The Department is responsible for the protection of Florida's vast plant industries and native plant life, as well as the public through the exclusion, detection, eradication and control of injurious plant pests and diseases. The Department's Division of Plant Industry is the regulatory agency responsible for the implementation of laws, rules, regulations, and various programs pertaining to plants and plant pests.
The Division of Plant Industry requires the registration of all nurseries (as well as nursery stock dealers, agents, and plant brokers) and conducts inspections of nursery stock throughout the year. Inspections of plants in nurseries substantially increases the probability of intercepting or detecting a serious pest before it becomes established or widely distributed.
Nursery stock inspection provides the basis for certification of plants for export or movement in the domestic and foreign marketplace. All foreign countries require federal phytosanitary certificates to accompany plants and plant products. Most domestic shipments are required to be accompanied by a valid certificate of inspection or a state phytosanitary certificate. Plant shipments not meeting certification requirements may be refused entry or require quarantine/treatment at destination. Each year, plant inspection personnel issue thousands of phytosanitary certificates for Florida produced agricultural commodities destined for more than 90 foreign countries, and inspect and certify plants and plant products for export to other states.
The Division of Plant Industry is responsible for providing protection to Florida's native plant species that are classified as endangered, threatened, or commercially exploited. The Division of Plant Industry has developed a procedure to allow the restricted harvesting of protected species from the wild to encourage the propagation of native species and to prevent the wanton destruction of Florida's native plant populations.
Frequently Asked Questions
- The occupational licensing regulators may require documentation
from the Division of Plant Industry before an occupational license
may be obtained. What is needed?
If one is producing or growing plant material for sale or distribution, registration as a nursery is required. However, if one is strictly buying from registered Nurseries for the purpose of resale or professional landscaping, then registration as a Nursery Stock Dealer is required.
- How does one obtain a certificate?
The first step in obtaining a certificate of registration is to contact the local inspector. The inspector will be responsible for collecting the registration fee, assisting with completing the application, as well as answer any questions one may have. Please refer to the Plant Inspection Office Locator for a Plant Inspection office local to your area.
- How much does the certificate cost?
The annual certificate of registration for nurseries and nursery stock dealers ranges between $25 to $460. For nurseries, fees are calculated based on inventory or acreage. For nursery stock dealers, fees are calculated based on number of outlets or locations. Please refer to the Brief Summary of the Nursery Inspection Law for detailed information on fee schedules.
- My local newspaper told me they couldn't accept my ad because
I didn't have a nursery registration certificate. What are they talking
The law requires all Florida nurserymen, stock dealers, agents, or plant brokers who advertise nursery stock for sale to provide the publisher of the advertisement with a copy of their certificate of registration. The registration number issued by the Department and printed on the certificate of registration must be included in the advertisement.
- Once a certificate of registration is obtained, what else
Because local regulations vary from county to county, it is a good idea to check with the local government entity for information regarding local requirements. For information on Florida's bond law, refer to the related link for the Bureau of License and Bond, in the Department's Division of Marketing and Development.
- Why are inspection certificates or tags required by agricultural
inspectors at the agricultural inspection stations? Please explain
why one is required to obtain inspection tags in order to move shipments
of nursery stock out-of-state.
Inspection certificates (tags) are required for: (a) each movement or shipment of nursery stock intended for resale within the state; (b) all out-of-state movements; (c) every separate package, bundle, box or container of nursery stock that is shipped by mail, express, common carrier, etc., whether in-state or out-of-state.
- How does one order inspection tags?
One is required to complete the Request for Authorization to Print Certificates (Tags) of Inspection (Form DACS-08006) and send the request to the Division of Plant Industry. This form can be obtained from and must be signed by your local plant inspector. Many inspection tags require compliance agreements that must accompany the request prior to approval. Please refer to the Plant Inspection Office Locator for a Plant Inspection office local to your area.
- How does one obtain the Grades & Standards Manual for Nursery
The Florida Grades and Standards Manual is available for download through the DPI Publications section of the Division of Plant Industry website. The manual is also available for sale for $30.00 per copy in-state and $35.00 per copy sent out-of-state. A check or money order should be payable and sent to the Division of Plant Industry, PO Box 147100, Gainesville FL 32614-7100.
- Is it permissible for one to pay for registration fees and
publications with a credit card?
