Growing flowers for sale as a business

Agriculture Plant growing

The flower business is of great interest to entrepreneurs who are just choosing the direction in which they will work. Of course, in the first place, it is attractive to women. What could be better than turning your favorite hobby into a major source of profit? However, do not forget that the business associated with the cultivation and sale of flowers is considered one of the most complex. It requires extensive knowledge, extensive experience, special skills. In addition, its average profitability is not as high as it seems at first glance.

Sales are highly dependent on the season, and the business itself has a large number of "pitfalls". Some of the risks are associated with objective factors, which are often impossible to prevent or even predict (for example, weather conditions). Therefore, before opening your own flower stall or store, growing indoor or decorative flowers, carefully study the market, the experience of other entrepreneurs working in this field, draw up a detailed business plan and weigh all the pros and cons.

Growing flowers and houseplants has traditionally been considered a less attractive area than selling. Firstly, the payback periods of any business associated with production are much longer than the payback periods of a trading company. In addition, in the flower business, the “production cycle” will be much longer. It takes several years to grow one houseplant, which can be sold at a high price. On the other hand, competition in this segment of the flower market is much lower. And at first, you can do this business exclusively as a part-time job. When the profit becomes stable and large enough, you can open your own flower base.

You can grow indoor and garden plants, decorative flowers, which are used to make bouquets. The cost of a perennial plant is proportionally dependent on its age: the older it is, the higher its price. For example, the most common indoor plants, the cultivation of which does not require much experience and investment, are monstera, dracaena and crassula (the so-called "money tree"). A small plant up to 20 cm high costs 500-1000 rubles (the cost largely depends on the variety and appearance of the flower). At the same time, the price of the same flower, but with a height of one meter, grows to several thousand rubles. The only difficulty is that it takes several years to grow such a plant. The main expenses will be required for the purchase of pots, land, fertilizers. Thus, although, at first glance, the profitability of this business is very high, its payback period is several years, which significantly reduces its attractiveness. For this reason, if you do not consider growing flowers for sale as a side job or a hobby that brings little money, it is better not to engage in breeding on your own, but to buy flowers already grown from individuals or at flower bases, and then resell them. In the first case, your partners will be amateurs and professionals who grow indoor flowers at home for sale. They often collaborate with small flower shops, but they cannot deliver their products to large retail chains. In this case, your company can act as an intermediary between the manufacturer and the retailer. The problem is that it’s not easy to get to the shelves of the latter, and the cost of an “entrance ticket” can, with small amounts of work, negate all your profit from selling flowers.

In addition, you should have garden flowers in your assortment. The greatest demand among amateur gardeners is the seedlings of petunias, zinnias, asters (pion-shaped and needle-shaped 5-6 colors), daisies, ageratum, lobelia, salvia, dahlia, pansies, and left-handed. No less popular are flowers such as daffodils (yellow, split-crowned, large-crowned), gatsanii, daylilies, chrysanthemums (bush, dwarf), viola, saffron. Please note: it is desirable that the plants for sale are flowering.

Hybrid petunias are considered one of the most common flowers. They are relatively unpretentious, beautiful, have a low cost and high retail price, like all hybrids. Their seeds are sown early enough - at the end of January - at the beginning of February, and it is quite simple to grow these plants even for beginning gardeners. But with the sale, everything turns out to be much more complicated. Many people who grow flowers, as a rule, sell their seedlings in the markets or on the approaches to them. At the same time, they receive a relatively small profit from their sales.

They willingly work with resellers who purchase flowers for their subsequent resale to flower shops. Professional gardeners who grow seedlings in large quantities, have equipped and heated greenhouses, know the demand in the market and have extensive experience in this field, try to work directly with flower shops and wholesale bases. But even this kind of side job can hardly be called a business in the full sense. Growing seedlings of flowers requires a lot of effort, time and material investment. About more or less normal income it will be possible to speak only with an assortment of at least five thousand plants with a closed root system of at least five to ten different species.

