Starting a Nursery Business

Discussion in 'Nurseries and Growers' started by Dalen Hawkins, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Dalen Hawkins

    Dalen Hawkins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Does anyone own a nursery on here or have considerable knowledge about them? I have commercial property and the finances to open a nursery and would like to know about ROI, high/low times of year, etc about it.

    You can reply here or send an email to

  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,665

    this is really involved.

    If you own the right kind of property, you can get agricultural tax breaks too.

    I never had a retail nursery per se. I Re-wholesaled. It was mainly for my own stock, but I also sold to other guys.
    Customers could come into my nursery to 'shop' but all the prices were "installed" prices.
    IF they wanted, I would load the plants into their truck, SUV whatever but the prices were the prices and they were "installed" there was no benefit to taking them home yourself.
    Still many people bought stuff from me because prices were still lower than retail nurseries.

    form an ROI stand point, I think it only worked because I had several overlapping revenue streams that complimented each other, I didn't see it work as a stand alone revenue stream.

    If you were thinking retail nursery it takes a lot of time, effort and focus.
    IF you are thinking just stocking yur own lanes that you mostly turn over in the same year, you would see a faster ROI.
    Much of the cost of buying plants is taking care of them, and shipping them.

    If you receive a trailer load of plants you can realize significant savings.

    That's why I prefer to spend February, March and April Pre-selling a whole season.
    Then you know ahead of time 90% of the installs you are going to do based on the designs you've sold.

    Then bring in whatever extra plants you need to fill a trailer or two or three depending on your work load.

    Some of the plants will either end up int he bone yard (rejected, etc) and need to be healed in, and excess plants can be re-wholesaled to someone else.

    I have set up several of these on large scales for other companies,
    But, I have never seen a tremendous ROI without already being an installer yourself.. its more of a 'savings' and realized additional profit, than it is an 'earnings' in and of itself.
  3. OP
    Dalen Hawkins

    Dalen Hawkins LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Thank you for your advice! I've followed a few of your posts on here lately. I was approached by a legit previous nursery owner this weekend and have a few questions. When you have 10-20 minutes to talk I'd like to speak with you.
  4. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,665

    hmmm 10-20 minutes… I guess that depends on time zone.

    My daily commute is 45 minutes, one way… Usually dead time for me.
    That happens at around 8 am AST so…maybe 11am for you?

    That's as good a time as any.

    I generally head back around 4Pm which is likely 7pm for you.

    What do you mean approached by a previous nursery owner?
    Sounds like a red flag to me! lol

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