Florists warn of flower shortage as Mother’s Day, wedding season approach

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It’s one week out from Mother’s Day, and if you’re planning to go out and get fresh flowers for mom, you may be out of luck.

Local florists say because of the pandemic, they’re having trouble keeping up with demand. When COVID-19 first hit last spring, flower farms all over the world shut down and stopped their operations. Even as the industry begins to pick back up, farms are having trouble meeting the demand.

"A lot of farms downscaled at that point, and we’re just now starting to feel the effects of what that means," said David Miller, co-owner of Ergo Flower Shop in St. Paul.

He’s watched as the industry’s supply has shrunk and he said he’s not certain when it will pick back up again.

"We’re seeing a much smaller amount of flowers in the industry due to the amount that are being grown as well as the ability to get them here. There’s a lot less flights happening, there’s a lot freight happening in general," Miller said. "That means the cost of flowers are going a lot higher up and there’s no sense of when that will come back down.”

When you go to pick up a bouquet for mom, you may notice it’s a lot more expensive. Or you may not be able to find fresh flowers in local shops. But what Miller said he’s most concerned about is the impact the shortages will have on the 2021 wedding season.

"It’s a sad story for the COVID bride because they’ve had to endure so much," Miller said. "Most of them have had to postpone at least once, but more of them have postponed multiple times and have had deal with a lot of changes in their venue, a lot changes in whether or not their vendors were available, and now when it comes to flowers, the same thing."

Brides will once again need to be flexible. Miller said shops cannot guarantee any specific type of bloom or that it will arrive on time for weddings. Right now, he’s encouraging people to shop for locally grown flowers because they’re more reliable during this time.