A gentleman named Bill recently took the time to visit our beloved New Leaf Journal , expecting tips on Animal Crossing (one of the earlier Animal Crossing games is titled “Animal Crossing: New Leaf”).  As Nick noted in response, while we are long-time fans of the Animal Crossing series, we are not an Animal Crossing site. 

New Leaf Journal Guestbook exchange about how a reader was hoping for Animal Crossing tips, but found that the site was ok even without them.
The guestbook comment and response.

Having sunk hundreds of hours into the newest Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing: New Horizons for Nintendo Switch, I decided to detail how I became a multimillionaire in Animal Crossing (without cheating).    My success in Animal Crossing has been my crowning achievement in 2020 thus far, and even inspired me to start making my own video games. (If someone should figure out how I can translate my financial success in Animal Crossing into real-world financial success, please let me know).

(Editor’s Note Update for January 9, 2023: Article received minor technical updates in the how-to section due to the fact that the original relied on a special WordPress block which we no longer use. Also removed links to our former Guestbook. The content otherwise remains the same as when it was originally published, and in light of all of the stories about questionable ways to make money in Animal Crossing, the editor recommends Victor’s method as one that is true to how the game is intended to be played.)

Gold rose farming guide for Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Below, I will teach you about farming gold roses for making money in Animal Crossing. While it is not difficult to produce hybrid flowers in Animal Crossing by planting certain flowers close together and watering them, not everyone knows that this mechanic can be used to generate in-game money, known as bells. While I assure you that all all of the strategies below are well-tested, I must caution that my advice is not hidden knowledge. Some of you may have used some of the strategies I will discuss already. Those of you who have not tried the following methods may find them useful.

Thanks to his success making money in Animal Crossing farming gold roses, Victor can walk around in a crown, debating when the best hour is for breakfast.
Follow this guide and you too will be able to walk around your town in regal regalia while listening in to debates about whether breakfast food is best consumed for dinner. Game-play photo taken by the author.

1. Obtain a Golden Watering Can

The first thing you will need in order to implement my Animal Crossing money-making strategy is a golden watering can. You receive the golden watering can recipe as a reward for creating a five-star rated island. The golden watering can crafting recipe calls for a regular watering can and a gold nugget.

2. Grow black roses

When you have the golden watering can, you will want to use it to cultivate a large number of black roses. The way to obtain black roses is by planting red roses in a grid and watering them with the golden watering can. In some cases, black roses will grow in spaces adjacent to the red roses. Hybrid flowers are more likely to spawn when you water regular flowers with the golden watering can.
You can clear space for spawning black roses by using the terraforming functionality. I concede that gardens full of black roses does not make for the most aesthetically pleasing island, but it is the fastest way to achieve the final step of my Animal Crossing money-making strategy.

3. Make room for farming gold roses

Once you have a fair number of black roses, begin removing the red roses from the garden and filling it with black roses. You will want to plant your black roses in grids with spaces between the black roses to allow for new black and gold roses to sprout (see picture for example). By doing this and watering black roses with your golden watering can, you will start to see gold roses sprout occasionally between the black roses. (Note: You can only obtain gold roses by using the golden watering can.)
While you will start seeing gold roses, you will also see new black roses sprout as well. This is not necessarily a bad thing – you can use the new black roses to augment a black rose farm. Relocate the gold roses that pop up to a separate garden patch solely for gold roses.

A black rose farm in Animal Crossing designed to produce gold roses, which can form the base of a strategy for making money in Animal Crossing.
Victor V. Gurbo (in game) presides over his kingdom.

4. Make bells with your new rose garden

Use your terraforming abilities to clear a patch of land to start your gold rose garden. Unlike with the black roses, I recommend planting the gold roses in straight lines to facilitate easy picking. Each gold rose you pick is worth 1,000 in-game bells. While this is not a huge amount, I find it a more efficient way of making money quickly than by relying on fruit trees. A gold rose garden takes up less space than fruit trees and they are easier to gather, especially if you plant them in a line. Eventually, you should have enough gold roses to replace your original black rose garden with gold roses.
I have enough gold roses now that I average more than 100,000 bells per flower cycle. These funds go straight into my Animal Crossing savings. Thanks to my gold rose system, I no longer need to bother with fruit trees or risk hemorrhaging funds in Animal Crossing’s infamous turnip “stalk market.” Furthermore, I find harvesting gold flowers less tedious than shaking fruit down from trees due to it being a much quicker process.

Final Thoughts

I am still adding gold roses to my garden by maintaining my black rose garden. At some point in the future, I will remove the black rose garden entirely and live off income from my gold roses. While cross-breeding flowers has been a staple of recent Animal Crossing entries, I discovered that it can be used as a medium-effort way to increase my in-game bank account. While it is admittedly a bit monotonous to set up, gold flower farming is lucrative once it gets going, and gold flowers are pretty to boot. Who doesn’t like staring at gold roses? I hope some other New Horizons players out there try using the hybrid flower system to make money.