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Ready to turn your green thumb into green dolla dolla bills? Here are a few simple methods for making money from plants.
You will need:
- indoor houseplants
- a few extra pots
This botanical side hustle is not entirely passive as you do have to care for the plants and arrange pickups, but it isn't time-intensive or trading dollars for hours, either. If you already have a variety of houseplants you could realistically start making money from plants this weekend!
This side hustle is for you if: you already have plants that you prune or cut back on a regular basis, if you have a decent knowledge base about plant care, and if you need a side hustle with loads of flexibility.
How Much Money Can You Make Selling Plants for Profit
The amount of money you can get from selling plants will vary. The type of plant you are selling, as well as if it is a whole plant or a rooted cutting, will impact your profits. Startup costs are very low, though, so your profit margin should be quite high.
For example, if you already have an aloe plant, you can easily propagate it and sell the little baby aloes for $5 a piece. You'll have a bit of expense with the potting soil and your time, but otherwise that $5 is almost all profit.
If you already have houseplants that you prune, cut back, or divide, then you are ready to make some cash. Depending on what you have, and how many cuttings you can take, you could easily make $50-200 your very first weekend.
Selling plant cuttings is fairly popular; there's even a guide for learning how to grow plants to sell.
What are the Startup Costs for Selling Houseplants?
Selling indoor plants is a great side gig. If you are already a houseplant connoisseur, you can use your existing collection to propagate new plants and sell them. If you don't have any houseplants, you will need to purchase some to start with.
The idea with selling houseplants for a side income is to have one mother plant and then sell the babies or rooted cuttings.
You will also need small containers and potting soil to get started. For best results, most plants should be kept in natural light. If you don't have a good window, then you will need to buy a grow light.
If you want to sell your plants as gifts, purchase some cute planters at a wholesale cost to sell with them. This plant-with-planter combo will also yield a slightly higher profit overall.
Things to Consider Before You Start Making Money from Plants
Before you start selling your houseplant cuttings, you will want to think about a few items such as business requirements, sales area, and popular plants.
It is legal to sell plants from your home. In some states, you will need a license or permit to sell plants, cuttings or seeds. In others, you will have restrictions on types of plants or seeds you can sell. Always check with your state government authority to understand these regulations in your area.
Are you going to sell locally or online? Personally, I would recommend starting locally, and on a smaller scale, so you can perfect your plant selling strategies. If you decide to sell online, however, be aware of any restrictions selling plants to other states. For example, you cannot sell citrus to Texas, and Hawaii requires a quarantine period. It is up to you to check these regulations and to maintain compliance with them.
One other consideration before you start selling rooted cuttings is your own knowledge base. Customers will have questions and want plant-growing advice. Do you understand the care needed for the plants you are selling? Can you give your customers the added value of tips for what to do if their plant isn't thriving? Do you have policies in place in case the plant dies? Spend some time writing down customer care policies so everyone gets treated fairly.
Your plant customers might also have family pets. Go the extra mile and find out if the house plants you are selling are toxic to cats or dogs. No one wants to make our four-legged friends ill!
Stock a variety of indoor houseplants that are nontoxic to pets. Many people don't realize houseplants can poison cats and dogs until it is too late. Your customers will appreciate this information.
Do you know what plants are popular in your area? Are you aware of the selling price for most houseplants? If you don't know this off the top of your head, do some research. One of the best ways to get this information is to join a local gardening group on social media.
Lastly, you will also want to be aware of local growing conditions. If you live in the desert, for example, you probably will not want to sell plants with high humidity requirements. This might be okay for advanced plant people, but beginners will get frustrated when their plants dry out and die. Choose plants to sell that will be relatively easy for beginners to grow.
What are the Best Houseplants to Sell from Home?
Once you have your customer care policies written down and basic supplies purchased – it's time to start seeing green. What are the most profitable plants to sell, though?
The first answer is to sell the ones you have. If you have houseplants already that are easy to propagate, go ahead and start selling those babies. For example, if you have a pothos plant, get out the x-acto knife and take a few cuttings to sell.
The best part about selling houseplants as a side hustle is that you will never waste the plant! You can sell unrooted cuttings, rooted cuttings, baby plants, or mature plants. If you take cuttings and they don't sell right away, you can pot them and then sell the plant itself.
Try to curate a plant collection with different behaviors and needs. For example, you will want vining plants, flowering plants, and some soft ferns. Choose plants with varying light requirements as well. You will get additional customers by having a variety on hand.
If you don't already have a house full of indoor plants these are a few of the best sellers. Some of the needier plants can be sold at a premium, but don't underestimate the profitability of common options, either. Take the time and effort to build a reputation as a seller with quality, disease-free plants. It will pay off in the end.
Snake plants are a common houseplant because they are beautiful and relatively easy to grow. If you already own a snake plant, you can take cuttings or propagate by division. Just remember the colorful patterns from the parent plant will not be replicated in the cuttings. If you want to bring out the natural variations in coloring, then division is a better choice. It can take a few months to get a fully rooted new snake plant, but they are not too finicky.
Anthuriums are beautiful, flowering, tropical plants. They are also toxic to pets and humans if ingested. These plants take a little more care and knowledge, so only propagate them if you have the skill level. They live about 5 years and propagation is simple. These can be a very profitable plant, selling between $30-50 for a 10-inch plant.
