Nursery Identification FAQs

Can I sell native plants in Nevada?

Yes. Native plants, including cactus, yuccas and others that are harvested and sold in the nursery trade are subject to the regulations of different agencies. Native plants propagated by licensed nurseries do not have to have the special "native plant tag" so long as their origin can be clearly traced. Here are some tips to avoid trafficking in illegal plants:

  • Buy plants from a licensed nursery dealer. Check with the Nevada Department of Agriculture to see if the supplier is licensed to sell nursery stock.
  • If the plants were collected in the wild, make sure each one is tagged with a native plant tag issued by a government agency such as BLM or Nevada Division of Forestry. If the tag looks old, it may have been used before. Check the legality with the agency named on the tag, either BLM, NV Division of Forestry, or other.
  • Get a written bill of sale from the seller. If they are unwilling to give you one, be suspicious.
  • Keep all tags and invoices on file. Tags do not have to stay on the plant, but they should be in the possession of the final owner. Cactus owners may be asked at any time to provide this information. 

What are the American Standards for Nursery Stock?

The Nevada Department of Agriculture has adopted the American Standard for Nursery Stock. This manual sets forth size standards for the different categories of nursery stock. It is used as a guide for buying and selling plant stock. Size guidelines are based on the relationship of caliper/height/root spread and are specific to type of nursery stock. The American Standard for Nursery Stock is available from the American Nursery and Landscape Association, 1250 I St., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005.

What if I chose not to follow nursery law requirements?

As of 1998, civil penalties for nursery violations went into effect. Fines of up to $5,000.00 can be issued for violations of Nevada nursery laws.

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 Nevada Department of Agriculture if you want to export plants from the U.S. to other countries.

Do I need a license to sell plants in Nevada?

It depends! If you intend to offer plants for sale as a part of your business, in most cases you will need to obtain a license to sell nursery stock from the Department.
There are exceptions:

  1. If you produce and sell only vegetable plants intended for agricultural production (used by other farmers); 
  2. If you are a wholesale nursery licensed in another state and sell directly to nursery stock dealers licensed by the state of Nevada; 
  3. If you sell only indoor decorative plants/cut flowers; 
  4. If you raise plants only as a hobby, sell only occasionally, and do not advertise or otherwise solicit nursery stock for sale; or 
  5. You sell only bulbs.

If you still aren't sure if you need a license, Contact the Nevada Department of Agriculture office in your region for more information. You will also need to contact your local city or county government for business license information before you open your business.

What is "nursery stock"?

Nevada law defines nursery stock as any plant or plant part intended for planting, propagation or ornamentation. This includes trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetable plants, bulbs, sod, aquatic plants, etc. House plants that cannot be grown outside are the exceptions.

What kind of nursery license do I need?

Nursery license categories fall into three basic category:

Registered place of business (RPB)

Businesses physically located in Nevada such as retail nurseries, wholesale growers, home improvement centers, hardware stores, grocers, landscaper contractors, landscape architects, native plant collection and sales.


Any person who does not have a nursery in this state and who sells nursery stock to businesses other than those with a license to sell nursery stock. For example, a wholesale nursery licensed in another state who sells directly to businesses such as contractors, developers, that do not have a Nevada nursery stock dealer license, or directly to homeowners must obtain a license to sell nursery stock from the Department.


A person who solicits sales for a business possessing a nursery license in this state, outside of the county where the licensed business is located.

I still have questions about getting a license. Who do I call?

Click here for contact information.

Will the Department inspect my nursery or holding yard?

The Department has the authority to inspect any location where nursery stock is held or stored.

What do inspectors look for?

Inspectors will check to see that the plants are free from pests, are in good condition, and are labeled according to state requirements. If plants are infested with a pest, are in poor condition, or found to be in violation of a quarantine or other requirement, you may be ordered to remove the plants from sale until released by the Department. Inspectors may ask to see the shipping documents which accompanied the plants to verify their origin and compliance with state or federal quarantine requirements.

How do I get help with pest identification?

The state entomologist (insects, spiders, and other arthropods), state plant pathologist (plant disease specialist), and weed specialist are all located in the Sparks office of the Department of Agriculture. They are happy to assist Nevada's licensed nurseries with pest identification.

I'm a homeowner. Where can I go for help with garden, lawn or pest problems?

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers assistance to home gardeners with questions about pest identification, soil analysis, plant selection, and more. Ask a Master Gardner at:

What should I do when I receive plants at my nursery or jobsite?

Every person selling or installing nursery stock has a responsibility to provide their customers with healthy, vigorous plants. The first step occurs the moment the delivery truck arrives with the stock. Before unloading, check the driver’s paperwork. You will want to see that the invoice lists the proper items, but most importantly, you must make sure that there is an inspection certificate. This will be a certificate, stamp, or statement that agriculture officials in the originating state have inspected the plants and found them to be free of insects and disease. Nevada Revised Statute 554.246 states that no one may transport nursery stock into or through Nevada without this certificate. In addition, any stock coming out of quarantined areas must carry quarantine compliance certification which verifies the plants meet the specific requirements of an applicable quarantine. Always check with the Department if you have any questions regarding the shipment.

Next, check the plants as you are off-loading them. Look along the trunks and stems and under leaves for the presence of insects, diseases, or their damage. Check for weeds in pots. If you spot pests, put the stock in an isolated area and call the Nevada Department of Agriculture for assistance. Remember, you CAN reject a load! Nursery stock is the number one avenue for the introduction of pests. A little prevention will go a long way, when you compare it to the costs of eradication.