Looking for a plant to grow and sell that is crazy popular, super easy to grow and sells like hotcakes? Annabelle Hydrangea is that plant. People love Annabelle Hydrangea because of the great big snowball type blooms.
The Hydrangea that never fails to bloom.
Annabelle never fails to bloom because unlike many other hydrangeas, Annabelle blooms on current years growth. That means that in the spring the plant leafs out, starts putting on new growth then about mid July it stops growing and starts making flower buds on the tips of all of the branches. A few weeks later the plant is in full bloom with striking white flowers.
In other words, the flower buds never have to survive winter weather. Many other hydrangeas in the macrophylla family of hydrangea make a flower bud during the summer for next year. That flower bud has to remain healthy for almost 12 months before it actually opens into a bloom. So many times harsh winter weather kills the flower bud before it ever has a chance to open.
Annabelle is a vigorous grower but it also loves to be heavily pruned in the fall. The more you prune it the fuller it is the follow growing season.
Annabelle is tough as nails.
Hardy in zones 4-9. As a plant seller that gives you a really large area that you can sell plants into.
The market for a plant like this is huge. At the time of this writing there are people in Our Private Members Area practically begging for this plant. Why? Because they want to propagate it and grow it, but before they can do that they need a few plants that they can take cuttings from. There is a never ending parade of people looking for plants like this.
Homeowners want them to plant in the yard.
Landscapers need them for commercial plantings such as movie theaters, shopping malls and medical office buildings and so on. That market alone is huge.
Retail garden center need them to meet the endless demand for this amazing flowering shrub.
Small growers need rooted cuttings and liners that they can grow out and sell. A rooted cutting is exactly as it sounds, a cutting, pretty much a stick, with some leaves and roots on the bottom. A liner is a rooted cutting that has been grown out for one growing season. It is starting to branch out and has a much heavier root system than a rooted cutting.
Annabelle Hydrangea is super easy to propagate via cuttings.
This is insane, you are not going to believe your eyes. There are a few lessons to be learned here. One year ago I had not one Annabelle Hydrangea in my nursery and none planted in my yard at home. I desperately wanted some, needed some that I could take cuttings from.
I wanted to grow and sell them, but you can’t do that if you don’t have stock plants that you can take cuttings from. So this is what I did. I visited a local grower/friend of mine to see if he had any I could buy. He said; “I have some in one gallons but they are unpruned. I’ve been letting them grow out so I can get Hardwood Cuttings From them. If you want them I’ll let you have them for $4.00 each.
Perfect! Absolutely perfect.
I bought 100 of them, a $400 investment. I took them back to the nursery and put them in my container area. That was probably in October. In December, yes the dead of winter, I went out and took cuttings from them. Well, I did more than just take cuttings from them. I cut them almost down to nothing, leaving just a few stubs in each pot, less than 2″ tall.
Honestly, I cut them down to stumps!
I collected all the branches and took them up to the barn and cut the branches into as many hardwood cuttings as I could get from the pile of branches that I had. The cuttings looked like this . . .
I dipped the cuttings in a rooting compound, Dip n Grow, then I stuck them outside in a bed of sand. From those 100 plants I got about 400 cuttings. That’s it. That’s all I did and I did it in the dead of winter. More about “Dead of Winter Plant Propagation Here.
Come spring two things happened.
- The cuttings that I stuck in the sand started to leaf out and at the same time they produced roots.
- The plants in the containers, that I cut down to stumps to get my cuttings started growing like crazy and I sold them all in May. I cut them down to stubs in December and by May they looked great and I sold them all for $5.97 each.
I didn’t actually sell all of them because I took about 12 of them and planted around the nursery so I could get cuttings from them each year. Think about that.
I bought 100 plants @ $4.00 each. I sold 88 of them @ $5.97 each a few months later. I turned my $400 investment into $525.36 in a matter of months, but more importantly, I now have a lifetime supply of Annabelle Hydrangea cuttings. Those 12 plants will yield thousands and thousands of cuttings!
The hardwood cuttings that we stuck in December were well rooted by June. We pulled them out of the sand and potted them up. This is the part that you won’t believe!
I took this picture in September. This is one of the rooted cuttings that we potted up in June. From a cutting stuck outside in December . . .
Isn’t that amazing? From a single cutting, a stick really, this plant grew out to this in one season. I sold a bunch of these in the fall at $5.97 each! Most plants take longer that that, but these grow like crazy. And because it loves to be pruned hard, it never gets too unruly.
This bloom is on one of the plants that I grew from a cutting. Stuck the cutting in December, this beautiful flower in September. This business never ceases to amaze me.
Let’s talk about something that seems completely “Whackadoodle Crazy”.
We’ve got people waiting in line to buy sticks of Annabelle Hydrangea. Yes, sticks! In Our Members Area, it’s quite routine for members to buy and sell hardwood cuttings to and from one another.
Hardwood cuttings are so durable they can easily be stuffed into a priority mail box like the above photo and shipped across the country to another grower. That grower unpacks them, sticks them outside and presto! Come spring the cuttings leaf out and root at the same time.
I am creating this blog post in mid October and the growers know that in less than four weeks they can buy hardwood cuttings from other members and they are eager to do so. Anxiously waiting to do so.
Inside of the Backyard Growers Business Center we have a Buy/Sell Area where transactions like this take place every single day, pretty much year round. It’s amazing what I see offered for sale in there. Dogwood tree seeds, Japanese Red maple tree seeds, Lilac rooted cuttings, Rhododendron cuttings or liners.
And of course you can also buy dogwood trees, Japanese red maple trees, really rare Japanese maple trees and so on. All at wholesale pricing or below.
You name it, I’ve seen it for sale in the members area.
And the members who have been around for any length of time know who has what. They know who sells Japanese maples, who sells grape plants, who sells the blueberries, who sells hydrangea cuttings, rooted and unrooted. It truly is an amazing place.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much stuff I have Bought in the Members Buy/Sell Area, but I can assure you, I’ve spent well over $10,000 in there! I bought every thing from rooted cuttings, unrooted cuttings and thousands of dollars worth of rare Japanese maples.
Yes, I routinely buy plants from own customers and I am very happy to do so.
If you have questions or comments post them below and I’ll answer them for you.
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