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15 Plants That Can Earn You Some Extra Cash

If you wish you could just grow money in your backyard, we’ve got some good news… You can! There are many plants out there which yield incredible profits if you have the time and patience. Still, what exactly are the most profitable plants and which are the easiest to get started with?

In the following sections we’ll present some of the most profitable plants available that you can start growing today. We’ll break down exactly how much you can expect them to cost upfront, the profit you can expect to receive, and how difficult they are to grow.

What are the Most Profitable Plants for Small-scale Growers?

The most profitable plants vary based on how quickly you need to turn over a profit, the climate in which you live, and the space available to grow them.

For example, if you have a half-acre set aside and a good couple years before you need to see any profits, then ginseng might be right for you. On the other hand, if you live in a smaller space like an apartment and you want to turn over a profit relatively quickly, you should check out microgreens.

In each of the following sections we will break down the various costs surrounding the cultivation of each plant as well as the level of difficulty involved in growing them.

Photo of organic brown champignon mushrooms growing in a bucket
Photo by Barmalini

What Kind of Profit Can You Expect from Growing Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are special in that you can grow many them in a very small space within a very short period of time. This in conjunction with the sheer variety available is what makes them so profitable and desirable for smaller growing operations.

While the cost and potential benefits of growing different types of mushrooms varies, there are a few tried and true varieties that are almost certain to drive a profit. Below we’ve laid out a few of the most profitable mushrooms as well as details like how much they cost and how much space you need to grow them. 

  • Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms go for around six to seven dollars a pound if you buy them at wholesale. You can then turn around and sell the ones you grow for anywhere between ten and twelve dollars a pound, doubling your money. Best of all, they’re some of the easiest mushrooms to grow.
  • Oyster mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms are known for their mild, almost seafood like taste (hence the name). They sell for a comparable amount to shiitake mushrooms. You can expect the same doubling effect to happen to the six to seven dollars you invest in them per pound.

How Difficult is it to Grow Mushrooms?

While mushrooms vary in how difficult they are to grow, the ones we’ve listed above are quite easy. The main things to keep in mind are ensuring you’re using a properly mixed substrate and protecting against any contaminants.

The biggest reason why people fail at growing mushrooms is because their batch becomes contaminated, and all kinds of nasty mold begins to grow which ruins the harvest. To get around this, you want to make sure you always thoroughly sterilize your hands and your workstation when cultivating mushrooms.

How Much Money Can You Make with Microgreens?

Microgreens are quite profitable for how simple they are to grow. You can usually expect to make anywhere from $10 to $50 per pound depending on which ones you grow.

Generally, microgreens like radishes go for the most. However, you can also make a considerable amount by mixing different microgreens together and selling them in one pack–even if they don’t sell for as much individually.

How Difficult is it to Grow Microgreens?

Like with mushrooms, growing microgreens can be pretty straightforward. They don’t require a whole lot of room to grow, and it helps that their turn around time is quite short, averaging about one to four weeks from startup to harvest.

You’ll be glad to also know that the startup costs are pretty low when it comes to growing microgreens. The lighting runs from around 20 to a few hundred dollars depending on how big they are and what type of lighting system you are using. You could start with a cheaper set and use the profit you turn over to slowly build up enough for a more sophisticated one.

The greens themselves are easy to obtain and run anywhere between a few dollars and upwards of 50, 60 or 70 dollars for large amounts and variety. The containers you grow them in are even cheaper, coming in at around two dollars apiece for 10 x 20 trays. This all comes together to make Microgreens a great first step for budding farming entrepreneurs.

How Much Cash Can You Expect from Growing Ginseng?

Ginseng is an ancient herbal medicine that has been used in China for thousands of years. This powerful root is said to do everything from providing its user with extra energy to lowering blood pressure and helping with circulation.

Generally, the seeds go for around $150 per pound. That might sound like a lot but keep in mind that once you’ve been growing them for a few seasons, you can harvest your own. When you go to sell, the roots go for a whopping $300 to $600 per pound on the market. 

How Difficult is it to Grow Ginseng?

Ginseng isn’t too difficult to grow once you’ve gotten started; however, it does present enough challenges that rules it out as easy.

Some of these challenges are practical, like the fact that you need 100 pounds of seed for every half acre you plan to plant.

There’s also the challenge of needing a minimum of two/three years or preferably five/six to harvest roots that will sell for a lot of money. Just keep in mind that even though the profits are huge, the time commitment and initial investment may make things more difficult. Be sure to check out this post for a comprehensive guide on growing ginseng indoors.

