According to state and federal governments, you can buy and sell a lot of things, but unfortunately not everything under the sun.
It is up to you, (whether you’re a buyer or seller), to be aware of regulations! There are too many for us to list them all just yet, and they do change. When in doubt, a quick internet search will often help. For more information, check out some of the resources below.
You must display any shipping restrictions related to your product. When adding a product, there is a section that lets you describe any shipping restrictions, as well as pick states that it will not ship to. (This will block customers from shipping to those states, and will also display your restrictions on the product page. If you’re not sure about your particular plant or product, a quick internet search can sometimes go a long way..
Be sure to check the “Shipping Restrictions” section for a product before you complete your order – it will display at the bottom of a product page as a tab, if the seller has added any restrictions. You should also familiarize yourself with the regulations and restrictions in your state. Find out more at the National Plant Board. (While the Seller SHOULD include any restrictions in their listing, You and the Seller share responsibility for the legality of any shipments.)
Why are there laws and regulations? Sometimes plants and soil can transmit or carry pests, pathogens, or invasive species. This might not be a huge problem when you’re swapping tomatoes with your neighbor, but it can be a serious legal offense to send or transport certain things to certain states.
There are also intellectual property laws that restrict the sale of some plants. A patented plant can’t be sold by anyone other than the patent holder or someone they’ve given the “OK” to. A trademarked plant CAN be propagated and sold, but not under its trademarked name.
As near as we can tell, there is no searchable archive of state shipping regulations available online. The National Plant Board had one up until March 2022, but it appears that they’ve taken it down. We understand how important this type of tool may be for our sellers, so we’re planning to implement one ourselves. For the time being, the National Plant Board can still be a helpful resource, as they have State Plant Restriction documents collected in one place.
(We cannot guarantee that the National Plant Board database is up-to-date)
Some Restrictions By State
“AK/HI/APO/FPO/PR: Vegetable Plants, Herb Plants, Perennial Plants, Bulbs, Annual Flower Plants, Potatoes, Fruit Plants, Onions, Shallots, Garlic, Vegetable Roots, Tea Plants, Citrus
AZ: Chrysogunum, Cilantro Plants, Vigna, Clematis Plants, Hops, Schizophragma, Vinca Plants, Lonicera, Wisteria, Grape Vines, Kiwi, Citrus
CA: Grape, Lemongrass, Ornamental Grass, Pennisetum, Rose, Prunus, Apple, Cherry, Peach, Pear, Plum, Blueberry, Geranium Plants, Chives, Zinnia Plants, Citrus
CO: Lemongrass, Ornamental Grass, Pennisetum, Nectaplum, Prunus, Peach, Peacotum, Pear, Plum, Pluot, Potato
DE, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NC, OH, WV : Currant Plants, Jostaberry Plants, Gooseberry Plants
FL: Potatoes, Citrus
ID: Chive Plants, Garlic, Shallots, Grapes, Hops, Prunus, Apple, Cherry, Peach, Pear, Plum, Potatoes, Onion Plants, Leek Plants
MI: Currant Plants, Jostaberry Plants, Gooseberry Plants, Blueberries
NV: Mint Plants
OR: Blueberry, Corylus, Butterfly Bush, Grape, Hops, Prunus, Cherry, Peach, Plum, Pluot, Peacotum
SC, TN, WI, TX: Tea Plants, Texas
WA: Blueberry Plants, Marigold Plants, Grapes, Prunus, Leek Plants
WY: Mint Plants”
“While the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has requirements for the importation and interstate movement of certain commercial plant shipments, the states have primary authority to enact and enforce regulations in cases of interstate movement. Please contact the State Plant Regulatory Official (SPRO) in the State to where you are traveling to inquire about any potential restrictions on the specific plant species you wish to bring to that State. You can find contact information for each State’s SPRO through their website.
However, if you plan to move parasitic plants, host plants regulated under domestic quarantines, and federal noxious weeds, this would require a PPQ 526 permit for interstate movement. For more information about permits, please contact USDA Permit Services: Telephone (301) 851-2046 or (877) 770-5990 (Toll-Free Automated System); Fax (301) 734-5786; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .For information about state quarantines and contact information for state officials, visit the APHIS Pest Tracker.“
– USDA at ask.usda.gov: