From Seed to Sale: How to Make Money Selling Plants

“Money doesn’t go on trees,” or does it?

It turns out that plants can bring in money, especially now that more and more folks are trying to test out their green thumbs. 

Plants provide many benefits aside from being a food source.

They’re beautiful, they’ll boost your mood and health, and their decorative value is unrivaled.

So if you’re passionate about cultivating plants, you could turn your hobby into a money-making venture. 

In this post, we’ll tackle how to monetize your love of plants.

Read on to find out how to get started!

Determine The Plant Products You’ll Sell 

Before you gather your materials and get set up, you first have to determine what plant type of plant product you’re going to sell. 

Grown Plants 

How to make money selling plants grown plants

This is the logical choice to make if you are already germinating your own seeds.

Experiment with growing some extra seedlings to sell in the spring.

The most profitable plants tend to be peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli.

But just because you’re planting a vegetable garden doesn’t mean you have to stop there.

Shrubs, flowers, and other plants can all be potted and sold as well.

Alternatively, you may let your imagination run wild by creating lovely potted plants for porches, little gardens for fairies, succulents, or manicured indoor plants.

Conduct an online search to see if selling plants requires a special license in your state before you get started.

Of course, requirements vary per state.

But most of the time, it’s as breezy as filling out a form and paying for a license to sell your crops. 

No one is probably going to check up on your operations, but it’s better to have a license just in case. 

Seeds

Selling seeds is a simple method to generate extra money from home gardening if you are already collecting your own.

If you want to sell your seeds, just put them in packages of 10-20. 

Even better, you could sell your own seed bombs that you made.

Try putting together a “garden starter” bundle of seeds that all thrive under the same conditions.

Find out if you need a license to sell seeds in your state, just like you would if you were selling grown plants.

Fresh or Dried Herbs For Cooking or Cosmetics 

Fresh or dried herbs for cooking or cosmetics how to make money selling plants

It’s very possible to earn from a garden by selling fresh or dried herbs for cooking or cosmetic use. 

Notice that folks get a lot of success selling bundles of fresh herbs like thyme, mint, rosemary, and basil at local farmers’ markets.

Dried herbs cultivated at home can be sold in a variety of packaging options, including plastic snack bags, mylar bags, and even little glass jars or test tubes.

To make your products stand out, study how to develop your own attractive labels.

Herb Salts and Oils 

Some herbs aren’t available all year round, so one way to meet the demand for them is through herb salts and oils. 

Not only are they excellent means for preservation, but these products also tend to highlight the flavors of herbs.

This makes them perfect for cooking. 

Despite its high price tag, the ingredient list for a product that sells well in gourmet markets is surprisingly short and inexpensive to produce. 

All you need is oil, fresh herbs, and a suitable container for heating and storing the completed product.

Medicinal Herbs 

how to make money selling plants medicinal herbs

The use of therapeutic herbs is widespread among those interested in alternative medicine.

Herbal supplements and remedies are becoming more used in both preventative and curative contexts. 

Traditional American pharmacies have been experiencing slow development, but medicinal herbs are one of the fastest-growing sectors, according to the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Service.

Be mindful of all relevant rules and laws, not just those at the federal level.

Investigations of the marketing and efficacy of herbal medicine products are commonplace. 

Manufacturers who accurately represent their goods will not only avoid legal trouble but also earn the respect of their customers.

Tinctures and Bath Salts 

The self-care industry is booming right now.

You can get in on the action by producing and selling your own herbal tinctures and bath salts. 

Valuable botanicals are a huge part of this industry.

A wide selection of leaves and flowers is available so that you can craft a ceremony that is uniquely suited to your customers. 

Rose, calendula, peppermints, geranium, orange, cleavers, ginger, ylang-ylang, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, grapefruit, fir, oats, and jasmine are just some of the traditional plants used in bath teas, salt soaks, tinctures, and aromatherapy.

Tea Blends 

tea blends

Tea blending is a simple business that can be launched from home with the use of professional food preparation equipment like a herb dehydrator. 

When compared to the cost of leaving your oven on low for a long period of time, using a dehydrator is a far more cost-effective option.

You’ll probably also want a food processor to chop and shred your dried herbs. 

Once you have perfected your tea blend, you’ll need to think about how to market it to customers in a way that makes it convenient for them to drink.

Mushrooms 

Adding mushrooms to your garden is a great idea.

In addition to providing for your own family’s cooking needs, you may also sell these goods at the local farmers’ market.

You may sell mushrooms in many different forms, including fresh, dried, frozen, and even pickled.

