How to Start A Plant Propagation Business from Non-Rooted Cuttings

I had the good fortune of doing a guest post for one of my favorite Blogs by one of my favorite bloggers back in 2022.  If you haven’t ever heard of Budgets are Sexy or J. Money, you need to check him out.  

I’’d say J Money would be considered a pioneer of the FIRE movement, complete with a servant’s heart and a wildly colorful personality.  He helped me a lot in the beginning of my blogging journey, so many thanks, J!  YOU INSPIRE,, even when you dont think you are; which is a sign of a great and humble leader.

J and I brainstormed about a compelling subject to write about when I did my guest post on his blog.  We knew it should be something ‘side hustle related’, so we talked about real estate, we talked about option trading, heck there may have been talk of an Ebay store in there, but ultimately we decided on Plant Propagation.  

Here is the Guest Post I wrote on Plant Propagation for Budgets are Sexy.

More specifically, how to create a side hustle business from propagating plants from Non-rooted Cuttings.  Plant Propagation is a subject I can honestly say is ‘off the beaten path’ and vastly different than your ‘run of the mill’ Stock and Real Estate Investing side hustle, but one I’ve always wanted to do.

The barrier for entry into Propagating Plants from Non-Rooted Cuttings as a business, are Super Low!

Did you even know you can start a plant Propagation business just from taking small cuttings off shrubs and trees in your own yard?  Other than selling your 1990 Pearl Jam ‘Temple of the Dog’ t-shirt or those old Chuck Taylors you used when you were a rad skate-boarder; propagating plants from others you have in your own yard is the next best thing. 

In fact, here are some Green Giant Arborvitae cuttings I took off my tree yesterday.

Plant Propagation Business

I just went out in the yard with a pair of Crayola Scissors and got after it!

These are ‘Soft Wood Cuttings’, and RIGHT NOW is the best time to take ‘Soft Wood Cuttings’.  I’ll bet you have some good plants or shrubs in your yard right now that would make for great cuttings.  If not, your neighbor likely does.  But, before you go all Edward Scissorhands on your neighbors stash, make sure to get their blessing first, a tenuous neighborly relationship isn’t worth having a few cuttings for.  

This is a cutting I’m going to root for my plant propagation business.

You see that clearly defined line between the green and the brown?  The green is this year’s growth, and you want to make sure that the part of the cutting you try to propagate is green and from this year’s growth.

Plant Propagation Business

My Soft Wood Propagation process is to; 

1.) Remove all the lower limbs to expose the new growth.  

2.)  ‘Rake’ my fingernail over the cutting to ‘scratch’ the limb, where the inside of the cutting can be exposed.

3.)  Dip the newly exposed area into some rooting compound, like this product below.  (I just fill the cap up and dip it right in there.  Be generous, the cutting will thank you later!)

 4.)  Take a tub or container like this one, drill some holes in the bottom of it for drainage, stick the cuttings in, and store in a partially sunny area over the winter.  DO NOT WORRY, The cuttings will go dormant over the winter, but they will ‘wake back up’ in the spring once the weather starts warming up.

Plant Propagation Business

5.)  Next spring, after these have ‘rooted’, take them out of the container, divide them (as the roots will have all grown together) and put each one in a small .7 Gallon pot, like this one.  You can purchase these for $1.90 each at (not an affiliate)

Plant Propagation Business  

6.)  Keep them alive over the summer by putting them in a shade house or in a shaded area in your yard.  Water and fertilize them as needed.

7).  Have a Plant Sale in early May 2024, or later depending on your Grow Zone.  Here is a link to find out what zone you are in if you’re unsure.  If a plant sale is not your cup of tea, sell them individually on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or by word of mouth.  When people hear you have 100’s of these for sale, they will come out of the woodwork.  Heck!  One person may come buy them all.  Green Giant Arborvitaes are great property screens, they are very hearty, and grow like a teenage boy taking supplements.  Market each plant in your inventory for $6.95 each.

Every Plant will sell!  AND most likely your customers will ask ‘do you have more’?

Here is how the math could work out for your plant propagation from Non-Rooted Cuttings business:

If you take cuttings from your own trees, you’ll have no investment, but your time.  Essentially, the time it takes you to cut them, pot them up, and keep them alive until next May will be your only Labor Cost.

Supply cost should be; $1.90 for the Pot (hopefully you can find a better price) and the soil/fertilizer/water should not exceed $.50, for a per plant total of $2.40.

If you sell them next May for $6.95 each, which is highly do-able, then your Return on Investment will be an ASTRONOMICAL 189.58%  

And you don’t need a big area to sell these in; your front lawn, driveway, or apartment parking lot will do just fine.

So tell me,

Where on earth, could you ever get a return to rival this?  Yes, very few places!

This is exactly why I’m starting my plant propagation business from Non-Rooted Cuttings, and why you should consider it also.  

I will be documenting my process, like I’ve been documenting my 100 Mile Swim and I’ll plan to share it with you, my faithful readers.  I hope to inspire and educate you through the process.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me, I’m here to help!

Here is my first set, ready to grow roots and turn into profits next spring. 

Plant Propagation Business

Happy Planting!

1 thought on “How to Start A Plant Propagation Business from Non-Rooted Cuttings”

  1. Loved it then, and love it still now brother! Glad to see you’re still at it! And appreciate the kind words… We got a great community here online indeed 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *