LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Mother’s Day is like the Super Bowl for the flower industry, especially in the Los Angeles flower district.
It was shut down during the height of the pandemic, and the ripple effect is still impacting the industry with a lack of supplies.
Lack of supply means shoppers searching for a Mother’s Day bouquet are experiencing sticker shock.
”I understand, but at the same time, I didn’t really expect it. Because you come to the flower mart to get roses for a cheaper price, and it was actually more this year,” said shopper Kimberly Tran.
Roses costing $30 last year may be priced at $35 or 40 this year.
“Mother’s Day is the mother of all holidays as far as I’m concerned. It’s huge. It’s much bigger than Valentine’s because everyone has a mother, everyone doesn’t necessarily have a valentine,” said industry veteran Bob Mellano.
Mellano, who runs the flower business Mellano and Company, explained prices are up by at least 20% for a host of reasons. Among them, less domestic planting due to uncertainty, significant supply chain issues, and a labor shortage impacting everything from deliveries to harvesting.
“We probably left between 200,000-300,000 bunches of flowers in the fields, which is hundreds of thousands of dollars because we didn’t have the workforce necessary to harvest the flowers,” stated Mellano.
Despite less supply rolling in, demand for arrangements has been picking up with the return of weddings.
The situation is forcing florists everywhere to improvise.
“If we don’t have hot pink roses, we’ll use light pink roses. If we don’t have white hydrangea, we’ll use green hydrangea. So we try to substitute and do it as similar as possible,” said Norton’s florist owner Cameron Pappas.
Another factor is that many florists and some growers went out of business during the pandemic.
Florists warn all Mother’s Day procrastinators that they will need to budget more and be open to options.