How To Start A Garden Nursery Today

Gärtnerei gründen | Als Naturliebhaber in die Selbstständigkeit starten

Anyone who works as a gardener can look forward to an extremely varied everyday working life. The job requires not only physical fitness, but also a comprehensive knowledge of the various plant species and their optimal management. If you enjoy this and also like to spend time in the fresh air, you are a born gardener. If you also like to take responsibility and make your own decisions, it may not be a bad idea to start your own nursery. The following article will tell you everything you need to know and consider.

How to become a gardener?

To be able to start a nursery, you should of course have the appropriate expertise. The profession of gardener is not a craft and therefore does not require a master craftsman’s diploma. Nevertheless, a professional training is mandatory, because the gardener belongs to the protected professions. This means that you must have the appropriate training to work as a gardener. The same applies, of course, to anyone who intends to open their own nursery.

Rightly so, because if you have no idea about plants, their care and proper arranging, you will quickly get lost in the mass of nurseries. Your customers will expect a certain quality from you. If you cannot provide this, you will find it difficult to compete in the market and generate a steady income.

To be truly fully prepared for the challenges of running your own nursery, don’t start your own business immediately after completing your vocational training. Instead, gain work experience – ideally in different businesses. In this way, you will find out which part of gardening you like best and in which you want to specialize in your future self-employment.

Tip: If you want to deepen your knowledge in a certain area, we recommend a corresponding (correspondence) course of study. However, this is not mandatory if you intend to start a nursery.

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Not all nurseries are the same

If you think that every nursery is the same as another, you’re sorely mistaken. In fact, this is a multifaceted professional field with many different characteristics. For example, while one nursery specializes in grave care, another is an expert in a particular genus of plants (the best example of this is the nursery). Some nurseries work with large customers – cities and municipalities, for example – while others specifically seek contact with private customers who want a beautifully maintained garden.

If you’re toying with the idea of starting your own gardening business, it’s important to consider in advance what type of nursery you want to run. This decision can have a major impact on the further development of your business. Therefore, make it wisely and also consult help:

  • Analyze what kind of nurseries already exist within a radius of x kilometers.
  • Define your target group or rather your desired customer
  • Make an analysis of the population of the region (Are people willing to pay for a gardener? Are there enough large customers?)
  • Look for a niche in your region (this is best done by specializing in certain plant groups)
Gärtnerei ist nicht gleich Gärtnerei - hier hat man sich auf eine Baumschule spezialisiert.

Gardening alone is not enough
Anyone – whether a gardener, graphic designer or glassblower – who wants to become self-employed should ask themselves in advance not only whether they have the professional aptitude. Running your own business means much more. Not only do you have to be an expert in your professional field, but you also have to bring along many other skills (or acquire them step by step). If you want to start a nursery, for example, you also have to deal with these topics:

  • Analyses (of the location, the target group, the competition, etc.)
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Insurances
  • Calculation of costs
  • Business management
  • Recruitment
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Customer acquisition

Setting up a business should never be taken lightly, but must always be thoroughly scrutinized. The decision to do so will not only have far-reaching consequences, but will also put you as a person to the test. Not every person who is a good gardener is automatically a born business owner. Starting your own nursery means taking on responsibility, exposing yourself to a huge workload and facing new challenges every day. Only very few are up to this challenge in the long run.

The perfect location for your nursery

If you want to start a nursery, you should not only have the necessary start-up capital, but also plenty of space. Especially if you intend not only to plant various plants at your customers’ homes, but also to sell them, a large company site with greenhouses is the be-all and end-all. But where exactly can you find this or where is the ideal location for a nursery?

As the founder of a nursery, you basically have a free choice. You can choose your company site in the outskirts of the city or in the countryside, but you can also settle in the middle of the city just as well. The important thing is that the area at your disposal offers sufficient space for greenhouses, open spaces and administrative buildings.

It is crucial that the location for your nursery has good transport links and sufficient parking. In addition, it is always an advantage if there are other retail businesses in your neighborhood – for example, home improvement stores or grocery stores. These attract additional customers and thus represent a major advantage for you. The nearest nursery, on the other hand, should of course be as far away as possible.

How much money does it cost to start a nursery?

If you want to start a nursery, you should be aware of one thing right from the start: Without outside capital, you will most likely not succeed in this venture.

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Planting space, greenhouses, plants, soil, water, personnel, vehicles, tools and clothing – all of this costs (sometimes a lot) of money and requires a correspondingly large amount of start-up capital. To be able to start a nursery, you should plan for at least 100,000 dolllars. However, starting a business can be even more expensive.

At this point, it becomes clear once again how important it is to consider carefully beforehand whether you really want to start a nursery. The financial burden and the risk of failure are unfortunately very high and represent an enormous burden.

Note: If you want to secure yourself to the maximum, you should definitely establish your nursery as a GmbH or UG (limited liability company). If your self-employment fails, you then at least have the security of not having to be liable with your private assets. This would be the case, for example, if you set up the nursery as a sole proprietorship or GbR.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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