Starting a Plant Nursery

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: May 2017
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Plant nurseries cultivate a range of shrubs, roses, alpines, herbs and other types of herbaceous and garden plants, which they supply mainly on a wholesale basis to trade customers such as retail nurseries, garden centres, garden landscapers and designers, local authorities and housing associations. Some nurseries also accept retail orders from non-trade customers if the order is for a minimum quantity of plants.

Plant nurseries are subject to considerable seasonal variation in demand. The majority of sales are made in the spring and summer when trade customers such as garden centres and commercial gardeners demand stock, while in the autumn and winter considerable time and money is spent propagating and growing plants. Most nurseries hire equipment and machinery when required, rather than purchasing it outright, and rely on temporary workers during busy seasons.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a plant nursery. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also identifies some of the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

Many plant nursery proprietors also run on-site retail garden centres. However, this type of business is covered separately in BOP070, Garden Centre.

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