Wow, lots of islanders here! My first post btw. Hfishy, I know you! I'm a PetsPlus Alum! I know I've had some long discussions with you while I worked there. Haven't seen you at HAS for a while, you should come back! If you saw the auction table, you'd think it was a plant club. There is a lot of accomplished growers now. This goes for everyone who live in Hawaii or plans to visit. We meet the 1st friday of the month at Kuhio Elem.
Pets Plus is definitely the best place for plants, BUT to get in on the good stuff, you really need to introduce yourself to Stan (The Plant Man) Get to know him and tell him what you want. Give him your number and when it comes in, he'll call you. When he gets plants in, its pretty funny because all these guys come to the store and take their pick. In the end, there is little left for the average customer. I have gotten some amzingly rare plants from him in the past. He had narrow leaf Java Fern a couple years before it was introduced at AGA, He's also been selling Downoi for the last several months! What LFS in America sells Downoi?
And I know what you guys mean about Petland. The irony here is that they have an exclusive arrangement with Florida Aquatic Nurseries and they bring in only a dozen species... pretty lame.
As for importing plants, it is actually very easy. The restrictions are pretty much the same as they would be for any other state. (CA and many southern states actually have stricter laws) The import permit is for animals only. You don't need a permit for aquatic plants as far as I know, you just need it inspected upon its arrival. MAKE SURE all plants are bare rooted or cuttings. If there is any soil, dirt, sand, gravel attached to the roots, they will take it away and destroy it. this goes for grodan and rockwool too.