Selling Plants In Kansas

Do I need a license?

A Live Plant Dealer is any entity or person who:

  • grows live plants for sale or distribution; (greenhouse growers, shrub and tree nurseries, sod farms, etc.)
  • buys or obtains live plants for the purpose of reselling or reshipping within this state; (such as florists, garden centers, grocers, hardware stores and other retail and wholesale suppliers)
  • plants, transplants or moves live plants from place to place within the state with the intent to plant such live plants for others and receives compensation for the live plants, for the planting of such live plants or for both live plants and plantings; (such as landscapers, sod installers, and tree spade operators) or
  • gives live plants as a premium or for advertising purposes (such as seedling trees or bedding plants given away at promotional events)

When should the license be obtained?

Anyone who qualifies as a Live Plant Dealer is required to complete the Live Plant Dealer License application. The license should be obtained before advertising, selling, offering for sale, or delivering any live plants in Kansas. New licenses may be obtained any time and are typically processed within a few days of application.  The license year is February 1—January 31 and licenses must be renewed annually. License fees are $85 per location per year which includes a $5 fee for the Plant Pest Emergency Response Fund, or qualifying dealers can apply for the live plant dealer license exemption described below.

What are the exceptions and exemptions?

Live plants include any living plant, cultivated or wild, or any part thereof, that can be planted or propagated, except for the following: 1) field and forage crops; 2) seeds of any kind; 3) cut flowers and cut greenery not used for propagation; and 4) fruits and vegetables used for food and feed.

Any live plant dealer who does not import live plants from outside the state of Kansas, does not export live plants from the state of Kansas, AND has annual gross receipts for the sale or distribution of live plants that are less than $10,000 shall be exempt from the licensing requirements, but is still required to register with the department. Live Plant Dealers seeking to claim the license exemption should apply for the exemption when they complete the Live Plant Dealer License application. Application/renewal shall be submitted annually. Exempt Live Plant Dealers are subject to applicable quarantines and regulations for plants and plant pests.

Why is the license required?

Commercial and private distribution of live plants is a well-documented pathway for movement of plant pests. Licensing provides regulatory officials a means of monitoring plant and subsequent pest movement in the state. Regulatory officials conduct random inspections of live plant dealers to identify and control plant pests before they become unmanageable. They also provide inspection and certification services to facilitate exports of plants from Kansas.

Live Plant Dealer License Application

Licensing requirements are detailed under “Do I need a license?” Actual statutory language is in the Plant Pest act referenced below under Regulations. The license year is February 1—January 31 and licenses must be renewed annually. License fees are $85 per location per year which includes a $5 fee for the Plant Pest Emergency Response Fund, or qualifying dealers can apply for the live plant dealer license exemption as described above.  

Live Plant Dealer License Application

Regulations

Full statutory language for licensing, inspections, and fees is detailed in the Plant Pest and Agriculture Commodity Certification Act (K.S.A. 2-21) and the Kansas Administrative Regulations Article 15

Pest Freedom Standards

All live plants sold in Kansas must comply with the pest freedom standards established in the Kansas Administrative Regulations (K.A.R. 4-15-10). The standards describe different types of plant pests and regulatory action that may be taken if pests are present. The pest freedom standards apply to live plants that are grown, sold, distributed, planted, transported, moved, or given away by live plant dealers or their representatives.

The standards are listed on page 11 of the Plant Pest and Agriculture Commodity Certification Act linked above.

Verification Inspections 

Program staff conduct unannounced inspections of randomly selected live plant dealers to ensure compliance with licensing requirements and that live plants offered for sale meet the Kansas pest freedom standards. 

Inspection sites are statistically determined, with the goal to inspect a sufficient number of live plant dealers to reach a 95 percent confidence level. There are no fees for verification inspections.

Program staff may also visit live plant dealers as part of trace forward and trace back activities related to other pest detections or as part of other response efforts.  

Shipping Plants to Other States

All states in the U.S. have quarantines, pest freedom requirements, and other restrictions for nursery stock and other live plants. Plant Protection staff provide inspection and certification services to facilitate movement of plants from Kansas and ensure they meet the importing states’ requirements.

Plants shipped to other states without certification documents are subject to rejection or other regulatory action by the receiving state. This can mean destruction, treatment or return of plants at the expense of the shipper.

Many states accept shipments of live plants from Kansas when accompanied by a Live Plant Certificate of Inspection. Issuance of this certificate requires one or more inspections depending on the type of plants being shipped and frequency of shipments.

Some states require state phytosanitary certificates or compliance agreements for shipments of live plants.

State specific requirements are available on individual states’ regulatory agency websites and on the National Plant Board website.

Moving houseplants to other states

Some states require that new residents who plan to move houseplants with them have the plants inspected and certified as free from pests. If moving to another state and taking houseplants with you, contact plant protection staff to determine if certification is needed. 

 

Shipping plants to other countries

Shipments of live plants to other countries may require intensive inspections, lab tests, specialized treatments or growing methods, and/or import permits from the receiving country. Plant Protection staff can assist in determining specific requirements and provide inspection and certification services. Contact program staff for assistance well in advance of shipment if international shipping is planned.

Fees

Inspection and certification fees are detailed in Licensing, Inspections and Certifications.

List Of Current Dealers

Live Plant Dealer Newsletter

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Contact Information

For questions about Live Plant Dealer licensing, inspections, interstate and international shipping, and general plant pests, please contact the appropriate regional specialist.