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dropshipping plants

Thriving in Green: A Guide to Successful Dropshipping of Plants

Adeel Qayum

Do you have a passion for nurturing plants and wish to share this joy with others? Starting a plant dropshipping business might be the perfect idea for you.

Online plant retail is soaring, with projections suggesting the ecommerce plant nursery market could grow to $18,100 million by 2027 This presents a significant opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to tap into the green market

We have written a guide to help you begin. It will show you how to choose your plant suppliers, how to set up your online store, and everything else you need to start selling plants online in 2024. 

Understanding Dropshipping Plants

Dropshipping plants means selling plants online without keeping them in stock. When someone buys a plant from you, a supplier sends it directly to them. This way of selling is becoming popular among plant lovers.

Pros and cons of dropshipping plants

Like with dropshipping other products, dropshipping plants come with its own unique advantages and challenges.

Advantages of plant dropshipping

  • Low startup costs: You don't need to buy plants ahead of time or pay for a place to keep them. This makes starting your business cheaper.
  • Wide wariety: You can offer many types of plants to your customers—even rare or exotic ones—without needing them in stock.
  • Flexibility: You can run your business from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection to manage your online store and communicate with suppliers.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, you don't need to worry about running out of space for plants. You can sell more without needing more room.

Challenges of plant dropshipping

  • Shipping challenges: Plants are delicate and need to be shipped carefully. There's a risk they can get damaged or die if they're not handled properly during delivery.
  • Less control over inventory: You depend on your suppliers to have the plants available and to send them on time. If they run out or send plants late, it can upset your customers.

Choosing the Right Plants for Dropshipping

Choosing the right plants for dropshipping is key to your business success. Consider plants that are popular, easy to care for, and strong enough for shipping. This ensures you offer plants that customers want and that arrive healthy.

Popular plants for online retail

1. Cycad Plant

Let your customers feel the essence of the Australian desert with the cycad plant. Ideal for those looking to showcase their green thumb, this cycad is celebrated for its toughness, longevity, and contemporary appeal. You can dropship real cycads or even faux versions to cater to various customer preferences.

2. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Second on our list of best plants for e-commerce stores is the peace lily, also known as Spathiphyllum. What's special about this plant is its low light and water requirements, making it ideal for indoor settings. You can sell it as a standalone plant or pair it with decorative pots to appeal to holiday shoppers.

3. Bird's-nest Fern

Bird's nest fern is a popular choice for indoor areas with high humidity and ample lighting. Its low maintenance nature makes it ideal for customers seeking hassle-free greenery. Bird's-nest fern can fit anywhere from tables to hanging containers, so buyers can easily incorporate it into their home decor without much effort.

4. Phoenix Palm

When it comes to the e-commerce gardening niche, you can't go wrong with the Phoenix palm. This plant is known for its slender, elegant trunk and lush, feathery fronds that can add a sophisticated, tropical look to any space. You can highlight its beauty and low-maintenance nature to captivate a wide audience.

5. Philodendron

The Philodendron is a visually appealing plant perfect for new and seasoned gardeners. Its hardiness ensures it withstands shipping and arrives in top condition. Including Philodendrons in your catalog appeals to customers seeking low-maintenance yet striking indoor greenery.

6. Topiary Shrub (Hedyotis)

If you're looking to target customers interested in enhancing their gardens, dropshipping the Topiary Shrub (Hedyotis) is your best bet. This plant can elevate any garden space with its ability to be shaped into various elegant designs. Make sure to highlight its adaptable nature, ease of care and the immediate impact it can have on garden aesthetics in your campaigns.

Considerations for plant varieties

The plant industry is vast and diverse, with a wide range of options available to choose from. Selecting the right varieties is crucial if you want to make a successful entry into the market. 

