Skip to main content

Travelers Crossing Canadian Land Border into the United States with Plants, Seeds, Cut Flowers, and Greenery

The United States restricts or prohibits the entry of many agricultural products, which can carry foreign pests and diseases that harm American agriculture and our environment.  A major pest or disease outbreak could mean higher grocery bills, shortages of certain foods, and devastating losses for our farmers and ranchers.  Help us keep American agriculture healthy by following the guidance on this page about products you may want to bring into the United States.

Travelers entering the United States must declare all agricultural products on their U.S. Customs forms. U.S. agricultural inspectors will examine your items to be sure they meet entry requirements and do not harbor harmful foreign pests or diseases.  U.S. inspectors have the authority to make a final determination about whether your products can enter the country.  We recommend that you keep receipts and original packaging of agricultural products as proof of their country of origin. 

As long as you declare all the agricultural products you are bringing with you, you will not face any penalties—even if an inspector determines that they cannot enter the country.

Scroll down for more information on how to declare items at Customs.

The guidance below is intended only for travelers crossing at Canadian land borders; it does not pertain to commercial shippers. Air travelers from Canada should refer instead to the guidance we provide for international travelers in the “Another Country” section.

Plants, Seeds, Cut Flowers, and Greenery you CAN and CANNOT bring into the U.S. from Canada when crossing at a land border

You may bring live plants produced in Canada to the United States if they meet the following conditions:

  • You have an import permit for plants that are designated as restricted or prohibited. Click on title linked below to display the list.  These include plants that potentially pose a threat to the health of U.S. agriculture.

  • PROHIBITED plants are highlighted in red

    Common Names

    Scientific Names

    Acai Euterpe spp.
    Achiote Bixa spp.
    Almond Prunus spp.
    American cotton palm Washingtonia spp.
    Anikary palm Syagrus spp.
    Apple Malus spp.
    Apricot Prunus spp.
    Ash Fraxinus spp.
    Assai palm Euterpe spp.
    Avellana Gevuina spp.
    Barberry Berberis spp.
    Bataua  palm Oenocarpus spp.
    Brazil bramble palm Desmoncus spp.
    Bristle grass Setaria spp.
    Cabbage palm Euterpe spp.
    Cacao Herrania spp., Theobroma spp.
    California fan palm Washingtonia spp.
    Cherry Prunus spp.
    Chilean wildnut Gevuina spp.
    Cricketvine Arrabidaea, Fredericia spp.
    Crinkle bush Lomatia spp.
    Fan palm Mauritia spp.
    Fig Ficus spp.
    Figi sago palm Metroxylon spp.
    Flowering quince Chaenomeles spp.
    Foxtail grass Setaria spp.
    Foxtail millet Setaria spp.
    Giant redwood Sequoiandendron spp.
    Giriba palm Syagrus spp
    Golden larch Pseudolarix spp.
    Grape Vitis spp.
    Grapevine Vitis spp.
    Green botan Sabal spp.
    Hazelnut Gevuina spp.
    Hesper palm Brahea spp.
    Hops Humulus spp.
    Horse chestnut Aesculus spp.
    Ite palm Mauritia spp.
    Japanese quince Chaenomeles spp.
    Jelly palm Butia spp.
    Jicara Euterpe spp.
    Kiwi Actinidia spp.
    Larch Larix spp.
    Licuri palm Syagrus spp.
    Lipstick tree Bixa spp.
    Longleaf lomatia Lomatia spp.
    Mango Mangifera spp.
    Mexican fan palm Washingtonia spp.
    Millet Setaria spp.
    Monkey cacao Herrania spp
    Nectarine Prunus spp.
    Okra Abelmoschus spp.
    Ouricury palm Syagrus spp.
    Palm Acrocomia spp., Astrocaryum spp., Attalea spp., Bactris spp., Brahea spp., Butia spp., Calamus spp., Desmoncus spp., Euterpe spp., Manicaria spp., Metroxylon spp., Oenocarpus spp., Oncosperma spp., Roystonea spp., Sabal spp., Syagrus spp., Washingtonia spp.
    Palma real Manicaria spp.
    Parsley fern Lomatia spp.
    Peach Prunus spp.
    Peanut Arachis spp.
    Pear Pyrus spp.
    Pindo palm Butia spp.
    Pine Pinus spp.
    Pinot Euterpe spp.
    Plum Prunus spp.
    Puerto Rico hat palm Sabal spp.
    Puerto Rico palmetto Sabal spp.
    Queen palm Syagrus spp.
    Quince Chaenomeles spp., Cydonia
    Raspberry Rubus spp.
    Rattan cane Butia spp.
    River lomatia Lomatia spp.
    Royal palm Roystonea spp.
    Sago palm Metroxylon spp.
    Sequoia Sequoiandendron spp.
    Sikkim larch Larix spp.
    Spiny palm Bactris spp.
    Strawberry Fraxinus spp.
    Thorny palm Oncosperma spp.
    Tree of life Mauritia spp.
    Trinidad palm Sabal spp.
    Troolie palm Manicaria spp.
    Wildnut Gevuina spp.
    Winter’s bark Drimys spp.
  • Your plants are bare rooted or in an approved growing medium listed below.  Click on title linked below to display the list. 

