Any LEGAL plants profitable grown inside?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Unregistered, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. This might be a stupid question, but I was actually considering growing some mary jane in my basement for some extra money and decided it was too risky. I have a couple bills I need to pay and I'm wondering if there's anything legal I could plant and grow inside/outside (not a lot of room outside) that I could make some money on. I was thinking about growing black walnut saplings from seed and selling them or magnolias. Is there any other plant/flower, etc, that would grow inside that is profitable? My dad is a farmer and I can get industrial strength fertilizers for free. Hydroponic equipment and electricity cost would have to be factored in. Does anything come to mind?

    thanks,

    steve
     
  2. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    No, not really, or people would be doing it already.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Lots of potted plants are produced under glass and sold every year by large operations that are not getting nearly as high a margin as with illegal cannabis. What you need to identify is some other, legitimate crop that you can produce and sell in small quantities at a substantial markup. This would probably be something new and rare, probably also take much longer to turn over than pot. Talk to some local retailers to see what they might be interested in buying, if you don't identify a local outlet then you will have to set up a mailorder business.

    A neighbor was talking about growing heirloom tomatoes indoors at one point, so that one has been bandied about. Instead she and her family moved to Panama. Your dad will know all about trying to grow and sell farm crops.
     
  4. OstaraGypsy

    OstaraGypsy Active Member

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    wasabi? i have heard of people growing indoor hydroponic roots for profit. i'm sure not as much profit as cannabis!!
    http://www.fiery-foods.com/dave/wasabi.asp
    quick google search provided a website talking that it is expensive to buy, and considered a delicacy... i guess it all depends on where you live... i know where i grew up, no-one even knew what wasabi was! haha

    good luck!
     
  5. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    Sorry for bumping an old topic, but I have and idea:

    It's very feasible to buy a number of cheep houseplants at Ikea or Walmart and propagate those. That is after all why those plants are so cheap--they are fast, cheep and easy to propagate. Rubber plants, jade trees, prayer plants, English ivy (and you can just pinch clipping from front yard), philodendrons, devils ivy, African violets and I’m sure a billion more can be found and propagated though cuttings. Add to that your walnuts and maybe some herb seedlings. Your total costs would be less than the hydroponics investment. Wal-Mart sells it for $1.79 you chop it into 6 plants, wait a few months, stick them in a 63 cent terracotta pot and sell them for $5 a pop. See if any shop owners would stock your plants in their windows. Sell them at flea markets, craft fairs or have a plant sale in your driveway like a lemonade stand. Off course you will have to deal with the jokes about why you aren’t just growing pot! Lol
     
  6. Erica

    Erica Active Member

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    My neighbour goes to Costco and buys flats of seedlings and then makes hanging baskets which grow huge in time for Mother's Day. She sells them all weekend and makes a killing! People actually buy them all at 30-50 bucks each. We live on a cul-de-sac and she just puts signs around as if it were a garage sale. She also plants arrangments in old boots, chicken feeders,etc. For you, t would involve knowing which are shade lovers/sun lovers etc but I think the profit is large. If she weren't my neighbour I'd be doing it, too.
     
  7. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    With the exception of plants that are difficult to grow/propagate, or niche specialties such as orchids, etc. you're going to be in competition with wholesale propagators, which is to say: you cannot compete. So, you need to be creative, and apply some inuition and intelligence to what will ulitmately be a gamble. There is money to be made in the field of 'legal highs', plants that are traditionally used for their hallucinogenic properties: the morality of this will depend on your perspective. Research 'shamanic herbs' and similar terms: salvia divinorum, tagetes lucida, wilde dagga come to mind. You would need to be in the business of shipping live starts, as the dried herb market is quite flooded. Culinary herbs can be a route to take, provided you produce a good product, and provided you can get enough local restaurants/stores to buy in: ask around, approach local chefs at high end eateries, ask "what would you love to have locally available?"....Edible flowers also fit this bill: but again, I'd note that more money is available for organic product. Hydroponic may not be desired.

    Bottom line: it's a tough row to hoe. It all depends on your ability as a grower, your ability to research and intuit trends, and your ability to identify and exploit niche markets. Good luck.
     
  8. florissantti

    florissantti Member

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    you will make a killing if you grow basil. you will get a good price if you sell to your local co-op, so keep it "organic" and you will double your profit.
     
  9. Dave L

    Dave L Member

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    Hydro can easily be done with OMRI listed organic nutes.
    And as for the counter culture "herbs", be sure to check your local and state regs before getting started or you may need more money than you think!!
     
  10. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I sell heirloom veggie starters at a Saturday market with children from my school, always does well. I have also sold various other types of plants, some rare and such. The big thing I find is timing, veggie starters have a small window of time, and you need to sell something special that you won't get easily cheaper somewhere else. Yellow tomatoes do better than red....

    I also found that older plants do well also, like a just sprouted palm tree gets nothing, but a 4 year old can get me $25 + each....(especially if i have a small child there to talk about the plant) marketing is everything.
     
