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Starting a tiny nursery??

Posted by mudhazerustsalt 6 (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 28, 13 at 23:45

Hi -
I am planning to propagate a number of seeds this winter for drought-tolerant native plants. These plants are highly recommended for xeriscapes and nativescapes but inexplicably are impossible to find for sale. Seriously, I've looked EVERYWHERE.

This started as an attempt to grow for myself. I have joined the relevant societies and am getting lots of advice to propagate these plants. Now I would like to seed for more plants than I need so I can try to sell them. I am starting with mostly Penstemon and Eriogonum species, plus a few other natives.

I don't expect to make a living off this, but I do want to learn how to make a little money for my work. I hope to grow at least a few dozen plants this year.

What parts of my little plan are unrealistic? Am I aiming too low or too high? What are some common pitfalls?

Also, there are some cultivars that look amazing but only appear to be available at wholesale nurseries. For some reason, I can't find them in retail nurseries anywhere close to me even though they have market coordinators for my state. How does wholesale work? If I want to specialize in hard-to-find natives, is it worthwhile to deal with wholesalers for some of these things? This may not be something for the first year (or few), but I'd still like to find out how it works.

Any suggestions would be incredibly helpful.

This post was edited by mudhazerustsalt on Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 1:16

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Starting a tiny nursery??

You need to let us know the other plants you are interested in. The two you mentioned are available at several on line sites.

Have you searched for the on line catalogs for native plants? There are many resources.

Wholesale seed houses usually require an order of larger numbers than a few dozen. Many require your retail sales license number. If you are wanting to sell a few plants here and there, you may not need a license.

Let us know more about the plant species and we can probably help with some good native plant catalogs.

RE: Starting a tiny nursery??

Eriogonum: E. Ovalifolium, E. Caespitosum, E. Corymbosum, E. Gracilipes, E. Heermannii, E. Tumulosum

Penstemon: P. Rostriflorus, P. Caespitosus, P. Rupicola, P. Crandallii, P. Davidsonii, P. Acaulis, P. Fruticosus.

Some of these are quite rare; I'm just trying them for fun. Others I have found wonderfully successful in our harsh conditions, but my previous suppliers no longer carry them.

Also: Arenaria Macredenia, Monardella Odaritissima, Salvia Pachyphylla, Salvia Dorrii, Scutellaria Resinosa. Some of these are available on and off around here, but I have seed from my own garden so I'm just throwing them out there.

There are lots of shrubs I want, too. Cowania/Purshia Mexicana, Robinia Neomexicana and Atriplex Confertifolia are at the top of my list.

I really want to experiment with Muhlenbergia, but many of the cultivars seem to be available from wholesalers only.

I have ordered from lots of online places. Some are great, some are wildly expensive for tiny plants, some only ship after it's already too hot here, some have unreliable inventory. Conditions here are extreme -- snowy winters, desert summers, drastic slope, alkaline soil, high altitude, WSW aspect. Most normal garden plants just don't belong here.

If wholesalers require such massive orders, why do I only find at most a half dozen of any given native plant at retail nurseries?

This post was edited by mudhazerustsalt on Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 11:18

RE: Starting a tiny nursery??

HI I started another thread, I want to do a similar thing. Your topic is different, so I didn't want to hijack this one, But there are similarities, like potting mix, signage, etc. Let me know how you go.
I will invite a neighbour to sell too, simply to increase the variety of plants.
Another thing to consider is to make a no-cost website were you list all your plants. I don't want to advertise here, I did one with weebly and it worked out as super easy. You can set up a blog inside the webpage were you write about your native plants.

This post was edited by loewenzahn on Thu, Dec 5, 13 at 17:45

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