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"The farms have cut down:" Local flower shops persevere amid nationwide shortage

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Posted at 8:26 PM, May 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-06 22:39:58-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Those planning to celebrate Mother's Day with flowers will find their options costlier and more limited this year due to a nationwide shortage.

The flower shortage caused by a number of factors, including COVID-related problems in growing areas, transportation issues, and inclement weather.

"It goes from floods to rains. Weather is the number one issue with plants. There's also the accessibility of growers. If there are not enough growers to grow and harvest them, that's where you hit your second process. Then actually getting them in flights, those are the main reasons we're having problems with sourcing flowers," said Gene Wright, Lead Designer at Platte Floral.

It all started in South America which is where a vast majority of flower shops get their supply.

"The farms have actually cut down. We have probably lost 50 percent of plans on farms. They are still there, they're just not producing as much product because they don't have enough people tp work for them," said Wright.

The shortage driving up prices between 15 and 20 percent and limiting some types of flowers. But Wright says they haven't had problems getting their supply and haven't had to raise prices.

"We haven't changed our prices because we've ordered in advance enough. But some of the other florists in town have had to increase their flowers, price of their flowers," said Wright.

Despite these new challenges, they've been seeing a huge demand for flowers with Mother's Day, prom, graduation, and the upcoming wedding season.

"Demand is the same, even higher," said Wright. "The guy that I work with, he works at another flower shop, he has eight weddings in one weekend."

The demand keeping them busy, but the pandemic continuing to impact the way they do business.

"Since the pandemic, the pricing of fuel has increased. That goes into greenhouses, the cost of how much to produce a plant, it's the cost of how much the water runs. They transferred all of that pricing to us. We actually get charged for fuel, the growth of the plant, employees working, flights over here, transportation from one state to another state, truckers. Everything has increased due to the pandemic," said Wright.

Another flower shop seeing a huge boost in business, Bloomtastic Flower Shop.

"We're staying busy with everyday deliveries mostly. We have been significantly impacted by weddings because we have a wood flower business, Eco Chic Bouquets, the events aren't happening so we're doing more elopement style. Single boutonniere and a bouquet," said Sarah Atkinson, Owner and founder of Bloomtastic Flower Shop.

The owner says they haven't been significantly impacted by the shortage.

"I dont think we're going to have a lower supply of flowers due to the shortage, what we have seen is a delay in recieving the product which makes it to where we have to make the arrangements a little closer to when you recieve them," said Atkinson. "The real thing we've seen right now is the Gerber Daisies, we aren't getting those in stock. They promised them for tomorrow but I don't know if we are going to get them so I hope our customers will be open to some substitutions."

Atkinson says they've pivoted to create more affordable bouquets to help their customers.

"We've tried to put more economically bouquets online for our customers because we know a lot of people have been affected by COVID and they can't afford to spend $200 on a arrangment. We have a lot of bouquets in the $40 or $50 price range," said Atkinson.

The shop will also be absorbing inflation to prevent raising prices.

"We do not want to pass on an increase to our customers. We want to leave our prices the same every day and we'll absorb the cost for you because you guys have supported us in a time that we were uncertain about," said Atkinson.

Both shops say they are more than ready for Mother's Day as well as the upcoming wedding season. For more information on either flower shop visit their websites, Platte Floraland Bloomtastic Flower Shop.