‘Get your orders in early’: Florists warn of flowers shortage ahead of Mother’s Day

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CHICAGO – It’s the busiest holiday for flowers. But this Mother’s Day, florists warn it may be harder and more expensive to find the flowers you want.

“Everyone has a mother, and flowers are such a great way to show your love,” said Red Kennicott of Kennicott Brothers.

Kennicott said the issue stems back to a year ago.

“We have a perishable product and everything shut down,” Kennicott said. “The transportation, the demand for customers. We had to dump thousands and thousands of flowers.”

The pandemic took a toll on the industry. Growers, hesitant to take an additional loss, planted fewer flowers. Global transportation and supply chains issues also led to delays in shipping.

“Right now, we’re going through some issues where once in a while, a truck will be late,” Kennicott said. “We don’t have a certain variety of flowers.”

But now that the economy is starting to bloom again, it’s a game of catchup, says Beth Barnett, the owner of Larkspur.

“Most florists were warned by their wholesalers: you need to get your orders in early and to not expect to get specific things,” she said.

Barnett, a florist of 27 years, says the cost of the product has never been higher.

“Flower prices have skyrocketed because there’s so much demand and so few flowers available,” she said. “I would say anywhere between 25-50% more.”

Bottom line: florists say to expect to pay more or be happier with smaller arrangements. Another piece of advice, florists say, is don’t wait until the last minute.

“For anyone who wants to get flowers for the mom in their life, I would start calling your florist right now.” Barnett said. “Go online if they have online ordering. I would nab a spot for flowers. Don’t expect to walk in on Sunday.”

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