There are a lot of ways to make gil in Final Fantasy XIV—and gardening is definitely one of the more finicky routes. It takes a lot of know-how, time, patience, and lots and lots of strategy to be able to turn a profit with a garden.
But it’s also one of the most easily sustainable ways to make gil, because it’s basically a passive income setup. If you plan and plant your garden juuuust right, it can pretty much manage itself. No long grinds for materials, running out of crystals for crafting, missing the timers for rare gathering materials.
So today, by popular request, a quick guide on how to set up your garden to make money!
Step 1: Train your retainers.
You’re going to need two things to make money as a gardener: You’re going to need seeds, and you’re going to need dirt.
And so you don’t hemorrhage all the money you make getting supplies, I highly recommend training at least one retainer as a botanist, and another as a miner. Your botanist can help you find most of the seeds you need, and your miner can help you get Grade 3 Thanalan soil way faster than you can get it.
It’s especially useful for anything on an unspoiled node (like Grade 3 Thanalan soil)—where you can only get one every 70 IRL minutes, your retainers average 40-50 minutes per venture depending on their level.
Step 2: Get a garden.
This seems obvious, but what I really mean here is to get the right kind of garden. And depending on what you decide to grow, there are two right kinds of garden.
For most gardening projects, you’re going to need a deluxe gardening patch, which you can get from housing merchants.
You can try to use the small and regular gardening patches, but they’re not ideal because
- The individual plots are so close together that they can bungle any crossbreeding you try to do. And since crossbreeding is the key to making money here, that’s not exactly what you want, and
- They have fewer plots, which really just limits how many gil-happy plants you can grow.
The other garden you’re going to need is a set of flower pots, whichever style you want. I personally like the riviera ones just for the way they look. You won’t use these for crossbreeding, but they’re really helpful for growing elite crops that can’t actually crossbreed.
Step 3: Decide what you want to grow.
So. Here’s where we get into the fun part. There are two ways to make money with gardening, and the method you want to use will define what you choose to grow.
Method 1: Farming luxury crops
Farming luxury crops means growing expensive items, like jute or chocobo fruits, with the intention of either selling them as-is or crafting them into even more expensive items. Many of these items are only available through crossbreeding, and most of the crafting you’ll do for this will require you to be level 50 with the respective crafter.
Good options: Jute, Thavnairian onions, any chocobo fruit, broombush, umbrella fig
Method 2: Farming luxury seeds
Farming luxury seeds means crossbreeding crops into expensive seeds that you can’t get any other way, with the intention of selling them as-is so others can grow their own crops.
Good options: Jute, Royal Kukuru, any chocobo fruit, any of the deity flowers like Azeyma rose
Both work equally effectively, and you can even combine the two depending on what you want.
Once you know the style of crops you want to grow, it’s time to research. Head to your local marketboard and search through the listings and histories for your chosen crops to see how they do, and decide which you think will do the best long-term.
Gardening is not a quick turnaround, with many of the luxury crops taking upward of seven IRL days to grow. Make sure you don't base your decision on recent price spikes!
The two I grow on a regular basis are jute, which is needed for a lot of the high-end crafted housing items (including my go-to combed wool rug), and Thavnairian onions, which you need to level your companion chocobo past rank 10.
Step 4: Figure out how to grow them sustainably.
As I mentioned earlier, gardening is very finicky. And that’s why it’s good to research and know what you’re going to do to grow your crops before you get started. Otherwise, it can be a very expensive mistake!
It’s also important to figure out how to grow them sustainably, because then your garden will be a consistent source of gil without needing to spend all your money on replacement seeds.
Your best friend here will be FFXIV Gardening. I started off growing my two regular crops by referring to a couple of infographics on that site, and have made a few tweaks to the guides based on what works for me. For example, the Azeyma roses in my jute rotation are always ready exactly a day before the jute, which gives me a ton of seeds and a chance to plant Althyk lavender, the secondary crossbreed that refills my rose seeds.
This means that I never actually have to buy replacement seeds, unless I happen to run out of Althyk lavender (which is dirt cheap compared to the other seeds I use).
Step 5: Price them properly.
So you’ve got your seeds and your crops and you’re ready to sell them. How do you price them so people will snap them up?
It’s not just a matter of making sure you post a market-competitive price (be careful not to lowball, because people will undercut you and you’ll lose out on all your gil). It’s also about the size of the stack you sell.
Too often, I see people trying to sell things like jute seeds on the market in massive stacks. On an average day, these seeds go for anywhere from 40,000 to 75,000 gil—which means that no one is going to shell out for a stack of nine.
Your best bet when selling high-end seeds and crops is going to be either selling them individually, or in batches of four. Thavnairian onions, for example, are a good one to sell individually; although people will eventually need 10 of them, they tend to cost upward of 500,000 gil. So people will only want one at a time.
Seeds do better in batches of four. Typically, people who buy seeds are doing so to try to grow their own crossbreeds, so they’ll only need four at a time maximum for their deluxe gardening patches.