants and make you a more desirable source for them. You can also look to sell directly to florists and landscapers to keep a steady income.
The high demand in Asian cultures and holistic health communities has made ginseng an incredibly desirable plant. This plant was formerly only found as a wild root, but now is grown to help meet the huge quantities people are asking for all over the world. While the wild root will get you more money than a planted one, you can still make a nice profit.
The roots and rootlets are relatively inexpensive to grow but do take six years to fully mature. Once they do though, you will be looking at around $500 per pound. That means that for every one acre of mature ginseng, you are looking at around $50,000 per year.
Plant Care Facts and Tips
To give you the best chances of producing quality plants and getting the most money for them, it is important to provide your plants with the best possible care.
To save time, energy and money, you should always plan before planting. Test your soil, get it ready and figure out where and when your plants have the best chance of growing. The more research you do before planting, the more straightforward your growing will be.
Stay On Top Of Weeding
To make your gardening easier, it is important to stay on top of your to-do list. Many people allow weeds to get out of control and then pick them all at once. This not only makes you do a lot of work at once, but makes your growing season shorter as weeds take over. Remove them as you see them and avoid letting them take over.
Feed Soil Between Crops
To keep your soil healthy in the long and short term, you should always feed the soil between crops. This can be done with compost or aged manure and should help provide the ground with the nutrients it needs to keep providing healthy plants.
Consider Threats In Your Area
Whether it is animals, insects, or the elements, there are things you can do to help better protect your plants from natural threats. For example, there are raised beds, greenhouses above and below underground, nets, and fences that can help your plants grow strong without worrying about damage. There are also sprays and other plants that you can grow to help keep away pests, no matter the size.
If you have a green thumb and are looking to make some extra money, growing and selling plants can be a great way to go. To make sure you get the most money for your effort and give you the best chance of making it a career, consider growing on of the top seven most profitable plants included in this list.