If you have a green thumb and are looking for a side hustle, you need to read this list of the most profitable plants to grow hydroponically.
With the Whole Foods culture taking over — seriously, there’s a Whole Foods in the center of Harlem, New York City now — there’s a major push for freshly grown fruits, vegetables and anything else that can be grown locally. It seems many Americans are just starting to wake up and realize, “oh, maybe I should pay more attention to where my food is coming from.” I mean, I’m not organic everything, mainly because it’s expensive and I’m a millennial, but I do pay attention to the foods I eat and try to eat pretty “clean” foods. Honestly, if you still think it’s normal for a chicken breast to be the size of an adult baseball mitt, then you really have some research to do. Anyway, if you are looking for healthy and locally grown options, thankfully many grocery stores and markets have a wide variety these days, or you can visit your local farmer’s market. If you really want to be serious about your food, you can take it up a level by growing your own produce. If you’re really good at it, you can even sell what you don’t eat, for a generous profit. So really, it’s a win-win situation.
If you’re a city dweller, like myself, that doesn’t mean learning to plant and growing things is out of reach for you. Thanks to technology there are now really cool ways to be able to grow plants indoors, using minimal space and that’s where hydroponics come in. Simply put, hydroponics uses mineral nutrient solutions to feed plants that are growing in water, so no soil is used in the process. The practice is also pretty versatile because you can set it up in a big greenhouse space or in your living room using smaller systems or towers. If you’re not totally confined to the indoors and have a little yard space to work with, take a look at this article on the most profitable plants for aquaponics, small gardens, and backyard nurseries.
There are a variety of plants that can grow indoors, without needing too much sunlight, which you can learn more about with the easiest indoor plants to grow from seed and the easiest edible plants to grow indoors. While it’s great to be able to grow your own plants to eat, it’s even better to do that and to also make money. Depending on what kind of hydroponic system you’re interested in (and have the space for), you’ll want to research the hydroponic farm start up cost before you get in too deep. Costs can range anywhere from $50 for a small in-home system, to $100,000 for an indoor farm set up. So, is hydroponic farming profitable? The answer is, yes. If you do your research on the most profitable plants to grow and sell, you should have no problem making money. You also want to take a look at growth time too. For example, hydroponic ginseng can take a few years to grow, but it sells for some crazy good prices (we’ll talk more about this in a bit).
We decided not to focus on the most profitable crops per acre since you would need to be a big deal farmer for that, but on on smaller systems that you can grow in your home. Furthermore, we focused on price per pound of crop, since that’s more reasonable to grow in a smaller system. To figure out some of the most profitable plants to grow hydroponically we used the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farmer’s Daughter Herbs, and Simply Hydroponics and Organics. Once we determined the price per pound for crops that can be grown hydroponically, we ranked them starting with those with lowest prices.