At that time you can decide whether or not you
should quit growing cuttings, since you have all you
need, or maybe you can still grow them for another
Maybe you can grow them and give them away to friends
and family. They sure would like that wouldnt
they? Or maybe you can grow them and sell them at
a profit. Or maybe you can grow and sell them to raise
money for your favorite charity.
At any rate, you are not likely to quit growing
them. After all, it probably took you years to learn
the propagation techniques that are now working so
successful for you, and it would be a shame not to
use these skills. Not only that, it gets in your blood,
and you truly enjoy growing things.
So Ill proceed as if you are going to sell
your excess rooted cuttings at a profit, and you can
follow along and then do as you please with the cuttings
once you have them rooted.
I wont go into propagation techniques in this
article since I have already produced so much information
about that already.
What I will discuss here is how
easy it is to start a business selling lining out
stock. Thats what nurseryman call the little
plants that they buy to plant out in the field or
in containers. Lining out stock, or liners for short.
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 grow them?
Because sometimes they cant grow them fast enough
to keep up with the demand. Or maybe they would like
to grow a certain variety of plant, but cant
grow it themselves because they dont have any
place to get several thousand cuttings.
So what they do is buy 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 sense? Lets say that Mary the
nursery owner buys 1,000 Variegated Weigela rooted
cuttings at 50¢ each. She plants them in the field
in the early spring and they take off growing like
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
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. Thats 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 about $8.00 each wholesale. Thats
$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 doesnt 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 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
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.
Youll have to use some weed control measures
if you are growing in beds, but thats 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 cuttings.
If you have questions for Mike McGroarty
visit his website, http://www.freeplants.com
and post them on the message board where you can learn
lots of gardening tips and communicate with other gardeners.
While at his website
you can learn how to start your own profitable backyard
If you would like a copy of Mikes
booklet, The Secret of Growing Landscape Plants
from Scratch, send $4.00 to: Garden Secrets,
P.O. Box 338, Perry, Ohio 44081.