You took care of your orchid for a long time. But now it is trip time. You wondering whether you can take your orchid on a plane. Enjoying your new destination without the need to leave your orchid is bless!
In this article, we gonna cover how to take your orchid on a plane. And what are the important steps you should take before getting into the airport.
You can take an orchid on the plane easily if you traveling domestically. As long as you followed the simple airline rules. But there are extra measures you should consider if you traveling internationally.
Those measures differ between countries. For example, moving orchids from or into Australia is more complex.
let’s go through those conditions in the rest of this article, in order to get your orchids to its new destination. But what is even more important is it arrives in a good state.
Taking An Orchid On A Domestic Flight
Flying with your orchid domestically is way easy than flying internationally.
According to Transport security authority (TSA). Orchids are welcomed in airplane flight as long as it complies with the airline’s conditions.
Orchids as other objects should fit on carry-on luggage size requirements. A common carry-on bag should have the dimensions of 22 × 14 × 9 inches.
You can either put your carry-on bag under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment.
It is ideal to put the bag that contains your orchids under the seat in front of you. Because the plane may go through aerobic pitfalls.
Such a thing may cause the overhead compartment bags to get missy and disturb your orchid. Orchids that don’t fit in the carry-on bags can be checked in.
Generally, flying with your orchid domestically is straight forward as you can see.
Although some states in the US like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have restricted rules for plant transportation. Either from the state or to the state.
Because such states have plants and pests that can cause serious environmental damage if they get into other states.
If you are going to or coming from those states be prepared. And do what you should do as if you taking your orchid in international flight.
keep reading to know what to do in case of international flights.
Taking An Orchid On An International Flight
Countries impose rules in foreign plant entry because they want to protect their land from pests and invasive plants.
As long as you follow their rules, you are good to go with your orchid. The united states department of agriculture (USDA) clearly stated that the import of orchid into US lands for personal use does not require an import permit.
But still, if you want to bring an orchid to the USA you need to follow the general international rules.
While the US does not ask for import permit but some other countries do. So better to contact the specific country’s authorities to know their requirement.
That been said, let’s point out the common requirements for your orchid to be air traveled internationally:
1. Orchis Should Be Bare-Root in order to inter Other countries
make sure to remove any soil ( or other growing media) from your orchid roots before packing it.
The good thing is that most orchids are air plants. which means they absorb nutrients and moisture from the air. Therefore they normally will make it through the trip without the growing medium.
2. Check If Your Orchid Needs CITES Certificate
CITES ( Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement established in 1975.
The agreement aims to protect animals and plants species from exploitation. It restricts the movement of specific plants and animals from their original habitat to other countries.
Most countries signed for the CITES treaty. Therefore those countries are bound by law to follow the CITES conditions. And guess what! most orchid species are listed by CITES as endangered species.
Actually orchids species represents 70% of the CITES restricted plants. Therefore contact your local agriculture authorities to check if your orchid needs CITES Permit.
The orchids you bought from nurseries are artificially propagated and cultivated. So there are not considered illegal to move or trade them. But you need to prove that by having a CITES certificate.
3. In the US You Are Allowed To Bring 12 orchids without an import permit
The United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA) considers 12 orchids as personal plants. More than that you need to bring import permits.
Although other countries may require import permits to let your orchid enter their land. Make sure to check their conditions before you proceed.
4. Orchid Should Be Pests-Free
As I mentioned before. One of the main reasons for you going through these complexities. While you just trying to take your lovely orchid with you on the plane is that countries want to protect their lands from pests infection.
So make sure that your orchid free of pests before packing it for the flight. officers may check your orchid to make sure it is pests-free.
5. Orchid Should Look Healthy
No country wants to allow a foreign plant to enter its lands with diseases. So make sure your orchid looks healthy.
6. You Need To Have Phytosanitary Certificate
A phytosanitary certificate is an official declaration stating that your orchid plant is free of pests and diseases.
It issued by the plant origin country. Contact your country’s agriculture department to get a Phytosanitary certificate for your orchid.
How To Pack Orchid For Airplane Travel
packing your orchid for air flight is not that complicated. If you flying domestically. You have the choice either to pack your orchid with its pot and growing medium.
or packing it bare-rooted to save more space. If you choose to go with the first option. make sure that you put tissue papers in the medium surface tightly to keep the growing medium from spreading all over your luggage.
In case you flying to another country it is time to say goodbye to the growing medium, and the pot.
It is mandatory to pack your orchid bare-rooted in such a case.
wrap orchid roots with newspapers. Then secure the newspaper with sticky tape.
Also for orchids that have a relatively tall stem, support the stem with a stick to keep the plant fixed and supported during the flight.
Then wrap the upper orchid part ( stem, leaves and flowers) carefully with another newspaper. And fix it by using sticky tape.
as long as you put your orchid in your carry-on bag under the seat in front of you. They are safe.
But in case you plan to put them on the overhead compartment or in checked-in luggage.
You need to put them in a solid container. Any box or foam fruit box is perfect. Put the orchid after you staked, and wrapped them with newspaper horizontally in the box.
Then support them inside the box with foam blocks to handle the shaking and pressure from other luggage during the flight.
Last Thoughts On Taking Your Orchid On A Plane
I think now you are good to take your orchid on a plane. And still enjoying the trip. But remember the final decision whether your orchid will get into another country is up to the customs officer.
But if you followed what we recommended. You are already ahead of most travelers with orchids.
Actually some countries are not so restricted. And you may pass the custom and security point without following all the tips.
But it is always better to be prepared than sorry. Also, be cool when the officer asks you to put your orchids through the x-ray machine. It is a mandatory process to check all your items. Finally, For more detailed information and a holistic perspective on caring for potted plants and mastering Container Gardening, Get my book Container Gardening: A Step-by-Step Practical Guide.