JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An arrangement of flowers may end up costing you more than you were expecting for Mother’s Day this year. Weather complications in the growing season, workforce issues, and the long-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Growers had nowhere to ship flowers when the public health crisis first hit, causing some to go out of business and others to plant less, not knowing what was ahead.
“Covid affected the planting – in Columbia and South America where the vast majority of things are being grown,” Vice President of Sales for Kuhn Flowers Anthony Swick said.
Floral designers at Kuhn Flowers in Jacksonville said the week before and leading up to Mother’s Day is a predictably busy season for the shop, but this year, they are receiving more orders than last year.
The bump in business in addition to the supply challenges is straining the market.
Kuhn Flowers, Florida’s largest retailer of florals, was able to avoid raising prices or putting limits on orders but noted the workforce issues are what has affected their shop the most.
“The issue that everybody is seeing is in transport or labor issues. It just boils down to it seems like people aren’t wanting to work like they used to,” Swick said.
Across the country, florists are reporting shortages in Baby Blue Eucalyptus, White Garden Roses, and Café Au Lait Dahlias. Roses and carnations have become more expensive, depending on where you buy.
Kuhn Flowers was prepared to absorb any negative impact. Having been in business for 75 years, the retailer has faced pricing challenges before.
“You can’t always get the exact thing you want, and that’s just something I’ve dealt with personally for 30 some years. There are some variations that go up slightly, but here at Kuhn’s our prices haven’t changed. Our roses are still $69.99 per dozen. It’s our everyday cost,” Swick said.
Five other local florists News4Jax spoke to said they were having issues to the point they were forced to raise prices or stopped accepting new orders.
The shortage is not only being felt in Florida, but across the country including in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Minnesota.