If you are confused as to why a variegated monstera is worth $150 or more for a cutting (a cutting!), then are you even on Instagram? If you get lucky enough to get one of these beauties, you can make a killing. Caring for a variegated monstera is pretty simple, but propagation can be a little tricky. There is also no guarantee the cuttings will result in the elusive variegation patterns. Once you figure out how to propagate it properly, though, you can sell cuttings and fully rooted plants for literally hundreds of dollars.
String of Pearls
This dainty sweet plant is great for hanging baskets or planters. The string of pearls and its cousins, string of dolphins, string of bananas, and string of turtles, are amazingly easy to propagate. You literally take a cutting and put it in dirt. Get the whole collection and sell them as a bundle to your customers. A single 4 inch plant can be sold for about $5 (check your local area). If you have the mother plant you can sell several cuttings off one plant.
There are 97 varieties of this subtropical and tropical big-leafed plant. The best method for propagation is to divide the rhizomes. Pay attention to the light requirements for alocasias, but, otherwise, these are pretty easy to grow. An adult plant can be sold for $40 or more, and this plant will just keep on giving as you divide the rhizomes for babies.
There are so many varieties of succulents, and they are perfect for beginners! You can divide and sell succulents year round. They make beautiful housewarming and Mother's Day gifts. Even better – they are ridiculously easy to propagate! If you are a novice, succulents are some of the best and easiest choices to get started making money with plants. Aloes, hens and chicks, euphorbia cactus, and Christmas cactus are great starter plants!
How to Price Your Plants for Sale
Your selling price will vary depending on the plant availability as well as size. Typically, rooted cuttings will sell for more than unrooted. Potted plants will sell more than cuttings. Large potted plants will sell more than small ones.
Take your time, cost of soil, and plant investment into account when deciding on your prices. Check local greenhouses or stores to see what plants are selling for locally. If you have vibrant, healthy plants, don't be afraid to sell for a bit more than what the big box stores are selling it at. Your knowledge and personal touch are worth a few extra bucks.
How to Find Customers to Buy Plant Cuttings
You can start with Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to find people who want to buy your plants or plant cuttings.
If you are open to shipping your cuttings, you can create a website and target phrases such as:
- fuchsia cuttings
- aloe vera cuttings
- dahlia cuttings
- gardening cuttings
- flowering cuttings
- basil cuttings
- and more!
Depending on your area and your set up, you may be able to create a site for local buyers only. If you live in a small town, this could be more difficult… but you never know how far people are willing to drive to pick up the perfect plant cuttings. 😉
If you want to learn more about creating a website that drives traffic and sales, I cover this topic in detail in my membership!
Other Profitable Plants to Sell
If you find you love making money with plants, you can start branching out beyond houseplants. This is especially easy if you already have a bit of a green thumb!
- Herbs (dried, cuttings, plants)
- Lavender (dried sachets, diffusion, plants)
- Ground Covers (especially profitable in the summer season)
- Flowers (plants, seeds, bulbs, bouquets)
- Gourmet Mushrooms (yes, it's a thing!)
Where to Sell Rooted Plant Cuttings
Once you have decided what you are going to sell, you can list your plants in many places. Facebook marketplace is a great start to get local customers. You can also set up a booth at craft fairs and coffee shops. Having a website with good SEO will give you authority with the local community as well, in case you have some competition.
Contact your local botanical society and let them know you are in business. Join local gardening and houseplant groups on Facebook or other social media to make connections and offer your rooted plant cuttings or entire plants.
If you take the time to build your reputation with healthy plants and valuable tips, you can do an annual or quarterly plant sale. At the planned sale, you can showcase all your cuttings and potted plants at one time. Customers will eventually begin to recognize your name and will be putting your next sale in their calendars.
As I mentioned above, you can also sell online with your own website or Etsy. However, if you are going to invest in online selling platforms, make sure you have the stock available. If you have just a cutting or two, it is probably not worth setting everything up to sell online. When you decide to scale up, then definitely check into the online plant selling options.
Other Ideas to Get the Most out of Your Profitable Plants
There is no waste when you are making money from plants. If the cuttings don't sell right away, go ahead and plant them, and then you can sell the plants. There are several other ways to make money with your indoor houseplant side hustle.
- Sell stock photos of your Indoor or Outdoor plants.
- If you have flowering plants, dry the flowers and make laminated bookmarks or wall art.
- You can rent out small, potted succulents as centerpieces for weddings. The bride returns them when the wedding is over and then you can sell them.
- Bundle potted plants with balloons, candy or other items for gift kits. These would be popular for birthdays, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, etc.
- Donate a few plants to local nursing homes or assisted livings just to brighten up the environment.
- Teach a class for beginners on indoor plant care, how to salvage seeds from flowers, how to make a succulent tray, or medicinal properties of plants (if you have the knowledge).
There are many ways to make money from plants that you already have. If you don't have a diverse houseplant collection, it might be worth investing in one or two rarer houseplants just so you can sell the cuttings. This is a side hustle you can easily do on the weekends or with a few spare hours. You could also do it seasonally.
Take care of your plant reputation by selling healthy plants and treating your customers right. Your green thumb will be paying you before you know it. I have lots of other passive income ideas here, so be sure to check them out.
P.S. Just getting started? You can use YouTube to learn things like the art of growing rosemary cuttings, or how to grow plants from cuttings, and go from there!