Is it possible to earn a decent living as an independent horticulture advisor if I don’t have formal training?

jazzyguy17 asks: Is it possible to earn a decent living as an independent horticulture advisor if I don’t have formal training?
I’ve been growing many different plants in a community garden for 8-9 years and also growing orchids. I’ve learned a lot by joining a local orchid society where experts give workshops on growing these delicate plants I’m wondering if I could develop a part-time career advising others on how to grow plants based on my experience and knowledge learned by reading books on plants. I live in an Urban environment and am quite sure many apartment dwellers could use assistance or advice on caring for their plants or garden. I’m wondering how much to charge and what’s the best way to advertise.

The answer voted best is:

Answer by Cat
You could put yourself out there…but usually garden centers will give advice for free.

If you decide to go for it…you might try to expand what you offer. Not many people look to pay for “advice” alone. You could offer re-potting services, vacation-plant-care services, container gardening planning/implementation. Until your name gets known, advertise wherever you can. Flyers. Door inserts in the affluent neighborhoods. local “hip” periodicals that focus on local entertainment and community. Look around, try to see a need, then try to fill it.

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  1. You could offer to give classes for a fee. Have ppl. to sign up for the class and if you don’t get the response to make it worth while, then cancel. You could run off flyers to pass out and post them in laundry mats, beauty shops, etc.

  2. Hi:
    I am a landscaper and designer. I started my own business and built my landscape business up by getting my name out through word of mouth. I had a greenhouse and grew thousands of plant specimens. The key to beginning your own business is to have a true desire to help people. You have to be committed to hard work, positive focus, self motivate, and your number one priority is your client satisfaction. In order to succeed, you have to have passion, (which it seems you do) and knowledge. (which it also seems you do)

    There are different ways you can go about this. Develop an overall plan on what you want to do. Business cards, as well as getting your name out in your urban environment will get you started. I am sure many people can benefit from your passion and knowledge. I will link you to my website as there are many different articles, tips and techniques that may help you get started. You also might be interested in the Owning your own landscape business, which I will link you to. If you need further suggestions, feel free to contact me. The best of luck to you and just give your 100 percent in developing a plan to help others. It does work! Good luck to you and have a great day!

  3. Go to your local county extension center and earn a Master Gardener certification, it’s inexpensive, expansive knowledge, and a very good background for making a living. It is a 16 week course in most areas, with office and outreach volunteering, and usually an extra project(like a tree, shrub, and vine) to complete. It covers many areas that would include house plants and container gardening specific to an urban setting. It’s a well respected title in the gardening industry. Kudos to you!
    As Kim mentioned above me, you should always have a business plan when starting up on your own.

  4. Cat give you some good advise but one other thing you may want to consider it taking a Master Gardner course. They do not cost that much or take an awful lot of time but the certificate does give you some creditability. contact you local county extension agent or your state collage to see about the courses.

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