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Taking Canadian Plants Across the Border – Cross Border Gardening

Posted on February 22, 2019 in Garden, News & Community

Written by West Coast Gardens

Our plants may need a green thumb, but not a green card.

Here at West Coast Gardens we might as well have dual citizenship, we sell so many plants that make their way home across the US border! No, you don’t have to hide them under your seats or smuggle them in your kid’s luggage. It’s 100% officially ok to bring our plants to live in the USA, even without a green card.

Transporting plants across the border can make us break out in a cold sweat, which is why I’m giving you the low-down and the dos and don’ts of buying Canadian plants for US citizens. Whether you’re close by in Bellingham or Point Roberts, or further south in Burlington or Arlington, we’ve worked hard to make it easy and safe for you!

Let’s all be friends

Every month our friends at the CFI (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) visit us and inspect our greenhouses to make sure that everything we’re growing is legal and safe to transport across the border according to the rules and regulations of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). We’ve always passed with flying colours, making us free to sell to all our gardening neighbours in the United States.

No pat-downs or metal detectors needed

How does this work? Easy. You can find a list of all the plants that we grow ourselves, and are therefore eligible for border crossing to the US, right here on our website. You’ll probably be surprised, it’s quite a long list! Everything from herbs to bedding plants, vegetables and tropicals. Even our infamous hanging baskets can make the trip!

Once you purchase your plants at West Coast Gardens, let our staff know they will be travelling south across the border. We will write up a Phytosanitary certificate for you, which tells the border guards where your plants came from and that we are a certified nursery. Five minutes later you’ll be on your way back home! (Which probably won’t take long since we’re only 3km from the US border.)

Visiting the Great White North

Despite rumours amid the more southern US states about our climate, you don’t need to hitch up your dog sled team to visit us here in Canada. Enjoy the drive through our scenic roads and make friends with a moose or two on your way. And don’t forget, with the exchange rate so strong on the US side, you’re basically getting a 30% sale everyday! That’s something to celebrate, eh?

Take a look at all our plants eligible to transport across the US border on this page here.