Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
How to Register a Plant Nursery in Florida
The department is responsible for the protection of Florida's vast plant industries, native plant life, and 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. Inspecting 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, and answering any questions you 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 $35 and $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 about?
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 is needed?
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 Agricultural Dealer's Licenses, 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 (FDACS-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 and Standards Manual for Nursery Plants?
The Florida Grades and Standards Manual is available for download through the Publications section of the website. The manual is also available for sale for $30 per copy in-state and $35 per copy sent out-of-state. A check or money order should be payable and sent to the FDACS, Division of Plant Industry, P.O. Box 147100, Gainesville FL 32614-7100.
Is it permissible 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.
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.