  11. Ottawa-Zone5

    Ottawa-Zone5 Active Member

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    Here is what I get in a weekly newsletter from a gardening guru (not endorsing as commericial at all): Quote "
    -----------------------
    Great Gift Ideas for Gardeners

    Give yourself my Backyard Growing System before the price goes up. It really can change your life in so many different ways. Rooting cuttings in the privacy
    of your backyard is like having the ability to print money on demand. Details:
    http://www.freeplants.com/wanted.htm

    A signed copy of book, "Easy Plant Propagation" makes an excellent gift!
    http://www.freeplants.com/easy-plant-propagation.htm


    *************************************************************"
    Unquote.

    I hope you get some ideas. I would have tried it myself but I am very bad as a sales person.
     
  12. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Basil sounds neat. In Florida, it grows so lushly outdoors that I don't understand why everyone doesn't have some to flavor the spaghetti.
     
  13. koipondgardener

    koipondgardener Active Member

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    what about poinsettias? Buy some this Christmas and get them through the blooming period and then, when they start growing again take cuttings. They can be rooted easily and grow rapidly if given proper care. if you get them blooming for Christmas then you can sell them. Any that you don't sell can be kept over for the next season. They would double in size and amount you could sell them for. Just a thought.
     
  14. raincloud

    raincloud Member

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    I like the hanging basket idea. :)

    wonder where the rooting powder is.

    *schemes*
     
  15. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    The problem with trying to make money with an indoor agribusiness, is that you will always have to compete with someone who is doing it on a larger scale. Economy of scale keeps per unit costs lower and production higher than a home producer ever could. In order to sell product, you have to cost competitive but it's awfully hard making a living selling Pointsettas at a margin of $5 if your production is only 500 plants but a large greenhouse can make a $8 margin on 10,000 production. (numbers are only guesses to illustrate a point)

    Stick to niche markets! Heirloom vegetables, unusual orchids, rare perennials, etc. These products don't benefit from economy of scale because of limited demand and thus become ideal for a small business person. One could also try coupling a agricultural product with knowledgable service, also something large growers can't do effectively. Good Luck!
     
  16. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    You could go for specialty crops like Cape Gooseberries.....
     
  17. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Yes, I said recently to a house assessor that if I could think of anything profitable to grow I would put up a greenhouse and grow rather than let out the rental again. He said he could think of something making me laugh at a landlord's worst nightmare!
    Having once tried to sell something I had growing organically in abundance, I found resistance to an unknown seller and was told there are 'health' requirements for stores to meet etc. Check into this aspect before growing something like that unless you can sell directly to the consumer at a market.
    You might be able to come up with a private deal to supply a restaurant.
    The question you are asking is one that growers are constantly asking themselves which is how we keep getting those new varieties and products every year. There are conferences and shows promoting new ideas in the industry, try checking one out.
    I worked very briefly for the man who originated the flower auction in Vancouver many years ago and he kept trying different things. He was the first to grow anenomes as cut flowers and always making me laugh when he would say that I was smarter than I looked, for the newbie questions I would keep asking him. He was 80+ then and partly deaf from a goldmine explosion when he was a youth here in Canada, a recent immigrant then. At that age (80) he was just experimenting with a few plants in small houses and i was only there to disbud some pompom mums for him.

    Before investing in any sort of expensive stock check your market for saleability of product, especially in this sort of economy.
    Traditionally there is lots of money for flowers but if times are tough? That might still be the case as people want a cheap pick me up.
    These days tho, there is lots of talk about home growing and getting non-gmo foods and just more interest in the source of our foods in general. Some people think this will fade, especially the home growing part as people find out how much work it really is.
    When I grew some hobby plants for sale on the mainland at flea markets at the old drive in in Richmond, years ago, I made more from growing flowers as did the hydroponic tomato house i worked for that converted their operation to strictly flowers and tropicals after a while.
    Now I don't know. This is a strange time for all sorts of things. Whether a change that is permanent or temporary is anyone's guess and there may be some waves you can ride the crest of and find profitable if you can identify them before they hit.
    As with any other, it is an always changing market.
    Have you looked into fancy mushrooms perhaps? Very stringent hygiene requirements there.
    Best of luck.
    D

    PS Don't bother with pointsettias as you will end up saying 'better dead than red' at xmas as we used to....thousands upon thousands are already grown in acres of houses here.
     
  18. hydrophyte

    hydrophyte Active Member

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    Maybe miniature orchids and other tiny plants popular for dart frog vivarium foliage, especially if you could get some species going that aren't already common in the trade. These plants occupy very little space, but you can sell the for >20 US $. However, it can take a while (>1 year) to grow them on.
     
  19. JenRi

    JenRi Active Member

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    I think if you could find some interesting varieties of common culinary herbs you could get people to buy them - pineapple sage being one example that we have in our herb garden. Its all about providing something different.

    Another thing no-one has mentioned have you considered selling plants on ebay? Cacti and succulents are particularly good for this as they mail well. I picked up a lace aloe (A.aristata) by chance at a church sale about 10 months ago it was 35p, which is something $0.50-$1. Its done really well, got pot bound and produced loads of babies, which I am going to sell on ebay and even if I only get a pound or two for each I'll have still made £12! If you buy several aloes or some other easy to propagate succulent (you can grow some simply from leaves!) that isn't readily available you could make quite a bit. Also if you grow from seed but this obviously would take longer.
     

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