Yes, you may pay annual renewal fees for certificates of registration or any fees associated with an existing plant inspection invoice online at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/payments.html.
- How does one obtain a copy of a lost certificate of registration,
and is there a charge?
At the present time there is no charge for a copy of your current certificate of registration.
Aquatic Plant Nursery Program
- Does one need a permit to collect aquatic plants to grow
in a nursery?
Anyone importing transporting, non-nursery cultivating, collecting or possessing aquatic plants for business purposes must be a registered nursery and submit DACS 08405, Application for Permit to Collect Non-Prohibited Aquatic Plants and send the application to the Division of Plant Industry. Please refer to the Plant Inspection Office Locator for a Plant Inspection office local to your area.
- Upon obtaining a permit to collect aquatic plants, does one
need any other permits in order to grow and sell them?
All plants are considered nursery stock and one must register as a nursery with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, before selling or distribution of the plants.
- What aquatic plants is one prohibited from retaining in a
See the list of Prohibited Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plants, Rule Chapter 5B-64.
- How can one obtain a permit to ship class II prohibited aquatic
plants out of State?
Although there are three class II prohibited aquatic plants, currently only water lettuce can be permitted for the purpose of out of State sale because Federal Law prohibits the interstate movement for Hygro and Ambulia. One must submit DACS-08235, Application/Permit to Possess and Cultivate Class II Prohibited Aquatic Plants to the Division of Plant Industry.
Endangered and Commercially Exploited Plants
- How does one determine specifically which native plants are
There are three categories of protected plants: endangered, threatened, and commercially exploited. These plants are all listed in rule Chapter 5B-40.
- What permits are required to collect protected native plants?
If any person wishes to collect one or more plants or plant parts of endangered plants from public or private land, or three or more plants or plant parts of commercially exploited plants from public or private land, and the collector is not the owner of the property, the collector must have written permission of the landowner and submit DACS 08051 - Request for Permit to Harvest Endangered or Commercially Exploited Plant(s) or Plant Parts to the Division of Plant Industry.
If one is collecting plants listed as threatened from public or private land, and the collector is not the owner of the property, only written permission from the landowner is required.
- What steps are involved in obtaining a permit to collect
native plants after the application is submitted to the Division
of Plant Industry?
After the application is received, it is reviewed by Plant Inspection personnel and the Division of Plant Industry’s Botanist. The permit is either approved or disapproved based on how many plants are to be collected and whether or not the population will be seriously impacted by the collection process. A site inspection may be required. The application is then returned to Gainesville, reviewed and approved or disapproved by a botanist, and then a permit is issued to the applicant, if approved.
- Is one required to obtain permits other than a permit to
collect native plants if the propagation and selling of the native
plants collected is desired?
Yes, all plants are considered nursery stock and one must register as a nursery with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, before selling or distributing plants.
Please follow the instructions provided below when printing and completing the forms listed.
- Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print forms. Skip this step if Adobe Reader is already installed on your pc.
- Print forms on white 8 1/2" x 11" paper.
- Type or print the entire form in blue or black ink.
- If fees are required, make check(s) payable to: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES.
- Mail payment(s) to: FDACS-Plant Industry, Post Office Box 147100, Gainesville, Florida 32614-7100.
- Payments on line at http://www.freshfromflorida.com/payments.html.
- FDACS-08004 - Application for Certificate of Registration
- FDACS-08051 - Request for Permit to Harvest
Endangered or Commercially Exploited Plant(s) or Plant
- FDACS-08083 - Application for Special Permit to Import Sugarcane
- FDACS-08193 - 2012 Boll Weevil Eradication
- FDACS-08235 - Application/Permit to Possess and Cultivate Class II Prohibited Aquatic Plants
- FDACS-08271 - Endangered and Threatened Native Flora Conservation Grants Program Application
- FDACS-08400 - Specimen Submission Form
- FDACS-08450 - Application for Permit to Collect Non-Prohibited Aquatic Plant
- Division of Plant Industry
- Division of Marketing, Bureau of License and Bond
- Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
- Florida Native Plant Society
- Department of Environmental Protection
- Aquatic Plants
If you have any questions, please contact:
1911 SW 34 Street
Gainesville, Florida 32608
Phone: (352) 395-4709
Fax: (352) 395-4619