How Profitable is Growing Lavender?

With simply one acre of lavender, you can harvest 12,000 bouquets which go for $10 apiece. Do the math and that comes out to $120,000 from just one big harvest. That is not even to mention the other goods you can produce from lavender like oil.

How Difficult is it to Grow Lavender?

In some ways you could say it’s nearly impossible to grow lavender. However, this isn’t because it’s hard as much as it is that lavender needs a specific type of climate to grow properly. It needs light winters and nice and warm summers to grow best.

The actual growing itself is quite easy. It can be grown in traditional pots or plant beds. You just want to make sure it’s getting a lot of sun and the soil it’s in is drained. If you’re used to growing more common plants this might be a good place to start.

How Much Money Will Growing Goji Berries Make You?

Goji berries are one of the most profitable plants on the market. One acre can produce an incredible 7,000 pounds. When you go to sell them, you can get around $20 a pound or sometimes more depending on where you live.

How Difficult is it to Grow Goji Berries?

Fortunately, Goji berries are quite easy to grow as they can survive extreme conditions. You just need to make sure you keep the pH level of the soil between 6.8 and 8.1 and there’s not too much water building up beneath them.

In some areas, Goji berries are considered an invasive species because of how many different ways they can thrive. Still, the difficulty mostly comes in when you’re trying to grow high quality berries.

How Much Can You Make with Wasabi

Wasabi isn’t just a spicy paste you eat with your food, it’s also one of the most profitable plants in the world. Also known as Japanese horseradish, fresh wasabi can sell for $160 per every 2.2 pounds.

A big part of the reason why Wasabi goes for so much is due to the precise conditions it must be grown in.

How Difficult is it to Grow Wasabi?

Wasabi is often referred to as “the hardest plant to grow, so yeah, it’s going to be a challenge! It requires at least two years to grow, and during that time you have to maintain the right humidity, temperature, and water content.

Ginseng growing in a white ceramic planter sitting on top of a wood table. The ginseng roots are showing with a green leafy top half
Photo by Duskbabe

What Kinds of Profits Will You See with Bonsai Plants?

Though the name Bonsai originated in Japan, these interesting, pruned specimens trace their origins all the way back to ancient China under the name Penjing.

The plants themselves can go for around $80 apiece. To put that into perspective, you can grow about 100 plants over three to five years and make a good eight grand. Then of course you’ll have to subtract the $1,000 to $2,000 it costs for the initial set up of 100 plants.

How Difficult is it to Grow Bonsai Plants?

Bonsai plants are on the harder end of the spectrum when it comes to cultivation. They require a lot of time to become valuable and a considerable amount of upkeep.

These miniature trees are carefully grown and groomed until they take on that perfect tree shape. Unfortunately, all that grooming and care requires quite an investment in the tools necessary to do it.

You’ll need a growth hormone, multiple types of wiring, special scissors, supporting posts, stimulators, etc. The list really goes on and on. This is ultimately going to cost you between $1,000 and $4,000 for the initial set up.

How Profitable is it to Grow Bamboo?

Bamboo is growing increasingly popular due to its versatility. It can be used as anything from a decoration to a building material. Due to this, there are plenty of opportunities for profit.

The plants tend to sell for around $30 a pop. That means that if you grow a thousand of them on a quarter acre you could be looking at profits like $30,000!

How Difficult is it to Grow Bamboo?

Bamboo is relatively easy to grow as long as you live in the right environment. The main issue with growing Bamboo is that it can be quite temperamental to certain environmental factors. For example, if you live in an area where the winters get bitter cold, then it’s going to be much harder for you to successfully grow Bamboo.

Photo by Physyk

What are the Most Profitable Flowers to Grow?

You can make $30,000 per acre by growing flowers, if you grow the right ones. The following flowers are in style right now and will be sure to turn you a profit.

  • Ageratum: These beautiful purples flowers are some of the best to grow because of how many different types conditions they can grow in.
  • Sunflowers: These are some of the least time-consuming flowers you can grow. They only take 60 days before they are ready to be cut.

How Difficult is it to Grow Flowers?

Flowers really vary in their difficulty; you can find plenty of beginner options to warm up on before you take on the more challenging varieties. A good starting place is with Sunflowers. With some well-drained soil, a place in the sun, and about an inch of water during the growing season, you’re sure to have some flowers to sell.

