Top 8 Most Profitable Specialty Plants to Grow in a Greenhouse

Greenhouses can be a great solution for growing your own healthy food, but this time we will see some of the top 8 most profitable specialty plants to grow in a greenhouse. The great advantage of greenhouses is that you can grow almost anything in them, and, having provided appropriate conditions, you can have yields throughout the whole year.

Let’s see first some interesting info on the most profitable crops in the world in general. Making the balance between the most planted and the crops with the most profit, cannabis, and rice are at the top considering gross production value, and cannabis and coca are at the top considering crop value per square kilometer. On the other hand, maize and wheat are the most planted crops. Apart from medical uses, the (mis)use of cannabis is known throughout the world being legalized or not, but cannabis is also being used as an industrial plant, which is more commonly called the “hemp”. They are both varieties of Cannabis genus of plants, where hemp contains very little THC dose compared to marijuana. Hemp fibers are among the most durable fibers generally, and the plant is used for many purposes: textile, paper, plastic etc. So, whether you decide to grow the most expensive crop for profit or not, the fact is that cannabis business is becoming among the most lucrative ones.

But let’s put cannabis discussion aside for now since there will be more about it later. And before we start talking about the most profitable specialty plants to grow, first thing is clarifying what specialty crops are. Specialty plants are considered to be “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture” as defined by law. And before we start discussing the most profitable specialty crops, we should reconsider some basic things about greenhouses. First, the size, and therefore investment cost of a greenhouse will dictate materials you will use. There are several options, whether you want to have large tunnels or small hoop houses. For any choice you make, the basic things you will need are metal, PVC or wooden construction and a cover made of plastic or glass. Smaller (and cheaper) choice that pays off quickly would be a hoop house.

Top 8 Most Profitable Specialty Plants to Grow in a Greenhouse


Since several years ago United States Department of Agriculture has started developing software in order to help greenhouse owners with maintaining their greenhouse in best possible way, starting from heat savings, predicting crop growth, helping with scheduling and best greenhouse design for chosen crops. That is the Virtual Grower, and since 2011 it is being updated on a regular basis in order to improve greenhouse gardening and gather helpful information.  All in all, Virtual Grower is a great tool every greenhouse owner should check out.

In considering the most profitable crops to grow in a greenhouse, you should not limit on traditional growing only. Hydroponic and aquaponic techniques of growing plants are other solutions, for which you will need some additional equipment and setting for your greenhouse.  But with a bit more investment you will get much better results since it is much easier to provide the plant with nutrients it needs through water than through soil. Most of the plants have shown great results in terms of yield and health, and hydroponic systems and technologies are being upgraded constantly. And for some choices of specially hydroponic and aquaponic crops you can grow, check out our other articles like 12 Most Profitable Plants for Aquaponics, Small Gardens and Backyard Nurseries or 9 Most Profitable Plants to Grow Hydroponically.

Vegetables are perhaps the first thing that comes to one’s mind when thinking about a greenhouse. Since vegetables are always on the menu, it is relatively easy to find a market to offer your products, but it is questionable which the most profitable vegetables to grow and sell are. It all depends on the quality of growing conditions, amount of space, etc., but there is a decent list showing those relations that we have found on Harvest to Table. But you will probably not focus on vegetable production only when considering the most profitable plants to grow and sell. We’ve begun our research on most profitable specialty crops to grow in a greenhouse on starting guidelines from Greenhouse Management, where all news, tips and professional information on greenhouse gardening can be found. We have also taken some advice from NC State University, GGS Structures Inc., Bright Agrotech and Profitable Plants.

As mentioned above, greenhouse size is the matter of choice, of course, and it is usually dictated by choice of crops you would like to grow. But, since greenhouses might have very limited space for your crops, you will probably want to reconsider plants that require minimal space. So, if you are interested what agricultural crop is most is most profitable per acre, some of the suggestions on that matter have been reconsidered in the list of most profitable crops per acre on a small farm. So, for the issue of the most profitable specialty plants to grow in a greenhouse, proceed down to our list of top 8 most profitable specialty plants to grow in a greenhouse: