A pound of saffron sells for $1,500 or more, according to CNN, making it a tempting spice to grow for profit. Growing saffron to make money is fairly straightforward, although labor-intensive, as a pound of the golden-red threads requires the hand-harvesting and processing of 75,000 blossoms, says Vegetable Garden. Since saffron flowers do not produce a big crop the first year, you must plan ahead for the larger crop that occurs two to three years later.

Set Up Space

Saffron comes from the flowers of crocus plants, or crocus sativus. The plants grow outside in USDA Hardiness Zones six through nine due to the mild temperatures and growing conditions. Otherwise, you need a greenhouse to grow the plants year-round. Buy a crocus starter kit from a gardening supply store to get your first crop growing. A kit typically consists of 50 saffron bulbs that require an area of about 10 square feet to grow. If you want to grow enough to sell, you’ll need a bunch of these starter kits, as one kit produces less than a tablespoon the first year, says Vegetable Gardener.

Dry and Package

Once the crocus blooms in October or November you’re ready to start harvesting the purple flowers to remove the three red stigmas that are dried to produce the spice. The process is time-consuming, since you must pull off the stigmas from each blossom as soon as you pick it. Place the stigmas on a paper towel for a couple of days and keep them in a warm spot of your home to dry. You’re then ready to pack the strands of saffron in airtight plastic bags or small jars and store them in a cool space. Label each jar or bag in preparation for selling them. Include your company name and logo on the label along with contact information so people know where to buy more.

Find Distribution

You can sell saffron in a variety of ways: sell fresh saffron to local restaurants, caterers and cooks who want to immediately use the spice in their culinary dishes; take packages of dried saffron to farmer’s markets and flea markets to sell by the ounce; sell the pricey spice on your own website; and sell it to local grocery stores, spice shops and kitchen supply stores at wholesale prices so the retailers can mark up the saffron to make a profit.

Let Everyone Know

Educate buyers about the quality of your saffron and its uses. Add recipes to your website page and hand out flyers with your saffron offerings, contact information and a recipe at flea and farmer’s markets. Explain the process of obtaining the saffron so customers understand why it’s so expensive to buy. Advise buyers via email or a mailed postcard when you plan to have a fresh crop of saffron ready in the fall so you can sell out as quickly as possible.