Salary of a Nursery Owner

The annual median income of a nursery or greenhouse owner is dependent on the geographical location, the size of the horticultural operation, the amount of employees, and the cost of seed, plants, operating costs and supplies. Some nursery owners operate small, home-based businesses while others invest in multimillion dollar horticultural operations.


There is no established income for nursery owners. The amount of salary an owner can draw from a nursery or greenhouse operation is dependent on the profitability of the growing operation. The University of Georgia, Department of Horticulture, Careers In Floriculture by Paul A. Thomas reports projected income (based on 1998 salary data) for a small horticultural owner is $7,000 to $138,000, depending on ability.

Job Description

Nursery or greenhouse owners oversee and coordinate the activities of workers engaged in planting, propagating, cultivating, fertilizing and harvesting horticultural specialty plants. They plan, design and direct the performance of drivers, equipment operators and office staff. A nursery owner relies on judgment and experience to plan and accomplish goals. Nursery owners select and purchase seeds, plants, nutrients, chemicals and garden and lawn care equipment.


A nursery owner should be able to identify plants as well as plant problems, such as weeds, fungus, diseases and insect infestations. A nursery owner needs to understand and properly select the right growing methods for plants. Plants may be cultivated hydroponically, in a greenhouse or in an outdoor natural setting. A nursery owner should have a sound knowledge of management and business principles involved in leadership, human resources, plant propagation and cultivation techniques, irrigation, pruning, grafting and retail sales. A nursery or greenhouse owner's annual income is dependent on how well the owner can operate his business. Weather, demand for the products produced and fluctuating fuel costs directly impact profitability and income.


Although many nursery or greenhouse owners are self-taught, the majority of successful growers have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in horticulture, earth sciences, agricultural sciences or botany. Nursery owners with postsecondary education and experience often earn a higher income than owners without professional training.