Shortage of flowers sends floral prices up ahead of Mother's Day

Posted at 1:38 PM, May 06, 2021

Like many goods during the pandemic, there appears to be a shortage of flowers and it has sent prices up in the U.S. as we approach Mother’s Day.

A number of other factors have contributed to the apparent shortage, including trucking issues, protests in Columbia, inclement weather, and coronavirus-related problems in growing areas, like in South America, where much of the floral supply is grown.

Larry Gramith, the owner the Chicago Flower Exchange, told CBS News that flowers are available, but consumers should be ready to pay as much as 25% more than last year. For example, he said a bouquet of roses that cost $35 last year might run for $45 to $50 now.

Gramith also said you may have to accept flowers that weren’t your first choice, like substituting red roses with red carnations.

Flower shop owners are advising those wanting to gift flowers for Mother’s Day to order them as soon as possible.

"Don't wait until Saturday or Sunday to go to your local florist," Beth Barnett, owner of Larkspur in Chicago, told WLS.

And while local shops are struggling to keep up with demand, 1-800-Flowers is confident it can ride out the shortages.

The CEO of the large flower company, Chris McCann, told CNBC on Thursday that they’ve been able to survive the pandemic issues because of their size and scale. He said the company has also been able to help some local florists get the supplies they need.