Always find out if selling processed food is prohibited by law in your region.

Produce 

how to make money selling plants - produce

The most clear-cut way to generate money from cultivating (edible) plants is to sell them, either at a roadside stand or at a farmer’s market.

Produce grown locally is always in high demand.

You may want to approach neighborhood eateries, caterers, event spaces, and supermarkets to make money growing vegetables.

If you want to stand out at the farmers market, try producing some exotic fruits or offering your customers a vegetable that’s hard to come by. 

Cut Flowers 

Fresh flowers will always be in demand because they’re perishable decorative items. 

Although flower sales are typically higher in larger cities, a thriving farmer’s market may be established in any size town.

Locals are eager to purchase flowers in addition to fresh food. 

You could also sell your flowers to florists. High-end flower shops in the area are the ones most likely to seek flowers cultivated in the area.

And in their role as middlemen between farmers and retailers, wholesalers typically pay the least. 

However, wholesalers may often make larger purchases, so they may be the best option if you don’t want to make frequent trips into town.

You-Pick Garden 

you-pick garden

Grow a you-pick garden if you want to make money from your yard.

You can then invite folks to pick blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and pumpkins. 

You’ll often get families who are looking to make a day of it as customers.

Farms where customers can select their own produce often have fruit trees.

Jams and Jellies 

Numerous states now have “cottage laws” that make it legal to sell baked products, jams, and jellies at farmers’ markets without having a commercial kitchen. 

If you like rustling things up in the kitchen as well as gardening, this could be a profitable way to combine your hobbies. 

Craft Products 

how to make money selling plants craft products

Combine your artistic sensibilities and your appreciation for gardening to make unique handmade items. 

Numerous handmade items made from plants can be bought and sold in both physical and online marketplaces.

Vine decorations built with tropical plants are really trendy right now.

These vines are easy to cultivate and could generate some extra income if grown in a spare room or backyard.

Planting pumpkins in even a modest kitchen garden might result in a sizable payday in October. 

In a similar vein, gathering exotic leaves or seeds from your houseplants can help you make a wide variety of scrapbooks and craft kits. 

Landscaping Services and Plant Supply 

A landscaping business might be a great way to expand your gardening enterprise. 

Although you’ll need a truck and some tools to get started, this side hustle has the potential to become your full-time job.

You could then supplement your landscaping business by selling plants from your own garden. 

Related Reading: Small Business Ideas For Teens – Learn More Here.

Prepare Your Gardening Space 

how to make money selling plants - prepare your gardening space

Now that you’ve probably settled on your niche, it’s time to prep your garden.

With the pertinent resources and environment, you can cultivate your own plants to sell. 

Growing plants in your own home garden or do-it-yourself greenhouse is a great way to get your feet wet if you’re just getting started, but be aware of potential space constraints as you expand. 

Large-scale plant cultivation necessitates not just more room but also a deeper understanding of plant biology.

Source Your Plants 

source your plants

You can’t grow plants out of nothing.

Thankfully, many local plant sellers, including greenhouses and nurseries, maintain a wholesale distribution network.

Dig around, read their websites, or contact them directly for further information. 

If you don’t want to go this route, you can always buy seeds from the grocery store or ask your friends and family for seeds and cuttings. 

If you intend to work with a wholesaler, here are some tips for you: 

  • Befriend your supplier. You’ll often get the prices if you get chummy with the seller. 
  • Study seasonality. A lot of gardening focuses on seasonality. Eventually, you’ll learn about which plants are available and easy to sell throughout the year. 
  • Try online wholesalers. If you can’t source your coveted plants and seeds locally, you can always go online. 

Solidify Your Brand 

solidify your brand

The strength of your brand will determine how successful you are in the plant sales industry.

This is especially critical if you intend to sell plants online. 

Establishing a brand is way more than just coming up with a business name and logo.

Here are some questions you’ll have to address: 

What do you stand for? 

Determine what you want to sell and what you don’t, and set a threshold for quality.

Develop a consistent set of brand standards that can be used to guide business decisions and ensure consistency as the business grows.

How are you going to establish trust? 

Since you are dealing with the transportation of living plants, your communications should convey an air of expertise and concern for both the delivery procedure and the satisfaction of your customers once they have made a purchase. 

Building trust with your audience requires a content and brand strategy that includes educational resources. 

Providing regular content, such as guides on how to care for plants, can help you earn the confidence of a target audience and ultimately turn them into paying clients.

How are you going to stand out? 

Why should people choose to buy plants from you?

Share your background and mission on your About page, in social media posts, and even in the fine print of your product’s packaging. 

