Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Production of Nursery Stock and Ornamental Plants


The Irish ornamental horticulture industry is professional and modern, with high-tech growing systems producing plants of the highest quality. The market is diversified into a range of specialised sub sectors. This factsheet gives information on production of nursery and ornamental plants.

Industry overview

A small number of growers produce high-value, young plants and starter material. These nurseries propagate new plants using a range of technical systems, with key seasonal peaks in activity. The majority of the industry is comprised of growers who grow on and finish these products.

Market segments

  • Production of Nursery Stock and Ornamental Plants Caption ImageYoung plants
  • bedding and pot plants
  • perennials
  • shrubs
  • hedging and young trees
  • semi-mature trees
  • specialist lines: alpines, roses, ferns, bamboo, etc.

Growth areas over the last 10 years have been in perennial plants, evergreen shrubs, and instant hedging. The demand for new plant material is allied with the construction sector. Bigger plant sizes are also desirable when customers seek instant impact and screening. Consolidation of the sector has resulted in fewer nurseries, but those that exist have increased in scale. Specialist nurseries have developed (see the Irish Specialist Nursery Association) and work together for marketing and technical benefits. Most of these segments are seasonal and have a peak sales and production period, predominantly in spring.

There are no subsidies provided for the sector; however, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) oversees a competitive grant in aid scheme, which can support capital investment to the value of 40% (or 50% for qualified young growers under 35 years of age). The scheme is usually open for applications once a year in autumn.

View full factsheet here.