Here's a closer look at the factors you should consider when deciding which plant varieties to offer through your store:

  • Seasonal demand: Consider seasonal demand when choosing plants. Some thrive in specific seasons, like poinsettias for winter and sunflowers for summer.
  • Customer preferences: Know your customers. Urban dwellers may prefer compact plants, while enthusiasts seek rare varieties. Tailor your selection to meet their needs.
  • Plant trends: Stay updated on outdoor and indoor plant trends. Adapt your catalog to reflect popular varieties, like Monstera or unique succulent hybrids.
  • Market changes: Horticulture evolves. Be flexible, incorporate new plants, and techniques to stay competitive and meet customer demands.

Popular Plant Categories

Indoor plants

Indoor plants like succulents and cacti thrive in low-maintenance conditions. Customers can add lush greenery and air purification to their indoor spaces with foliage plants such as the Snake Plant or ZZ Plant. Additionally, flowering varieties like Orchids or African Violets bring vibrant colors to any room.

Outdoor plants

Outdoor gardens flourish with a variety of choices, including Roses and Hydrangeas. Shrubs and trees such as Japanese Maples, provide essential structure and shade in outdoor spaces. However, it's crucial to consider local climate variations when selecting plants suitable for year-round gardening.

Air plants

Air plants like Tillandsias require minimal care and no soil for growth. They're versatile additions to modern decor and seamlessly fit into hanging displays or terrarium arrangements. Additionally, offering a selection of air plants caters to customers seeking hassle-free yet visually striking indoor greenery.

Sourcing Suppliers for Plant Dropshipping

Your choice of plant suppliers can make or break your dropshipping business. Suppliers who offer a variety of trendy, high-quality plants along with reliable shipping can help elevate your business. On the contrary, suppliers with limited plant options and a poor logistics network can hinder your success.

Identifying reliable plant suppliers

Reliable plant dropshipping suppliers have certain characteristics that separate them from others. These include:

  1. Fast shipping times: The best plant suppliers have warehouses strategically located, including in the US and EU. They also employ efficient shipping methods to ensure plants arrive quickly and in excellent condition.
  2. Proper storage facilities: Leading plant suppliers understand the specific storage requirements of plants and have facilities equipped with appropriate conditions to maintain plant freshness and health during transit.
  3. Quality control processes: Reputable plant suppliers implement stringent measures to ensure that only healthy and vibrant plants are shipped to customers. They regularly inspect plants for any signs of damage or disease before dispatch.
  4. Vast product range: From common indoor plants to rare and exotic varieties, top suppliers offer a diverse selection to cater to different needs . Plus, they continuously update their inventory to give customers access to the latest trends and varieties.
  5. Value added services: Some suppliers may offer unique services, such as custom potting or personalized care instructions, to differentiate themselves in the market and provide added value to customers.

A word on type of plant suppliers

When it comes to plant suppliers offering dropshipping services, there are several types to consider. While options vary, working directly with nursery suppliers is often the most advantageous. These suppliers specialize in cultivating and distributing plants, so you can expect fresher products, wider selections, and better support.

Negotiating terms for dropshipping

After choosing your suppliers, make sure to negotiate the terms of doing business. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Ask about discounts: Don't hesitate to inquire about discounts and wholesale orders. Plant suppliers often provide these options, so don’t hesitate to ask.
  • Deal professionally: Negotiate professionally, highlighting the benefits your business offers. Explain why the supplier should consider better terms.
  • Focus beyond price: Seek other areas to negotiate, like payment terms or shipping options. Look for deals beneficial to both parties.

E-commerce Strategies for Plant Dropshipping

Ever heard the saying, "People won't find your products if you don't tell them where to look"? This is true for selling plants online too. You need to tell people about your plants so they can buy them. Here are simple ways to do this:

Run a social media campaign

Share your plants on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Post photos, tell stories about your plants. It gets more eyes on your store.

Create content

Write posts or make videos about taking care of plants, why plants are good for homes, or picking the right plant. This shows you know your plants and draws people in.

Use email marketing

Send messages to customers who sign up on your site. Share news about new plants, deals, or plant care tips. This keeps them interested and coming back for more.

Host virtual workshops

Offer online workshops or webinars where you teach about different aspects of plant care, from potting and soil selection to pest management. This is a great way to educate your audience and create a community around your brand.