Give your customers a look-see behind the scenes by outlining your principles and disclosing any philanthropic partnerships you may have.

Set Prices For Your Plants 

set prices for your plants

Most products sold online can be priced using basic pricing models.

Identifying a competitive retail price for your plants or plant-based goods requires you to:

  • Add a profit margin.
  • Include variable costs per product. This should cover packaging, shipping, etc. 
  • Include fixed costs like overhead expenses like rent, electricity, and water. 

When setting a price for a plant, it’s important to also think about the following:

Seasonality 

The price you set may change depending on the season.

For instance, if you have a stable supply chain and have decided to sell a specific plant in a limited range of sizes, you will need to account for changes in the plant’s wholesale pricing. 

Consistent pricing across your site requires taking the highest potential cost into account when determining retail price.

Market Price 

Remembering the going rate in the market is crucial.

Your mint plant would hardly be different from the competition, even with your branding.

You still need to price it competitively in the market.

Selling plants online is a lot like selling other goods.

Customer Base 

In other words, who is your target market, and how much do they typically spend?

Aim to set your prices where they will be available to the widest possible audience.

You want everyone to enjoy the satisfaction of growing their own plants, right? 

Labor 

When figuring out your overhead, don’t forget about labor costs.

The cost of growing and maintaining plants should include your time and energy, even if you don’t employ someone to do it.

Related Reading: Start A Private Home Care Business – Learn More Here.

Plan For Inventory and Plant Care 

how to make money selling plants - plan for inventory and plant care

Once you’ve settled on a product line, it’s time to learn about the unique requirements of each plant. 

In order to keep your plant stock in good condition before shipping it to customers, you will need a sufficient amount of climate-controlled storage space.

You can always operate out of your garage at home.

When running a business related to plants, it is essential to keep track of inventory.

In addition, you need to ponder the following:

  • Are you going to change your product line-up seasonally? 
  • Do you intend to run pre-sales for upcoming plant varieties? 
  • Should you set up a separate greenhouse in case some of your inventory is damaged or dies? 
  • What will happen to your plants when you’re gone for a few days? If you do not have a staff to care for your plants, automated irrigation and timed grow lights can help!

If your business sells seasonal plants, you should have a method for tracking and reordering stock levels throughout the year. 

One method for keeping track of stock is to use a standardized naming and numbering system, as well as to categorize plants by size. 

If you plan on selling different kinds of houseplants, a good SKU system will look like this: 

  • Three letters for the category 
  • Three letters for the plant type 
  • Two letters for the size 

Take Photos of Your Plants 

take photos of your plants

Taking high-quality photographs is a must for any company that deals in the sale of tangible goods.

You have the option of working with a professional photographer or doing everything on your own. 

If you’re photographing a product, any product, you should stick to the fundamental rules of product photography.

Use multiple images of the goods on the website to provide the buyer with a complete visual.

Don’t forget to show texture in close-ups and detail shots.

Lifestyle shots put your product in a context that helps the client envision how it would look in their own home.

Photos like this are perfect for sharing on social media and showcasing on your homepage.

You should think about having your products shot in 3D if you want buyers to be able to use augmented reality to virtually place them in a room.

Smartphones are ideal for shooting high-quality photographs and videos for sharing on social media, such as behind-the-scenes footage and plant care guides.

To provide customers with a precise idea of the condition of the plants for sale, it’s best to photograph them in natural light. 

You should avoid filtering everything out since it distorts the truth.

If you use filters or edit your photos too much, many garden owners end up feeling let down because their vision for their garden didn’t turn out the way they had hoped.

Open An Online Store 

how to make money selling plants - open an online store

Your own website is your best bet if you want to sell plants over the internet.

If you’re hesitant to commit fully, you may test selling and invoicing customers using a WhatsApp group chat instead.

However, you could spend excessive time on billing.

That’s when you know it’s time to start selling your plants online via services like Spotify

You may now devote more time to promoting your business while spending less time on administrative tasks thanks to this change.

Skip this step if you’re just going to start selling plants roadside or at farmers’ markets. 

Make Product Pages For Your Plants 

how to make money selling plants - make product pages for your plants

Standard details such as plant type, description, and size should be included on your product pages with high-quality images. 

Think about how you could incorporate learning into this stage.

Be sure your clients have everything they need to give their new plants a long, happy life. 

We’ll get into the importance of after-sale support for your customers in a bit, but for now, know that you can ease the load on your customer service efforts by giving clear and comprehensive instructions for how to take care of your product.

Incorporating plant knowledge into the product page is a great idea.

