Nurseries are a vital part of the gardening and horticulture industry. They are in the business of growing and selling plants and so there are different ways with which they can make money.

Some nurseries focus on wholesale, while others specialize in retail. There are nurseries that grow plants for landscapers or gardeners, and others that grow trees for the forestry industry.

While all that’s well and good, the real question is – how do nurseries make money?

If you own a nursery and looking for creative new ways to make money then this article is for you because we’re going to explore seven of the most common ways nurseries make money.

Keep reading!

How Do Nurseries Make Money?

Owning a nursery business can be quite lucrative if done correctly. There are many different ways to make money from a nursery, some of them rather obvious and others less intuitive.

Here are the 7 most common methods nurseries use to make money:

  1. Retail Sales
  2. Wholesale
  3. Landscaping Services
  4. Plant Rentals
  5. Consulting
  6. Product Sales
  7. Contract Growing

#1. Retail Sales

This is one of the most obvious ways in which nurseries make money. They grow plants and then sell them to customers who come into the nursery or purchase them online.

Retail sales can be quite seasonal, with most customers buying plants during the spring and summer months. However, there are also a fair number of customers who purchase plants year-round, especially if the nursery offers a wide variety of plants and trees.

Retail sales in nurseries need not be limited to plants. They can also sell gardening supplies, pottery, and other related items. Many nurseries also have gift shops that sell items such as birdhouses, wind chimes, and other garden-themed gifts.

In fact, the sales of such ancillary products can really help a nursery’s profitability

#2. Wholesale

Selling plants in bulk to other businesses is another way that nurseries make money. This is often done by supplying landscapers, garden centers, or florists with the plants they need for their own customers.

Wholesale requires a bit more work than retail since the nursery needs to find businesses that are interested in buying their plants. It also requires a bit more space to grow the plants in bulk.

Wholesale can be a great way to move large quantities of plants quickly and generate a lot of revenue. But winning wholesale contracts from fewer customers can be more difficult than winning a lot of smaller retail clients.

#3. Landscaping Services

Many nurseries also offer landscaping services to their customers. This can be a great way to make money, as it allows you to use your plants and expertise to create beautiful gardens for people. It can also be a great way to build relationships with customers and generate repeat business.

Landscaping can be done on a small scale, such as planting flower beds or trees in people’s yards. It can also be done on a larger scale, such as designing and installing entire landscapes for businesses or public parks.

Nurseries that offer landscaping services often have a team of experts, including landscape architects, horticulturists, and gardeners. This team works together to design and install custom landscapes that meet the specific needs of each customer.

#4. Plant Rentals

Plant rentals are becoming increasingly popular, especially for events such as weddings or parties. If you have a large selection of plants, you can rent them out to people who need them for a short period of time.

Sometimes, plant rentals can also be done for longer periods. Offices, for example, often rent plants for months at a time. Every few months the nursery from whom they rented the plants will come and replace them with fresh ones.

Plant rentals are a great way to make money, as they require very little work on your part. All you need to do is provide the plants and then pick them up when the rental period is over.

#5. Consulting

Many nurseries also offer consulting services to their customers. This can be a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with people who need it.

Consulting services can range from helping people choose the right plants for their gardens to teaching them how to care for their plants properly.

For instance, you could offer a service where you come to people’s homes and help them design their gardens. Or, you could offer a class on how to take care of houseplants.

#6. Product Sales

In addition to selling plants, many nurseries also sell a variety of gardening products. This can include things like potting soil, fertilizer, garden tools, and more. Selling products is a great way to make some extra money and provide your customers with everything they need to care for their plants.

Product sales are often done on a retail basis, meaning that customers come to the nursery and purchase the products they need. However, some nurseries also sell their products wholesale to other businesses.

#7. Contract Growing

This is when a nursery agrees to grow a certain number of plants for another company, often to their specifications. This is common in the forestry industry, where nurseries will grow trees for paper companies or other businesses that need them.

Contract growing can be a great way to secure a steady supply of work and generate a lot of revenue. A benefit of contract growing is that you often don’t have to worry about selling the plants, as the company you are contracted with will take care of that.

Also, regular contracts help get a certain degree of financial stability for the nursery and some predictability when it comes to revenue.


So, how do nurseries make money? In this article, we reviewed 7 ways in which nurseries can make money. The obvious is retail sales in which nurseries sell plants to retail customers. But nurseries can also sell wholesale to other nurseries or large companies.

Additionally, they can offer landscaping services, plant rentals, consulting, product sales, and growing plants against fixed contracts. So if you own a nursery or are planning to start one, you can diversify your revenue streams by implementing some of these ideas.