COVID-19 Pandemic Causing Flower Shortage Ahead of Mother's Day Weekend

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The coronavirus pandemic has caused shortages in a wide variety of goods, and now flowers are becoming scarce as local shops prepare for one of the busiest times of the year: Mother’s Day weekend.

NBC 5 talked to the owner of The Flower Shop of Chicago on Taylor Street, where the shop was busy on Tuesday fulfilling orders for the big holiday.

“I think because of Mother’s Day the suppliers have geared up and they are ready and they’ve been preparing,” said owner Deadra James. “But a couple of months ago it was sometimes impossible to get certain flowers.”

James said the demand was low last year for flowers because of the pandemic, with weddings and large scale event cancellations causing growers to scale back on production.

“They didn’t plant as much, and so there was a shortage in flowers,” said James.

At one point, James said her shop was pressed to get sunflowers and certain colors of Stock and Snap Dragon flowers.

“The prices of certain flowers like carnations which are supposed to be an inexpensive flower has skyrocketed,” said James. “It’s nearly as expensive as a rose."

James said across the board, flower prices have gone up 15% to 20%. Carnations are up 50%, while Pom Poms are up between 30 and 40%.  

Shop owners aren't certain of when the price of flowers will go back down, but they are hopeful that the return to big-scale events will spur growers to increase their supplies.

“There doesn’t seem to be a definite answer as to when the prices may go down,” she said. “Hopefully that you know things will get back to normal. Corporate accounts will go back up, events will happen and weddings will start happening more so hopefully things will get back to normal.”

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