  • baked expanded clay pellets, coal cinder, coir, cork, glass wool, organic and inorganic fibers, peat, perlite, phenol formaldehyde, plastic particles, polyethylene, polymer stabilized starch, polystyrene, polyurethane, rock wool, Stockosorb® superabsorbent polymer, vermiculite, volcanic rock, zeolite, or any combination of these media.  Plants may also enter in commercial potting soil or soil taken from any Canadian Province except from an area of Canada regulated for potato cyst nematodes.  For the most up-to-date information and further guidance, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists inspecting your plants at the U.S. port of entry determine that the plants are free of pests and diseases and meet all entry requirements. 
  • Plants that are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) may also require special documentation; please see requirements here.

Please contact USDA’s Plant Import Information Line at 877-770-5990 (toll free) or by email at plantproducts.permits@usda.gov for further information about documentation you may need to bring your plants into the United States, and about importing plants that are not produced in Canada.

Because all imports of seeds for planting that are produced in Canada require some form of documentation, we strongly suggest that you buy your seeds in the United States.  If you want to transport seeds from Canada into the United States, you will need to present either a phytosanitary certificate from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or a Small Lots of Seeds (SLOS) permit issued by USDA.  Information on acquiring an SLOS permit is available here.  

Some seeds require other kinds of permits/documentation.

Seeds Requiring Special Import Permits/Documentation or Prohibited.
PROHIBITED seeds are highlighted in red.

Broomcorn (Sorghum spp.)
Canegrass (Chionachne spp.)
Caracan millet (Eleusine spp.)
Coix (Coix spp.)
Corn (Euchlaena spp., Zea spp.)
Cotton or cottontree (Gossypium spp.)
Finger millet (Eleusine spp.)
Grass (Pennisetum spp., Polytoca spp.)
Grass (Cenchrus spp.)
Job’s tears (Coix spp.)

Kenaf (Hibiscus spp.)
Millet (Echinochloa spp., Eleusine spp. Panicum spp.)
Miscanthus (Miscanthus spp)
Okra (Abelmoschus spp.)
Potato (True seed of Solanum tuberosum)
Rivergrass (Chionachne spp.)
Rose mallow (Hibiscus spp.)
Sorghum (Sorghum spp.)
Zebra grass (Miscanthus spp.)


Please contact USDA’s Plant Import Information Line at 877-770-5990 (toll free) or by email at plantproducts.permits@usda.gov for further information about documentation you may need to bring your seeds into the United States, and about importing seeds that are not produced in Canada.

USDA defines cut flowers as the fresh, cut portion of a plant when imported for decoration or ornamentation.  Common additions to cut flower bouquets such as most ferns, baby’s breath, and many ornamental grasses produced in Canada are generally admissible.

Generally, you can bring cut flowers from Canada into the United States if they meet the following conditions:

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the U.S. port of entry determine that the flowers are free of pests and diseases and meet all entry requirements.  Some flowers that are not produced in Canada may have to meet special requirements.
  • The flowers are not mixed with prohibited plant materials, such as (but not limited to) certain tree branches. A list of prohibited plant materials commonly mixed with cut flowers is listed in the table below.  Such materials require permits that are granted only under extremely limited circumstances.

PROHIBITED Plant Materials Produced in Canada and Often Imported with Cut Flowers

Alder (Alnus spp.)
Almond (Prunus spp.)
Apple (Malus spp.)
Apple (Malus spp.)
Apricot (Prunus spp.)
Apricot (Prunus spp.)
Cherry (Prunus spp.) 
Cherry laurel (Prunus spp.)
Chestnut (Castanea spp.) 
Cotton (Gossypium spp.)
Crabapple (Malus spp.)
English laurel (Prunus spp.)
English laurel (Prunus spp.)
Flowering quince (Chaenomeles spp.)
Grape (Vitis spp.)
Nectarine (Prunus spp.)
Peach (Prunus spp.)
Pear (Pyrus spp.)
Prune (Prunus spp.)
Quince (Cydonia spp.)
Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.)
Witchweed (Striga spp.)

To determine the entry status of other plant materials, and for further information and entry/permit requirements, please contact USDA’s Plant Import Information Line at 877-770-5990 (toll free) or by email atplantproducts.permits@usda.gov.

Due to the risk of transporting forest pests from Canada to the United States, travelers cannot bring cut conifer trees, such as Christmas trees (white pine, Scotch pine, Scots pine, fir, spruce, hemlock, and Douglas fir) across the border.  Requirements for boughs, wreaths, or garlands can vary greatly, depending on the Canadian province of origin.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the U.S. port of entry will determine whether the greenery or plant material is free of pests and diseases and meets all entry requirements.


Please contact USDA’s Plant Import Information Line at 877-770-5990 (toll free) or by email at plantproducts.permits@usda.gov for further information and for entry/permit requirements. 

Please contact USDA’s Plant Import Information Line at 877-770-5990 (toll free) or by email at plantproducts.permits@usda.gov for further information and for entry/permit requirements. 

Bringing back other products? 

How Do I Declare Agricultural Items?

USDA-trained dogs help sniff out plants and animal products in luggage and carry-on items on international flights.

Make sure you include any agricultural items on your Customs Declaration Form (select form below).  This form provides Customs and Border Protection officials with basic information about who you are and what you are bringing into the United States, such as agricultural and wildlife products and whether you have visited a farm prior to traveling to the United States.

When you declare, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official can check your items.  This is the only way to be certain that your items are free of plant pests and animal diseases.

 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Forms

— Customs Declaration Form: English | Spanish | Other Languages

Complementary Content
${loading}