Importing Plants to Florida

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If you are moving between homes, you may want to take your houseplants with you. But if you are moving to Florida, this poses problems. Florida is a gardening and horticultural state with cash crops and native plants that are vulnerable to harm from soil-borne pests or diseases. Because of this, Florida regulates very closely all plants brought into the state. Although you probably can legally import your houseplants to Florida, you do have to adhere to specific guidelines.

  • Contact the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry to determine the most up-to-date regulations concerning the import of plants. As of the summer of 2010, most house plants that are not grown in dirt and have not been moved outdoors may be brought to Florida once the owner of the plant obtains a certificate of inspection. Citrus plants require additional permits. You can download the necessary applications and permits from the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry website.

  • Have your plant inspected by a USDA plant health inspector. You can locate your nearest inspector using the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Website.

  • Present your inspection certificate at the Florida state border. If you are using a moving service, give the driver of your moving van a copy of the certificate.

  • Provide the the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry a copy of your address if you live in a state that does not provide an inspection service. The department of agriculture may choose to inspect your plants at a later date, at their discretion.

Tips & Warnings

  • Professionals such as nurserymen or plant brokers who wish to ship stock into Florida must be registered with the directory of nurserymen or stock dealers in the state where the plant originates. They must have each plant inspected in the state of origin and attach the inspection certificate to each box of plant material that is being shipped into the state. All shipments that are sent by road must stop at a USDA inspection station for further inspection. Each shipment should also contain a bill of lading that contains the shipper, receiver and contents of each package.

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