Why Are Plant Nurseries So Expensive?

It is always a good idea to buy plants from nurseries. The nursery workers will give you healthy plants and can even advise you about their requirements. But have you ever wondered why nursery plants are getting so expensive nowadays? Let’s understand.

Plants at nurseries are getting expensive for various reasons – rare varieties, high demand, low supply, increase in international shipping, the rise of auctions, plant purges, and hard-to-find rare plant varieties and care for the ordered ones. Rising inflation also leads to an increase in prices.

Even if you buy from the local nurseries, there will be some costly plants. This article will help you grow through the reasons to know why and how these factors are responsible for nursery plants getting expensive. 

Nursery plants

Why are plant nurseries getting so expensive?

There are several reasons why plants at the nurseries are getting more expensive.

Plants are getting popular daily, and taking care of them with the right requirements, growing them, and helping them thrive requires a lot of effort and maintenance.

However, there are many other reasons behind the high price of nursery plants.

Let’s go through them one by one. 

Higher demand for plants

Plants have gained high popularity over the last few years.

Having plants in your garden or home gives you a feeling of refreshment.

They make you more accomplished and dutiful. 

If you grow plants, you become a responsible plant parent.

As a parent, you have certain responsibilities towards the plants.

Slowly, you get so interested in growing plants that you want to have more of them. 

The same happens with all the plant owners, especially those who don’t have any work to do or stay mostly indoors.

That is why the demand for plants is increasing day by day.

The higher the demand, the higher the price. 

The nursery first understands which plants the customers are demanding at present.

Then, they arrange these plants in huge quantities to fulfill their customers’ demands. 

Even if the plant is difficult to find, the nurseries somehow manage to get them.

That is why these become expensive. 

Also read: Where Do Nurseries Get Their Plants?

Rare qualities

nursery polybags plants

The plant owners always want to have some rare varieties in their house. 

But, getting a rare beauty is quite a job.

Suppose you give a local nursery an order for a rare variety like Philodendron Billietiae.

In that case, the nurseries will need some time to find out where to get these varieties, and then the plant will be shipped and brought to your local nursery. 

So, the finding, the hard work growing the plant, and the trucking and shipping charges will be quite expensive.

It will be even more expensive if the shipping is international. 

So, due to these high expenses, the price of that rare variety will automatically increase. 

It is not only the plant owners that love to keep the rare plants.

The nurseries, too, want to keep the rare varieties so that people can visit their stores more often to receive those rare beauties. 

Bringing those varieties to the nurseries and caring for them can be quite expensive for your local nurseries.

That is why they charge more for such plants.

Also read: Why Do Nursery Plants Look So Good?

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Caring for some varieties takes time.

Caring for some special plant varieties to keep them healthy in the long run requires hard work and special arrangements.

It includes both rare and common varieties. 

Some special varieties need to be grown patiently.

Some varieties are very hard to propagate.  

These varieties need special care and requirements.

So, to arrange those requirements, the nurseries will need to spend money and time. 

The nurseries will demand extra money for their hard work, maintenance charges, and the extra time they invest.

That is why these plants get expensive.

The supply of the plants is low.

Seed propagation

Sometimes the nurseries run out of supply of certain plants that are in high demand.

The nurseries visit several other nurseries and areas to find and collect these plants. 

When the supply of any plant drops, it is difficult for the nursery workers to get hold of those plants and bring them to the nurseries.

However, they receive those plants through hard work and research. 

Due to this hard work, the nursery workers charge more.

Plant purges

A plant purge is a kind of event where plant photos are posted online along with the price tag, and if someone comments on the photo, it is sold to that particular person.

Some nurseries participate in such events when they want to get rid of some plants.

They post the photo along with the price tag. 

No matter the cost of a particular plant, if you are a plant lover and can afford the price, you will buy that plant without fail.

But another lover who can’t afford it loses the chance to get the plant. 

In this way, the nurseries are increasing their prices in the event.

Those who have enough money will buy.

For others, the plant price will be quite expensive. 

Rise of auctions

The auction is another event where the plant and the price tag are placed. 

People will invest money in that product to buy it at any cost. 

If you are an owner of a particular plant, a rare variety, and want to sell it, you want to get the best price.

The same is done in the nurseries when they want to sell the rarest plants for a good price. 

The person who invests the highest amount for that plant gets the plant. 

So, in this way, the nursery plants become very expensive. 

