Tips on running a successful nursery

By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

Farming is a profitable venture to those who know how to play their cards right because it deals with food production. However, another money-making business related to agriculture is to run a plant nursery. 

Plant nurseries are where plants are grown from seedlings or saplings until they reach the desired size that appeals most to gardeners, landscapers, or large retail distributors. Basically, it’s a place where people can get readily available plants. 

Running a nursery may sound easy, but there are aspects on how to ensure its success. 

Alietra Coriana of La Coriana Nursery, one of the largest wholesale tree nurseries in Mindanao, shared some tips on how to maximize a nursery and earn a good amount from it. 

A successful nursery offers a wide variety of young plants to their customers who purchase the plants individually or in bulk quantities. The quality, selection, and size of the products produced by the nursery will be dictated by the demographics of their location,” she said. 

The nursery owner added that additional services such as garden design, hardscaping supplies, and mulch or soil delivery are some ways for a nursery to earn more than usual. 

Other than that, Coriana also said that a profitable nursery makes its money by selling large quantities of familiar, hardy, easy-to-grow plants.

In choosing the type of plants to grow, make sure that the varieties are in-demand.

“Determine which plants are in the greatest demand and focus on providing enough of them to fulfill our customers’ needs. Follow that up by introducing species that have a low wholesale purchase price and require the least amount of attention to attain their retail size in order to maximize return on investment,” she said. 

While specialty plants such as fruit-bearing or rare forest trees fetch a large price, growing common flowering trees is one way to really establish a market since it requires less resources and customers will be encouraged to return once they see the satisfactory quality of the seedlings. 

Since nurseries are concerned with growing plants until they reach the desired size, Coriana said that it is important to care for the seedlings or saplings while also practicing cost-effective techniques. 

One approach is to be selective of the seeds and choose varieties that are pest as well as disease resistant. Taking pride in the quality of their produce, La Coriana Nursery propagates the seeds from the trees it plants. 

“During harvesting seasons and fruit bearing seasons, seeds of these plants can be reserved as seed for the next crop. We found the perfect business idea thus, we take good care of our seedlings/saplings,” Coriana said. 

Nursery plants require due care and attention after having either emerged from the seeds or have been raised from other sources like rootstock or through tissue culture technique. 

“It is the duty and main objective of a commercial nursery grower to supply the nursery plants with suitable conditions necessary for their development and growth,” Coriana said.

A profitable nursery makes its money by selling large quantities of familiar, hardy, easy-to-grow plants.

She added that successful nurseries can see an annual cash flow anywhere from P200,000-300,000. The trick is to make sure that the plants are in-demand and well taken care of to create a market that encourages its customers to keep coming back for more. 

La Coriana Nursery is located in Don Carlos, Bukidnon and has been supplying materials since 1996. It is dedicated to growing top quality plants and providing exceptional customer service.

For more information, visit La Coriana Nursery on Facebook.

This article appeared in Agriculture Magazine’s May to June 2021 issue.

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Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Patricia Taculao, or Patty as she likes to be called, is a content producer for Manila Bulletin Digital Lifestyle. She graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She loves to spend her free time, reading, painting, and watching old movies.

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