Flower Shortages As COVID and Cold Weather Drive up Mother's Day Prices

Mother's Day prices have jumped this year after the COVID-19 pandemic and cold weather disrupted the global flower market.

Florists across the country have warned of the shortage, with many popular flowers not being available due to a combination of disrupted worldwide shipping and reduced supply.

The supply shortage this year has been triggered by the ongoing pandemic and a cold stretch of weather in South America.

South American countries are large exporters of cut flowers to the U.S., including big sellers such as roses and carnations, with 78 percent coming from Colombia, according to the Society of American Florists.

Karen Gruttner at Chet and Leona's Floral Shop in Milwaukee told Fox6 that popular flowers such as orchids and gardenias were unavailable.

She added: "There is a worldwide shortage right now."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the U.S. is the largest importer of cut flowers in the world and that the average retail price for bunched tulips sent prices shooting up by 8 percent more than it was a year ago.

Aaron McKinnon, the manager of Mayesh, a Los Angeles Flower Market vendor told the Associated Press that prices were "sky high."

She said: "A bouquet of 25 roses is running between $30 and $60, depending on the variety, compared with the more typical range of $16 to $30."

But City Floral Garden Center manager Candace Wickstrom, from Denver, said there was an issue meeting the demand and there had been a huge fall in orders being fulfilled.

She told Fox31: "I have been here 15 seasons and I don't remember inventory this tight ever.

"It is unprecedented times and what most garden centers are looking at is, when we place orders sometimes it's only half of the orders that show up."

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), American customers are set to spend, on average, $220.48 on gifts and celebration planning amid the success of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Consumers look set to spend an average $15.74 more than they spent in 2020, according to Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights at the NRF.

She told CNBC: "This is the highest expected Mother's Day spending we've seen since we started doing this survey over a decade ago. There's really a focus on giving things rather than giving experiences."

Newsweek has contacted the Society of American Florists for comment.

There is a global flower shotage
Flower prices have been sent soaring due to a shortage in supply. In this photo, people pass close to one another as businesses in the flower district in Skid Row reopen in time for Mothers Day on May 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. David McNew / Stringer/Getty