What are the Most Profitable Herbs?

Herbs are great because even though they don’t always sell for a lot individually, you can grow a ton of them easily. Plus, you don’t need a huge amount of startup costs. Lights for inside, containers to keep them in, and the right soil for the ones you choose to grow are really all you need.

Basil is still likely the most popular herb on the market, as it is used in so many different dishes. Interestingly, it’s also one of the easiest to grow.

How Difficult is it to Grow Herbs?

Herbs aren’t generally that difficult to grow as long as you avoid growing them in colder environments. Most herbs like Chives and Basil don’t tend to do well in the cold.

What Kind of Profit can you Make by Growing Trees and Shrubs?

Trees and shrubs are popular all year round. Whether it’s for holiday decorations or an outdoor display during winter, people are always buying them.

The profits for growing trees and shrubs will vary by what type you’re selling and what time of year it is. Though, you can make even more profit by selling the fruits, nuts, and seeds that come if you’re growing a fruiting variety.

How Difficult is it to Grow Trees and Shrubs?

The difficulty in growing trees and shrubs will really depend on which trees and shrubs you go with. If you’re just starting your journey you should stick with ones which have a low initial cost and low levels of maintenance. This can help you get into the swing of things for the more difficult species. 

What are the Profits Like for Saffron?

Saffron is a gorgeous red spice that is harvested from purple Saffron flowers. Saffron can be traced back all the way to the Minoan-era BCE. Just one pound of saffron can sell for as much as $1,500 on the market today!

How Difficult is it to Grow Saffron?

Saffron is reasonably easy to grow as long as you live in a moderate environment. The key is that it must be relatively dry in both the summer and the fall. So, if you live in an area that doesn’t get much rain this may not be for you.

The real hassle with growing saffron comes in its initial startup costs. The amount you have to put out initially could be as high as $19,000 for a field largely due to the costs of bulbs. Every year these costs go down however, since you can begin harvesting your own bulbs for planting the next season.  

How Much Profit Can Be Made with Arugula?

Arugula is a leafy green plant in the same family as Broccoli. The set up to grow it is relatively inexpensive, and you can sell it for up to $15 a pound.

How Difficult is it to Grow Arugula?

Arugula is known as an easy plant to grow since it doesn’t need much room to produce a lot of crop. In fact, it can have some of the biggest and easiest yields you’ll ever see.

What Kinds of Profits Can Be Made by Growing Garlic?

People love picking up fresh gourmet garlic. That’s why it’s slowly become one of the most profitable plants to grow. Garlic doesn’t require much space and they grow quite easily.

You can sell organic gourmet varieties of garlic for roughly $16 dollars a pound. Fortunately, since they grow so rapidly, you can get those pounds from a much smaller space than you could with other plants.

How Difficult is it to Grow Garlic?

Garlic is known for being on the easier end of the spectrum when it comes to growing. You want to wait till the middle of fall and plant them in an area with a lot of sun. You should also make sure the soil is well drained so that you’re not over watering them.

Once you’ve done everything, kick back, relax and watch insane amounts of garlic begin to emerge in your garden.

Photo of three red bell peppers ripening on the vine
Photo by Iamtkb

What are the Most Profitable Peppers to Grow?

If you really want to spice things up while making a profit, peppers are going to be your best friend. While there are many types of peppers that can turn over a profit the following two are some of the most popular.

  • Habanero peppers: Habanero peppers are some of the hottest in the world and can go for even more than other spicy peppers that are already valued at around $40 per hundredweight.
  • Bell peppers: Bell peppers are some of the most popular amongst people who want the benefits of peppers without the spicy side effects. They can go for 48.70 per hundredweight.

How Hard is it to Grow Peppers?

Growing peppers are relatively easy if you have the right climate. Peppers like hotter climates that stay between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 32 degrees Celsius). If you live in a climate that reaches freezing temperatures in the winter, your pepper plants will die every year unless you bring them inside and overwinter them.

If you are growing peppers for profit, we recommend only doing so in moderate climates that don’t freeze so you can produce pepper pods all year round. If you don’t, you can still be successful by growing in a climate-controlled environment like a greenhouse or an indoor space with lots of grow lights.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re ready to move your gardening hobby in to more of a business, then we hope this guide is helpful to you! There are quite a few varieties of plants that can be grown for profit if you have the right combination of climate, space and utensils.