Growing flowers for sale is an even more time-consuming task. Although the profitability of the business selling flower crops (tulips, gladioli, chrysanthemums, roses, lilies, etc.) reaches 300% with relatively small investments (up to 300 thousand rubles), nevertheless, you will have to invest a lot of your own time and effort. In this case, part-time work is not even discussed. First of all, for growing flowers, you need a piece of land with an area of ​​at least 15-20 acres, on which greenhouses can be installed. Experts advise using polycarbonate, a modern polymer honeycomb material, for building greenhouses, which has certain advantages over conventional glass or plastic. A greenhouse can be ordered from a specialized company. In this case, it will cost about 70-90 thousand rubles. In addition, it can be built independently, which will significantly save. You can grow plants according to the traditional scheme - in the soil at minimal cost or according to more modern technology - on a hydroponic system, which can significantly accelerate the growth of seedlings. In the latter case, another 70 thousand rubles will be required. The greenhouse must be heated. Moreover, it is necessary that not only the air in the greenhouse is heated, but also the soil. For this, it is recommended to use not convection type heaters that drive air, heating it and creating drafts not useful for plants, but infrared heaters. Do not forget about lighting. The greenhouse should be lit at least ten hours a day, so experienced gardeners give preference to fluorescent lamps, the emission spectrum of which is closest to sunlight. Particular attention should be paid to the quality of the seed. It is best to buy seeds and seedlings in proven greenhouse farms. In this case, the risk of falling on low-quality materials is significantly reduced.

If you do not have knowledge and experience in growing flowers, seek the help of specialists. It is not necessary to hire an agronomist or gardener. It is enough if you have the opportunity to contact them if you have questions about caring for plants.

Seedlings and other planting materials of annual and perennial flowers are sold from January-February to May. Experienced gardeners prefer to grow seeds for seedlings on their own, annually buying new varieties for testing. If the news "take root" and will be in demand among buyers, for the next year you can safely add them to your assortment. Seeds are harvested exclusively from healthy plants that meet all the basic requirements. In those cases when it comes to early varieties of plants, seeds are collected from bushes, the fruits of which ripened before the rest. Many entrepreneurs who grow seedlings for sale are distrustful of hybrids. Hybrids in botany and zoology are called cells obtained by crossing genetically different forms. Hybrids can be intraspecific (obtained by crossing different varieties, varieties and forms) and intra-genus (obtained by crossing species that belong to the same genus). Less common are intergeneric hybrids, which appear when crossing species belonging to different genera. Hybrid culture is the result of the painstaking work of breeders for many years, so the cost of such plants is an order of magnitude higher than the cost of ordinary crops. For this reason, they are bought much less often, however, it is desirable to have a small selection of hybrids to diversify your assortment.

In addition, you can offer your customers the opportunity to purchase a hybrid culture on order.

For large volumes, care must be taken to equip the seed storage area. It should be dark and cool. However, try not to take seeds “in reserve”: the shelf life of seeds of flower crops is much shorter than that of vegetables. The risk is too great that most of the seeds left over from last year simply will not sprout.

First, plant seeds are planted in the ground. Small seeds are recommended to be pre-mixed with sand and sown in a box with the ground, after which it is covered with a film to preserve moisture (otherwise small seeds will simply be washed out of the soil with intensive watering). When the seedlings are a little stronger, they are dived into separate cups or planted in a greenhouse. In the future, care of seedlings consists in watering, loosening and fertilizing the soil, weeding.

For sale, select only beautiful whole (preferably flowering) plants. Do not be lazy, take high-quality photos. They can simply be printed or formatted as color catalogs or booklets. The last two options look much more solid, but also cost more (from 25-40 rubles per booklet, depending on the circulation and volume). Prepare business cards or flyers with your contact details, a list of plants that you sell. Throughout the season, place advertisements for the sale of flowers on the Internet in specialized and regional forums, on bulletin boards, advertise in print media. Many companies that sell seedlings, seedlings, home flowers cooperate with horticultural associations and flower shops.

The hardest thing in the flower business is to guess the demand for the upcoming season. Although a number of cultures are always popular from year to year (traditional petunias, asters, zinnias, chrysanthemums, etc.), however, there are plants that become “fashionable” this year. Predicting such trends is practically impossible if you do not read specialized periodicals devoted to floriculture, do not attend thematic exhibitions and do not maintain contacts with experienced landscape designers who often set this fashion.

The minimum payback period for a flower growing business under favorable conditions is from 1-1.5 years.

Sysoeva Lilia

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