? about starting a nursery

John Deere

LawnSite Member
About 25% of our business is landscaping. For years we have had to buy our plants from our local nursery @ retail price. We are now at a location that we can store plants, shrubs, trees, etc. 2 ?'s, how do you find a supplier for wholesale prices and how long can plants live in containers ( properly cared for of course) before we plant them or sell them. Thanks for any help.


LawnSite Bronze Member
I looked up wholesale nursery's in the American Nurseryman Magazine. There are wholesalers all over the country in there that will give you great products, prices and arrange for delivery. I had to make a neighbor disappear last fall so I called a few ads from the mag and found 5-6'arborvitae Dark american for $30 ea. another guy wanted $22.00 ea. I needed 50-60 and the nurseries around here wanted $54 -70 ea. The nurseries in the mag. are the guys that sell to the retail garden centers that we all buy from. The ones that I spoke to were also nicer to deal with and you get freshly dug plants! You can get the magazine by calling 800-621-5727. As for plant surviving, if you keep them irrigated they should survive long enough for a selling season.<br>Chris
This guy at www.freeplants.com says you can grow your own on 1/20th of an acre and have saleable plants within a year or two (well, of course that depends on size and species, some will be more). It's a really well done site and all the information is free. There are some books and videos for sale but you can get all the information right there on the site for free.


LawnSite Bronze Member
South Bend, IN
Are you a licensed nursery dealer? I can use my IN dealer lic to get wholesale prices from practically any wholesale or retail nursery in IN MI IL or OH. Most states require a nursery dealer license if you are selling any living plants: installing sod, planting flowers, landscape installs, etc.<br>Check you state nursery & landscape assn:<br> http://www.nnla.org/ <br>You have a winter show coming up soon. Mid-Am in Chicago next week is good show also. The Mid-Am draws nurseries from all over the country if you are serious about starting your own nursery.<br>Most important to consider: do you want to have the burden of your own nursery? The plants don't just sit there and grow and become worth more. There is some effort to maintain the plants. Will cost you some time & $$.<br><p>----------<br>Jim<br>South Bend, IN


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
Every nursery I have ever visited, will give tradespeople a wholesale discount, in my area (central CT) ranges from 20-to-50 percent of retail. Just need a valid resale cert and open an account. ASK.<p>My brother runs a nursery in SE Connecticut, believe me when I say theres more to it than stuffing shoots in the dirt and waiting for the money to pour in. Ask him how he likes waking up at 2am to the phone ringing, the auto alarm in the greenhouse going off cuz the furnace quit. Unless you do huge volumes, its probably cheaper and easier to buy wholesale as you need the stuff.<p>Bill


LawnSite Senior Member
West Haven, CT
Like Bill said, there is a lot to starting and maintaining a nursery. If you are still paying retail prices from local places, than its kind of doubtful you will buy enough stock to warrant getting most plants directly from big growers. We buy tractor trailer loads of containers and b&b stock for our re-wholesale nursery in Southern CT almost exclusively for sale to professionals. We charge retail walk-ins, or landscape service customers more per plant. I have allocated two acres of space for the plants, and work almost year round with a lot of help to make sure they don't dry out, get diseased, get winter killed, etc. This overhead would be ridiculous for you to incur in order to save some money unless you are planning to have hundreds of thousands of plant sales, and know which ones you will need well ahead of time (we ordered in October 99 for March 2000). There should be some middle sized local growers in your area who can provide what you need for a price range between rock bottom wholesale and full retail. If you want more information or specifics, e-mail me directly. (follow a link from one of my web pages)<br><p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply - http://members.aol.com/slsnursery<br>Ivy League Landscaping - http://members.aol.com/scagrider