Plants to France from UK

Can we bring plants for personal use into France from the UK now post Brexit?

Please advise.

Thank you.
Karen f.

A sentence containing the words “plants” & “personal use”, could throw up some interesting questions


During this year everything remains the same, so you can bring plants in as long for personal use and they are not prohibited (potatoes, citrus fruit, chrysanthemums) or endangered species.

After December it will depend on what agreement has been reached as I don’t believe this has been decided yet. If the UK becomes a third country for plants then it will only be possible if the plant has a phytosanitary certificate.

The more important question to me is whether you should bring plants in. Personally I would only bring things like root cuttings (with no, or sterile, growing medium). The plants, the soil, the pots can all bring devastating diseases. Would you be certain that the plant didn’t have a virus that local plants don’t have, or that were no insects eggs on the plant or a worm in the soil? Both the current box moth blight that is devastating large areas of france came and the flat worms that are spreading across France and killing off native worms came in in potted plants.

Do you really want to become the Typhoid Mary of the plant world? Or the plant equivalent of a coronavirus super-spreader?

I am not a Brexiter or a Brexiteer, but since GB is an island, it seems more likely that invasive species would travel in the opposite direction.
The Romans brought rabbits to the UK.
Grey squirrels came from America, please don’t import any of those.
Japanese knotweed we have already.

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Not at all, invasive species travel in all directions. And given that the UK imports a lot of plant material and then trades onwards to other countries (and vice versa) trying to minimise spread in any direction is worthwhile. So oak processionary moth got to england from Italy, and then moved across the channel.

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Italy is not across the channel?

Are these in plants bought in plant nurseries?
Karen f

Plants can go from Italy to the UK, and then travel across the channel to France.

Lots of times yes, but also plants dug up from gardens can be infected with things as can the soil in the pot. Stick to cuttings,

It seems a bit extreme, the plants from Italy to Uk to France, it could just as easily go straight to France and cut out the middleman. The flat worm came from Asia in potted plants as eggs I believe.
I think you are fine bringing your garden plants over , most of my plants were taken from my parents garden by splitting plants or cuttings, seeds.
Plants are so expensive here I have always found better to pass on plants/ seeds to friends and more environmentally friendly.

Of course plants could go straight from one place to another…but that’s not how trade works!

And yes, swapping with local friends and family is best. I have brought a few things over - the rose from my late FIL’s garden and a couple of bits from my late mother’s garden. I bought all of them over as cuttings, or washed bare root plants wrapped in damp newspaper. All survived.

The OP did not specify which plants she wanted to bring - things from garden or commercially bought things. I just personally think that gardeners should be responsible about what they do. We profess to enjoy nature and the environment so it is selfish to risk it justto save a few bob.


Could be MaryJo, !!

It seems that plants, as with many things, bring them to Europe and vice a versa is going to be very problematic.
No longer is it going to be possible to load a trailer and just cross the channel.

In my view plants should not be brought across borders except by professionals with plant health certificates, and inspections - and these should be made more strict. Far too many plant diseases have been spread that way. The box moth that is devastating france originates from imported nursery plants.

Alot of the tree diseases in the UK are due to imported stock. Gar better to buy local grown plants.

I can remember an episode of the TV series The Preston Front where one of the characters gave his daughter a bag of local grass seed to take with her when she emigrated to the USA with his ex-wife. The idea was that she could plant a lawn that would remind her of ‘home’. The story came to a climax when the bag was discovered by US customs. The ex-wife explained that it was OK it was only grass seed not drugs. It turns out that carrying certain plants and seeds into the US is as serious as carrying drugs. International borders are barriers to many things.
At the end of the day I prefer to buy plants locally as I know they will thrive in the conditions here. On trips around the Limousin I often see plants that I would love to have but even that short drive takes me in to an area with completely different soil conditions.

Well, why do you want to do that? If they are indoors, it might be ok, but outdoors, you could import bugs, that could endanger local plants !