Once you know how to effectively propagate
landscape plants, you will soon have more rooted cuttings than you can
use. At that time you can decide whether or not you should quit
growing cuttings, since you have all you need, or maybe you like to
sell some of your cuttings to a wholesale grower.
Let's discuss how easy it is to start a business selling lining out
stock. That’s what nurseryman call the little plants that they buy to
plant out in the field or in containers. Lining out stock, or liners
“Nurseryman buy plants?” You might be asking.
Yes they do. Nurseryman probably buy more plants than any other group
of people in the country. Why would they buy them if they know how to
Because sometimes they can’t grow them fast enough to keep up with the
demand. Or maybe they would like to grow a certain variety of plant,
but can’t grow it themselves because they don’t have any place to get
several thousand cuttings. So what they do is buy in rooted cuttings,
plant them in the field or in containers, and then they either grow
them on to sell, or they grow them on and just keep them around a year
or two longer so they can take cuttings from them.
Then once they have a supply of their own plants they can sell the
ones they bought in, that are now landscape size. Does this make
Let’s say that Mary the nursery owner buys 1,000 Variegated Weigela
rooted cuttings @ 50¢ each. She plants them in the field in the early
spring and they take off growing like crazy. That summer she goes out
and takes 3 cuttings from each plant (They need pruning away, right?).
She sticks those 3,000 cuttings under intermittent mist and in about 5
weeks she has 3,000 rooted cuttings that she can plant out that fall,
and she does just that. The following summer she can get about 6,000
cuttings from the original 1000 plants that she bought, plus another
9,000 cuttings from the 3,000 she planted out last fall. That’s a
total of 12,000 cuttings.
She continues to plant her rooted cuttings out in the field and keeps
taking cuttings from them until she has all she wants to grow. From
then on she can take as many cuttings as she needs from the plants
that she has in the field. By now the original 1,000 plants that she
bought @ 50¢ each are large enough to dig and sell, and they are worth
$10.00 to $15.00 each wholesale. That’s $8,000 from a $500.
investment, plus she can produce as many variegated weigela as she
wants without buying any more cuttings.
Does it really happen this way. Yes it does. I was recently talking to
a friend who grows and sells all kinds of plants and he told me that
he has been buying Dwarf Alberta Spruce cuttings and growing them on
and selling them. He doesn’t even root any himself, he just buys 5,000
every year, pots them up and sells them wholesale. How many other
nurseryman across the country do you suppose do that?
To get started you can either buy a stock plant or two, or buy several
hundred cuttings of the variety that you would like to sell. Instead
of planting them out in the field, I would plant them in beds. Make
each bed 4’ wide so you can reach the center to weed and take
cuttings, and place the plants in the bed 10” apart.
As long as you keep taking cuttings the plants will remain fairly
small, and compact. Then after a two or three years dig them up, put
them in pots and sell them. By then you will have thousands more
coming on that you can take cuttings from. Start out slow until you
know what there is a market for.
Of course if you are subscriber to my Backyard Nursery Newsletter then
as you know I let you know what is in short supply. You’ll have to use
some weed control measures if you are growing in beds, but that’s all
covered in my report “How to Start Your Own Backyard Nursery on 1/20
Acre or Less”. In the report I also cover how to sell the rooted
Michael J. McGroarty is the author of this article. Visit his most
http://www.freeplants.com and sign up for his
excellent gardening newsletter, and grab a FREE copy of his
E-book, "Easy Plant Propagation"