Growing Native Medicinal Plants in Quebec for Sale as Potted Plants
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Andréa Galarneau
Posted on: February 23, 2007

I live in Quebec (Montreal area) and I’m thinking about starting my own business in growing medicinal herbs; I’m especially interested in growing Canadian medicinal native plants, first because it’s a passion, second because I did not find any growers that are specialized in that particular kind of plants yet. I was thinking of selling small potted plants to professionnals who will transform it, and I had an plan (eventually) for displays of 4’’ pots of the most popular, well-known and easy-to-grow species in local nurseries. Since I think that most of the business must be in selling to professionnals; I was wondering what you thought or knew about selling that kind of potted plants; is there a market for this? Or is there only a market for dried/freshly-cut herbs? What kind of business should I look at as potential buyers? I must say that in Quebec there ain’t a lot of information or ressources about all this and I don’t know where to begin, but I wish to see my dream come true! Yes, there is a demand for live native plants in Canada. The largest market will likely be to other nurseries and garden centres, however you may also find other markets such as forest reclamation projects. Currently a lot native plants are imported from the U.S. for potting up in Canada. You may be able to serve some of that market.

The other thing is the issue of cultivated vs. wild origin. A lot of the potted native plants are dug from the wild. The destructive potential of this practice is not well understood by consumers yet, but I believe in a few years they will realize how much damage plant diggers are doing to wild populations and will start to demand plants that are propagated from seeds or vegetatively from plants already in cultivation.

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