How to Start a Small Plant Nursery


Nurseries are businesses that sell plants, trees and grasses. Starting a plant nursery is the same as starting any other business. A person who wants to start her own nursery must understand that running a nursery is much more than just selling plants: The owner must have savvy business sense, and pay attention to detail.

Step 1

Write up a business plan for your nursery business. You can use a paper and pen or a computer, depending on your preferences and style. Include in your plan the amount of capital you have on hand, as well as what you plan to do with it.

Step 2

Use a realty company to help you find a location for your business. Keep in mind that your location needs open outdoor space, at least one building (or room to put up a building), and access to water. If you live in the north, your location also needs room for at least once greenhouse.

Step 3

Examine the location carefully before signing the final contracts. Remember that soil quality is important in a plant nursery business. Hire someone to test the soil for contaminants and parasites to ensure that the area is safe for plants.

Step 4

Purchase the supplies you need to start your business. These include (but are not limited to) potting soil, gardening tools, plastic flower pots, wheel barrows or garden carts, and plants. Purchase either full-size plants or starter plants, which are cheaper. You can also start your own plants by taking cuttings off of larger plants.

Step 5

Design the space in a way that is conducive to working, growing and shopping. Create tables or shelves that enable you to water the plants and work on them, but also allow customers access to the plants they are interested in.

Step 6

Hire employees if you need to. The number of employees you hire depends on the amount of starting capital you have, as well as the size of your location and number of plants and customers you have.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Capital


  • Purdue University: Starting in the Nursery Business
  • Oregon State University: Starting a Plant Nursery or Greenhouse Business
Keywords: start a small plant nursery, starting a small plant nursery, running a small plant nursery

About this Author

Cyn Vela is a freelance writer and professional blogger. Her work has been published on dozens of websites, as well as in local print publications. Vela's articles usually focus on where her passions lie: writing, web development, blogging, parenting, gardening, and health and wellness. She studied English literature at Del Mar College, and at the University of Texas at San Antonio.