Georgia Department of Agriculture

Nursery FAQ


  • Who needs a Live Plant License?
    Any person engaged in business as a Live Plant Dealer (such as dealers, re-wholesalers, agents, brokers, landscapers, florist, or vegetable plant dealers) or Live Plant Grower (such as field grown nurseries, container nurseries, greenhouse nurseries, collected native plants, or sod and/or sprig growers) must obtain a Live Plant License. For Live Plant Growers, a Live Plant License is required if any one of the following criteria are met:

      1. Your production space is greater than 1,000 square feet
      2. You are shipping plants out of state or internationally
      3. You are bringing plants in from out of state for re-sale
      4. You are collecting wild plants to sale

    If none of the criteria are met, the Live Plant Grower may be exempt from the Live Plant License if they desire.

  • I am a Landscaper, do I need a Live Plant License?
    If you are charging (or selling) the plants to the customer, then you are required to obtain a Live Plant License.

  • I am a Florist, do I need a Live Plant License?
    If you are selling Live Plants (plants with a root system), then you are required to obtain a Live Plants License. If you are only selling cut flowers, you are not required to obtain a Live Plant License.

  • Will my nursery be inspected?
    Any individual who obtains a Live Plant License is subject to random inspections by Georgia Department of Agriculture Inspectors. Inspections are designed to identify plants that are grown or maintained in poor health or have insect, disease, or weed issues. A significant component of each inspection is dedicated to exotic pest detection. Additionally, there are invasive pests established in other states, so Inspectors look for "unusual" disease symptoms or insects that may indicate an invasive pest infestation. Samples may be submitted to UGA or to USDA for identification.

  • Can I ship plants out of state?
    Before shipping plants out of state, contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture for assistance to make sure you are in compliance with desired state's regulations. Due to federal quarantines and certain state regulations, a state phytosanitary certificate may be required to ship plants to specific states. Compliance Agreement Programs are available for companies who are shipping commercial orders interstate on a regular basis.

    To be eligible for participation in our compliance agreement programs, the company must meet the following requirements:

      1. Company must have a valid Georgia Live Plant License
      2. Company must provide a detailed pest management plan
      3. Company must apply and pay the appropriate fee for a state phytosanitary certificate for the first three shipments out of state
      4. An inspection of the nursery and specific plants to be shipped must be performed prior to approval
  • I want to ship plants overseas, what is required?
    International shipments of any plant may require an export certificate such as a federal phytosanitary certificate and may need an import permit issued by the importing country. Contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture if you want to export plants from the U.S. to other countries.

  • I am a homeowner, where can I get help with a pest problem in my landscape?
    If you are having issues with a pest, contact your local county extension agent. The county extension agent will be able to identify the problem through samples and provide treatment recommendations. For a list of agents by county, visit


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