After a lengthy certification process, PlantVine, the online marketplace for tropical and exotic houseplants, has been approved to ship select products to California. The state of California has strict requirements for the importation of products that could impact its agricultural industry or natural ecosystems.
“For many years California has driven regulatory and technological development in many fields of the US economy. Getting into this market is challenging for any company and even more so for smaller companies like ours,” PlantVine general manager Felix Santiago said. “Nevertheless, making a successful entry into this market will be very beneficial for our company and our research indicates that we currently have an awaiting customer base.”
Gaining access to the California market is expected to increase PlantVine’s sales by up to 25% in 2023, according to Santiago.
In order to accommodate the anticipated demand, as well as the continued growth of the company overall, PlantVine has also expanded its operations to a second state-of-the-art growing facility. Dubbed “The Oasis,” the new five acre nursery includes a 1.5 acre shaded facility that features raised growing platforms, computerized irrigation systems and natural pest control. Along with the newly certified plants, the additional space will allow PlantVine to cultivate and grow an even more expansive inventory of indoor plants and trees.
PlantVine, which already offers the largest selection of plants online, will initially be offering a diverse variety of Sansevierias, Monsteras and Philodendrons to California customers, as well as a selection of palms, fruit trees and garden ornamentals that can’t be found in West Coast nurseries due to its unique climate. Many of these plants will be available with optional 2-day shipping.
“Our greenhouses in South Florida are in the perfect environment for all the plants we sell, guaranteeing the greenest, healthiest plant ships to customers.,” PlantVine founder Daniel Munevar said. “Being in the prime growing location gives us access to the largest selection of tropical plants in the United States.”
Introducing “The Oasis”
To be permitted to ship plants to California, a nursery needs to get certified for each individual species of plant. All of these plants need to be grown and maintained under strict guidelines. Soil needs to be isolated from the ground and plants need to be kept at least 18″ off the ground to prevent intrusion of harmful nematodes.
Additionally, crops need to be stay on a rigorous spray schedule to prevent diseases and pests. Even the handling of plants has to be controlled to ensure hygienic conditions to minimize the introduction of foreign contaminants. To keep this certification, the growing facilities are inspected periodically and samples are taken for testing.
A complete list of plants that have been certified for shipping to California may be found here.
The certification was not a surprise for PlantVine, which already implements some of the highest levels of care when growing its plants for retail sale. The new growing requirements for California plants will also benefit PlantVine customers across the country.
“We’ve taken the extra measures introduced to our procedures for California standards and have begun applying them to all of our other crops,” PlantVine co-founder Darryl Tackoor said. “The additional care and maintenance are having a positive impact on the quality and health of all our plants, not just the ones for California.