Use tabs to separate related content or provide a link to the resource on another page.

You can group items into collections based on their species and size or even use labels like “pet friendly” and “beginner friendly.”

This will attract those who are new to buying house plants online. 

Set Up Other Sales Channels 

set up other sales channels

You can expand your brand’s reach and reach out to more customers by selling plants through online marketplaces or exploring local retail options. 

There are several low-cost options to incorporate in-person sales into your strategy beyond simply creating an online storefront, like: 

  • Farmers’ markets and art markets
  • Pop-up events 
  • Partnering with retail businesses 
  • Inviting customers to your garden where they can take their pick and buy from you in-person

Promote Your Business 

promote your business

There are many opportunities to grow your audience in light of the rising number of online searches for plant-related information. 

You’ll have to employ a strategic blend of search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM), and content marketing (CDM), all while maintaining a consistent and distinctive brand voice.

If you’re just getting started and don’t have a lot to spend, you can still build a following on social media and an email list by posting regularly and offering incentives to new subscribers. 

Establishing yourself as a go-to resource for free gardening information is a great way to give value through social media or a blog. 

Spend some time developing a content marketing plan and studying how to rank-optimize your material.

Your website’s content can attract organic visitors who may end up buying something.

You can also gain repeat customers by giving away free plants with their orders!

Packing and Shipping Your Plants 

how to make money selling plants - packing and shipping your plants

Your package will go through a lot in its journey to its final destination.

It’s crucial that you take all necessary measures to safeguard it. 

Properly preparing your plants for shipment is essential to their longevity and the satisfaction of your customers.

If your packaging is subpar, you won’t stop hearing about it from the plant community.

There are a number of variables to think about, including the shipping location and method, the climate, and the plant’s resilience.

Before settling on a packaging and shipping method, consider the following:

Rules Around Shipping Organic Matter 

Soil and organic matter are governed by regulations on cross-border movement.

Soil from the United States, for instance, is acceptable for import into Canada, but soil from any other country is not.

Plant Survival 

Wrapping a cardboard collar or wood excelsior around the base of plants might help prevent soil from spilling out and making a mess.

The plant’s stability will also improve as a result of this. 

Make sure the plant has enough water, and wrap the entire thing in bubble wrap or something similar to protect it from the elements while in transit. 

Prepare a box with plenty of packing material and place the plants inside.

You could go for newspapers or biodegradable packing peanuts. 

Varying Climates 

If the temperature is expected to drop wildly during transit, you should either choose express shipping or heat packs to protect the plants during transport.

Omitting Soil 

The soil’s mass contributes to the total package weight. Some plant orders can be shipped bare roots to be replanted by the client once they arrive. You can trim down shipping expenses by doing this.

Carrier Options 

Use shipping companies that operate every day of the week to prevent any delays over the weekends. You may also want to consider using only express shipping for destinations outside your immediate area.

Plant Sales Aftercare

plant sales aftercare how to make money selling plants

Your clients are like plants; they need TLC both before and after a purchase from you for the best chance at success. 

As I covered in the section on content marketing, educating customers is a great way for plant retailers to build brand awareness and credibility.

Even if you don’t sell a lot of plants, educating your clients will help them get the most out of the ones they do buy, which will increase your sales.

Assure your clients that their plant purchases will arrive in good condition at their doorsteps by offering a safe delivery guarantee.

Care instructions for purchased plants should be clearly communicated via order confirmation emails, printed on the packaging, or included in an online resource guide or blog.

Include typical questions about plant care and solutions on your FAQ page.

Make sure your clients know when and how to get in touch with you about any issues they’re having with their plants.

Related Reading: Side Hustles For Introverts – Check Out Here.

Final Thoughts 

Making money growing plants can be a lucrative business for folks who want to work with their hands.

Plants have been shown to reduce stress and boost productivity, making them a great antidote to the fast-paced lifestyle of business owners. 

And with a burgeoning interest in plants ever since the pandemic, now is the moment to reap more benefits out of your love of plants!

Disclosure:  this article might contain links to the resources discussed.
Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I will make a small commission if you purchase a product or service by using the link. You get the same price whether you use our special link or not, and sometimes I’m able to get you an even better deal through my relationships!  More info in my privacy policy.

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Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an Entrepreneur, Sponge, Father, Husband, & Follower of the Golden Rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a BSBA in Finance from Auburn University. He’s addicted to growing new business ideas and any food that includes chocolate and peanut butter. Brooks is a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income and creates content here on BrooksConkle.com to help other hustlers in the areas of marketing, online business, personal finance, and real estate. 

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