How to Make Money Selling Houseplants

Spring and summer are the seasons when you can earn extra cash by propagating and selling houseplants. People move in and out of homes during this time, often leaving behind or looking to buy houseplants. Gardening gear and potting soil is on sale. There is enough sun and warm weather to bloom a small cottage industry right out of your own home. If you have free weekends and knack for gardening, here are some tips for making money with houseplants.

First, gather the equipment you will need to propagate houseplants: plastic and clay pots, saucers of different sizes, a small shovel, small pruning shears (big kitchen scissors will work), and potting soil. (If you live in a lush, humid area, you can even use "outside dirt" in a pinch.)

Next, look for moving sales where people are leaving houseplants behind. You can score a lot of free houseplants during the summers when college students graduate, or people relocate for new jobs. You should also keep an eye out for nursery specials, and sales in the gardening departments of big retail stores.

Learn how to propagate different types of plants. For example, cacti and succulents (prickly pear, jade, mother-in-law-tongue) can be multiplied by putting a leaf/stem cutting in new soil, or by dividing the stem and root structure. You can force roots to grow from the cutting of an umbrella tree (Schefflera) by putting a stem in water, or by using a technique called "air layering."

Vine houseplants and ivy can be split by cutting off a piece of vine and putting it in new water or soil.

Learn the common and scientific names of your houseplants. This is necessary when you place ads to sell the plants. If you get them for free and don't know the names, take a picture and show it to a worker at a nursery; he or she can help you identify it.

Buyers will want to know the proper care instructions, so research the watering and sunlight needs of each type of plant you sell. Over a few seasons you will become an expert.

Once you have a sizable collection of newly propagated houseplants, let the cuttings take root before you sell them. People will pay more money for plants that are well established with strong root systems.

To sell your houseplants, place ads on craigslist, in places where they offer resources for movers, or in grocery stores and libraries. Devise a pricing structure based on the cost of the materials, your time, and the value of the plants. Larger plants and flowering plants can fetch more. Look at what nurseries charge for similar houseplants.

Using decorative pots can also increase your sales. Houseplants that are potted in attractive containers seem healthier to many buyers. You can also sell vine plants in decorative bottles.

© Had2Know 2010

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