View Full Version : starting a greenhouse/nursery

08-12-2008, 08:39 AM
I recently purchased 5 acres with two greenhouses. It was used as a wholesale nursery for aquatic plants. What sort of permits or specials things do I need to be able to sell mt plants? Do I need inspection from teh department of agriculture or anything like that?

08-16-2008, 08:59 AM
Go to USDA web site and click on your state.In florida we have 2 diffrent kinds.One for growers who grow their own stock and one for re-wholesellers who buy their stock already grown.Whats your market?Are staying whith the what the last guy grew or do you have a new idea?A really good book is called "So you want to start a nursery".

08-16-2008, 11:03 AM
The previous owner grew almost all aquatic plants. I think that the public interest has really gone down in aquatic plants. I plan on growing the basic perennials to start out. I have a couple of contractors to sell to. I would like to do some retail so I will start to branch out growing different things when I get a better idea of the market and learn the industry a little better. What do you grow?

08-16-2008, 02:57 PM
I currently just use the back yard to grow for my landscaping but I'm looking into moving to north florida and growing cold hardy tropicals.I have oleanders,4 var. of jasmine,coonties,plumeria,hibiscus,crinums,myrtles,4 var. lantana,11 var.cannas,bird of paradise white and orange,fountain grass,day lilies 5 var.,some citrus,some cactus,5 var crotons,2 var. of ties and a bunch of other crap.
I dont think you'll find to many growers on here but I'd love to keep in touch.I love the plants alot more then the grass

08-16-2008, 08:48 PM
Do you know of any grower forums?

08-17-2008, 08:00 AM
I wish I did.I'm sure theres one out there but I have yet to find it

08-17-2008, 09:15 AM
Nope not many growers on here. Arbor site has a section for nursery. Wish there was more discussion here. If you find a good site let me know.

08-19-2008, 12:31 AM
I have about an acre in east orlando (behind avalon) that I am planning on using to start a small nursery.

I have bromeliads, canna lillies, fire bush, oleanders, aztec grass, mexican petunias, crotons, madagascar palms...

08-21-2008, 09:49 AM
I enjoy the plant end of things more than I do the grass.

Growing up I have memories of my father taking me to his nearly 10 acre field where he grew corn, sugar cane, agave plants.

He'd literally work me for hours and I fell in love with working outdoors, the land, fresh air, mother nature!

I bought these few acres to build a house on but I can't even afford to pay for the plans to have it built! So, in the meantime, if I could work the land and have it produce an income stream for me I would love to do so.

If you have any advice or suggestions on how to make this a reality or maybe even a few tips or ideas that I may not have thought about that'd be welcome.


08-22-2008, 08:53 PM
The most important thing I can say is go to the fnats show next month.I'm sure I could give you a few ideas I just dont know where your at with your own ideas.I could definatly point you in a few directions on supplies,plants,irg. parts,and maybe some ideas on the set up.Thats if you need any of that.Hit me up and let me know.

12-12-2008, 08:25 PM
I found this thread interesting since I recently got an idea to start a small nursery here in FL. I did part time landscaping and grading work in VA before moving here last Spring for reasons of my primary employment. I would be starting from scratch with learning and establishing a nursery.

What type of advice can you offer me on looking at land to purchase for this venture and what type of stock would be good to grow starting out. I'm considering buying about 5 to 10 acres. Also is there decent tax breaks to be had in this area?

I saw the book that was recommended in this thread and I plan to purchase it.

Thanks for any constructive advice you can offer me.

12-12-2008, 09:49 PM
You will need water and plenty of it. Preferably by well or reclaimed pond. Then you will need electric....obviously to run your pumps etc. If you plan to use city water my water bill ran over 500/month before I switched to well.

12-14-2008, 08:22 AM
I have a well and electric on the property as well as a good flowing field drainage creek on the property.

01-08-2009, 11:38 AM
Yo Florida Guys

Been there done that and got blown away by Hurricane Charlie. I am not going to write a novel but I got started by buying 1 gallons clones about 6 to 8 weeks old for a Dollar from Coast to Coast in Miami. Buying in late Feb or early March I beat the freeze possibility and could take my time to step them up to 3 gallon size. By late August I had nice 3 gallon material at a cost of $ 2.60 each. I force grew them with plenty of Liquid fertilizer and your cost factors will be higher today because of Fert prices. But even wholesaling them cheap in quantity at $ 3.50 to $ 3.75 turns a nice profit. Road side selling or retailing them at $ 6.00 was a quick sale at below HomeCheapo prices and an even better profit. But you have to do quantity to make money at it.

BTW Besides all the State licenses and ag inspection you also need a Sales Tax license and the sales Tax people want to see all your books. They can be a real PITA. Workers Comp laws also come into play and once you get so big the overhead can kill the small guy who tries to go 100% legal. However there are or were many underground plant brokers etc who work on cash money no paper work. This cash only is SOP for just about all of the industry.

01-22-2009, 08:26 PM
Just do a lot of researching and asking around. Good luck!!

Rockin Cajun
01-24-2009, 09:54 PM
my wife and i have a small nursery in our back yard. we grow ornamentals. i have 27 different named varieties of oleanders and also all the standard hollies, agapanthus. we grow for our lawn and landscape business. if any of you need liners in the future i might be able to help

Grass Happens
01-25-2009, 02:52 PM
Try looking into Pro-Hort, its in Peoria this february. Its a growers symposium. It'll cost a bit to get in, but you'll be able to meet growers of all sizes. The odd thing about growers, as opposed to lawn cutters, is they like to help each other and they all seem to become friends. Way different from the cut-throat antics us maintenance guys go through.