Successful Plant Brands and What They Do Well

Before opening the virtual door of your plant dropshipping business, it’s a good idea to examine the strategies of successful plant brands. Here are a few popular ones:

The Sill

For dropshippers looking for inspiration, The Sill offers valuable lessons. First, its website shows the importance of clear and attractive photos and detailed information for each plant. This makes customers want to buy.

Second, after purchase, The Sill keeps in touch with many emails about new products and care tips. This is good for keeping customers interested, but remember, too many emails might overwhelm them.


PlantX is another inspiring example for dropshippers. It is like a vegan Amazon with many plant-based items and plants. Most things cost less than $50, and some small plants are only $6. If you sell plants, think about adding more things like PlantX will do with plant-based meals. This makes your shop more interesting and offers more to your customers.

Sustainable Practices in Plant Dropshipping

When working with suppliers for plant dropshipping, asking about eco-friendly packaging is important. Suppliers usually have different options that are better for the environment. For example, they might offer:

  • Boxes that can be recycled
  • Packing peanuts that break down naturally
  • Mailers that can be composted
  • Alternatives to plastic made from plants

Also, think about moisture and air for the plants. Using materials that soak up extra water helps stop mold or fungi. Is the packaging made to let air in but keep the plant safe? This keeps the plant healthy while it moves.

Making sure the packaging has holes or ways for air to move is important too. Plants need to breathe, so their packaging should not be too tight. Are there choices for boxes with holes or materials that let air pass through?

Choosing the right eco-friendly and breathable packaging with your supplier can make plant dropshipping more earth-friendly.

Customer Care in Plant Dropshipping

Customer care is crucial in plant dropshipping. Imagine receiving a damaged or wilted plant—that would deter customers from repeat purchases. Therefore, you want to ensure careful handling and prompt resolution of any issues.

Handling plant Shipments with Care

Start by selecting reliable shipping partners and packaging materials. Seek dropshippers with experience in transporting live plants to minimize transit stress. It's also a good idea to provide clear care instructions and ensure customer inquiries are promptly addressed. 

Addressing Customer Concerns about Live Plants

Live plants need additional care since they are perishable items. Customers may also be concerned about plant health or shipping delays. Address these concerns promptly by offering plant care tips and reassuring them of your commitment to quality and timely delivery.

Ready to dropship plants?

Plant dropshipping is a rewarding and profitable business that lets you exercise your passion for greenery and entrepreneurship. With the right approach and inspiration from successful models, anyone can cultivate a thriving online plant shop. So, harness these strategies and watch your business venture bloom into a leading destination for plant enthusiasts everywhere.

Plant Dropshipping FAQ

How do I ensure the healthy delivery of live plants in dropshipping?

You can ensure the healthy delivery of live plants, ask your dropshipping supplier to: 

  • Use eco-friendly packaging that’s biodegradable
  • Add absorbent padding to tackle moisture and prevent mold or fungi
  • Use boxes with air holes or openings for air circulation

What are the most popular plants for online retail?

Some of most popular plants for online retail are:

  • Cycad Plant
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Bird's-nest Fern
  • Phoenix Palm
  • Philodendron
  • Topiary Shrub (Hedyotis)

Can I start a plant dropshipping business with a small budget?

Yes, it’s possible to dropship plants with a small budget. Since you'll be dropshipping, you won't need to spend money on sourcing and caring for the plants. Your main expenses will be setting up the dropshipping store and marketing it to potential customers.

How do successful plant dropshippers market their products?

Most successful plant dropshippers use a combination of strategies to market their products. Commonly used methods include: 

  • Instagram and TikTok marketing (Sharing beautiful plant photos and care tips videos to attract and engage followers)
  • Newsletter marketing (Sending updates on new plants, care guides, and exclusive offers to subscribers' inboxes)
  • Influencer partnerships (Collaborating with popular social media personalities who can showcase the plants to a wider audience)

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Adeel Qayum

Adeel holds a Master’s degree in digital marketing and is a passionate e-commerce marketer. He specializes in long-form content creation and has a conversion mindset, which helps him focus on elements that generate sales for businesses.

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