Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No
If you're a plant lover and you can't be dragged away from the garden department of any store, then an interior plantscape (also called plant maintenance or interior landscape contractor) business is the one for you. You'll feed, water, prune and doctor indoor plants on a weekly basis for residential and commercial customers--from small offices to major shopping malls. You'll also lease plants, caring for them along with your other green charges, replacing them at no extra cost if they become unhealthy, and provide seasonal plant décor from winter holiday poinsettias to spring tulips. You can also design hardscapes--indoor fountains, planters and other indoor garden-oriented amenities. This can be a growing field, especially if you educate your clients about indoor air quality (IAQ), one of the newest health trends around. Plants, especially some varieties, scrub the air of environmental pollutants, from formaldehyde in carpet fibers to smoke and smog in our air. The advantages to this business are that you can start part-time, your initial costs are minimal, and if you like helping things grow, then you'll be in plant heaven every working day. Besides that green thumb, you'll need a working knowledge of indoor plants, their care and feeding, including what blooms in what season and which plants grow best under what lighting and humidity conditions. And if you'll be working on hardscapes, you'll need a knowledge of interior design and architectural elements as well.
Your customers can be residential and commercial, but businesses will provide a greater income with less drive time, especially if you sign up large corporations or office parks, or buildings where you can service a lot of clients in one stop. You can also target restaurants, hotels and institutions. Hand-deliver brochures to prospective business customers. Place ads in local publications. Build up a referral network at garden centers and nurseries.
All you really need are soil probes (regular size and perhaps a 4-footer for those towering indoor palms), watering cans, a pair of plant-snippers, plant foods and chemical insect controls, and a reliable vehicle to take you on your rounds.
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