As Mother’s Day approaches, florists nationwide struggle to keep up with demand

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With Mother’s Day coming up Sunday, a flower shortage presents a challenge as florists nationwide are having a tough time keeping up with demand. The nationwide flower shortage started last year.

Locally, Eyewitness News discussed the issue with Tillie’s Flower Shop in Wichita. The store said it’s forced them to make a lot of changes along the way.

“We’re seeing prices of flowers that we’ve never seen before at Mother’s Day. It’s just, it’s kind of crazy,” said Tillie’s Flower Shop owner Jennifer Barnard.

There are numerous factors going into the nationwide flower shortage, dating back to the beginning of the pandemic when many floral shops across the U.S. were forced to shut down.

“Because of that, events weren’t happening, so farms cut back. Actually, a lot of farms went out. Farms cut back on their planting, so there weren’t as many plants planted for production,” Barnard said.

A second issue is with logistics. There is already a shortage of truck drivers and there aren’t as many flights going back and forth to transport flowers. On top of all that, there’s a challenge with with getting flowers exported from South America.

“The majority of our product comes from either California or South America,” Barnard said. “The weather conditions (in parts of South America) have been horrible. It’s been cold weather. They had hail storms that destroyed the rose farms and rose crops. So that caused issues.”

She said the situation is “just like a domino effect” with the difficulty of getting products translating to shortages and increased prices.

Tillie’s has been able to get most of its flowers in for Mother’s Day,, but it had to make some changes. There are also higher costs of getting the flowers in, for Mother’s Day, one of the busiest holidays of the year for florists.

“We may not specifically have the flower that you want, but we will have some sort of substitute,” Barnard said. “We have a whole cooler full of flowers still.”

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