Since the auctions are also rising day by day, the price of the nursery plants also gets expensive. 

Increase in international plant shipping

Nursery Plant

Many nurseries order plants out of the state to add some rare collections to their stores.

It helps them increase the plant’s demand, increasing the number of customers in their stores. 

People who love plants and want to add some rare collections will visit these stores more than other local stores. 

Most nurseries have increased international shipping due to this reason. 

Due to international shipping, both online and offline, the shipping and trucking costs will increase, and so will the plants’ prices. 

Due to this raised international shipping, the nursery plants are getting expensive. 


Another reason recently added to the list for which the nursery plants are getting expensive is Covid.  

The nurseries were closed for a long time, and they have faced a lot of loss through the covid years. 

After the nurseries had re-opened, they started selling their plants at a higher price to cope with the loss they received during covid.

That is why the plants have become expensive after covid. 

Due to covid, many people stayed home and did not spend much time outside.

They remained at home without any work. So, they want to invest their time in something.

Most people have chosen to have houseplants at home and spend time caring for them and giving them their ideal requirements. 

Caring for houseplants keeps people occupied.

Houseplants will also benefit your health by keeping people healthy, happy, relaxing, and focused. 

Not only do people want to invest their time, but they also want to spend their money. 

Many people have stayed home and have spent much less money.

So, they want to spend it and thus, keep donating them. 

Many have spent on plants, for which online nurseries have become popular. 

Besides, it was risky for the nursery owners to collect and deliver the plants to the required destination during covid.

So, the increased price of plants was worth it. 

Due to the high demand for houseplants, the price has increased.

The higher the demand, the higher the price. 

Some expensive plants

Nursery watering plant 2

There are some expensive plants present worldwide.

Below is a list of some high-priced plants:

Variegated Monstera

This variety has become popular in recent years due to its unique look. 

Houseplant owners are always looking out for some different varieties that are rare and beautiful.

Variegated Monstera is one of them. 

The cuttings are sometimes sold at $100.

The most expensive variegated Monstera was once sold at $38,000.

Once in an auction site, Trade Me, the expensive and rare variegated Monstera, Adansoni, was sold for $700, and Aurea was sold for $3,700.

Philodendron Pink Princess 

Another common plant with a rare variety is Philodendron Pink Princess. 

The plant is beautiful with distinctive variegation that screams attention by standing alone.

A 2-inch plant costs $50. But the larger plants with more variegation will cost nearly $3,000.

Syngonium Podophyllum Albo

This lovely white and green foliage plant is becoming very demanding for its color combination. 

This expense is due to the plant owners’ increased love for pale leaves.

Its variegated leaves have their statement by standing alone in any corner of the room.

A 25cm plant will cost $60. For bigger plants, it is even more. 

Anthurium Regale 

Another expensive plant with deep green leaves and light green veins is Anthurium Regale.

The veins are quite noticeable and deep, which is why they are in high demand, and rare too. 

The mature variety will cost nearly $100 to $300, sometimes even more, depending on the store and maturity level. 

A 40-50 cm plant will cost $60 to $ 65.

Hoya Carnossa Compacta

This plant is very expensive due to its yellow variegation inside the leaves.

Due to this, they have become the most wanted plant. 

In the same TradeMe auction, Hoya was sold for $6,500.

Generally, the price starts at $10, but the bigger plants can cost nearly $100.

Old Pine Bonsai Tree

Bonsai plants are quite expensive due to their age.

Bonsais are quite old plants, nearly 50-60 years old.

The older the plant, the more costly it will be.

The cost starts at $60 and can go up to $600, depending on the age. 

Some younger Bonsais can cost nearly $1,00.

Once, an event sold a bonsai for $1.3 million in an event in Takamatsu, Japan.  

Also read:

Final thoughts

There are many reasons behind expensive plant nurseries. Some common reasons are high demand, low supply, rare quality plants difficult to find and propagate, plant purges, increased auctions, and international shipping. 

Other than these, one recent reason is covid for which the people demanded houseplants to occupy their idle timing at home. Since the shops were closed, the people have started selling plants at a high price to cope with their loss.

Reference: Effect of Nursery Production Method, Nursery Growing MediaNursery experiments for improving plant qualityNursery Management.


Hello everyone, My name is Richa and I am here to make you a better gardener by creating an in-depth and helpful resource for all the fellow gardeners out there. If I could help even a few people understand their plants better then I call it a success for my efforts.

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