Plant Business: Strategies to Grow Plants for Money – Growing plants for money can be a rewarding little or big business. It can be a little business for the housewife or the lowly-paid employee. Or it could be a really big business for those who have the capital and necessary know-how.
What’s good about the plant business is that even the fellow with very little capital can start his own plant business. How? Here are some tips for the entrepreneur-minded people who would like to undertake a modest plant business:
Different people have different strategies. One, for instance, specializes in plant with fragrant flowers. So he collects and propagates such plants as Hamsiao, magnolia, kamuning, suimei, dama del dia, and others.
Some other people specialize in small plants like African violets for their own good reason. African violets are small so they occupy little space. They are relatively high-priced so income can be high even from small growing space. African violets come in many colors; hence there is a wide variety to choose from.
Growing hoyas for money can be a project for the beginner in the plant business. Hoyas are easy to care for and occupy very little space. A collection of the native hoyas as well as the imported varieties can be rewarding financially.
Some people in the plant business go for the new and the more expensive, such as the hybrid aglaonema. There are many other species that are rare and expensive. Choose the one that suits your temperament as well as your growing condition.
Specialization is one strategy that a garden enthusiast entering the plant business can take, like growing miniature anthuriums. These plants cater to a niche market. The good thing about miniature varieties is that they occupy little growing space. Small plants that are high-prized can be high profitable as long as they have a ready market.
Different plants have their own advantage. For bromeliads, such as tillandsia, it is very easy to grow. It can take some neglect and is best for the fellow who does not have enough time to care for his plants. Tillandsias are aerial plants and can be grown without much care.
Philodendrons can be interesting plants for beginners in the plant business to collect and multiply. There are many varieties to choose from and they are quite easy to propagate like the Red Congo philodendron, and other varieties that are rare and expensive.
Value-adding is another strategy of people in the plant business. They buy small seedlings at a low price and then grow them into big specimen plants, which could be sold at a price many times over the price of a seedling. For instance, they buy small seedling of champagne palms that cost about P35 each. These are grown to landscaping size and are sold at several thousand pesos each.
Another way of value-adding is growing the plants in special containers such as glazed pots. Such plants which are ready for use by interior decorators command a high price.
If you want to start you own plant business, be sure to attend garden shows. There are many things you can learn about plants in garden show. You can take a look at the prize winning plants. Note their names and if possible, learn their cultural requirements. You will also discover the favorite of the gardening public in a garden show. And then you will be able to know the key players in the industry.
Increase your knowledge about ornamentals plants not only by reading books and gardening magazines. One way is by attending garden shows. Another way is to become a member of one or more garden clubs. This way you will meet other garden enthusiasts who have their own bright ideas.
These garden clubs include the Philippine Horticultural Society, the Philippine Orchid Society, the Philippine Bonsai Society, the Fern Society and other local associations. Usually, such clubs hold monthly meetings where there are speakers on different gardening topics.
Visit plant stores and make friends with the owners or the sales people. Join garden tours if you have the chance. You will be able to pick up new ideas and meet new friends.
Learn to propagate and to take care of plants. In the plant business, quickness in propagation is the name of the game. Once you acquire a new plant, propagate it as fast as you can. That way, you will be ahead of others in releasing to the market a plant that is new.
Before releasing a new plant to the public, make sure you have plenty of propagations. Some people don’t sell their propagations before they have produced a few thousand plants. Before releasing the new plant, produce beautiful specimen plant so prospective buyers of small plants so prospective buyers of small plants will be able to visualize the small plants they will be buying.
If you have a really nice plant, enter it in the competition in the garden show. You’re your plant wins a major prize, people would like to buy a propagation of the same.
Source: Zac B. Sarian, Manila Bulletin