Local florists are hit with the effects of a worldwide supply and demand shortage of fresh flowers due to labor shortages and poor growing conditions.
With Valentines Day just around the corner, local florists are met with price increases from growers, leading to inflation of their retail prices.
Little House of Flowers has raised their price for a vase of dozen roses by $10, leaving the retail price of $95. Ronnie, Co-Owner of Flower Island in Chula Vista, said the shop raised the price of a dozen roses by about $8 as a result.
“We are in older Chula Vista, so we understand our community and all of that. We are all struggling, especially during COVID times,” Ronnie said. “It is a little bit more pricier compared to other years, but we try to be reasonable and not gouge people.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has stained the supply and demand chain in many industries. The problem is magnified with flowers imported from countries, such as Ecuador and sold in the United States.
Carla Stephans, who has 50 years of experience in the floral industry said that there has been a price increase from 30 to 50 percent at the grower level.
“Florists are forced to raise the prices because the provider raises their prices,” Stephans said. “Most flowers are grown locally, some are coming in from South and Central America, Holland and Israel, but the local growers can grow most orders.”
According to Stephans, the growers plan for that, and they grow more for these months.
“They also do something called a dry pack. The roses are cut from the plant and are stored without water in a cooler up to a month before the event. When the day comes, they have extra roses and everything just before the actual holiday.”
“Valentines Day and mothers day is like the Superbowl of floristry,” according to Stephans. Last minute orders “are a killer for florists,” she said.
Aleyda Huffman, owner of Eastlake Floral Design said the prices have slowly gone up in the past two years.
“It is kind of ridiculous of how expensive flowers cost,” Huffman said. “With the holidays the prices have gone up, and growers kept them up. Prices haven't gone down, so when we buy our flowers, we increase the cost on our part.”
“I always say shop ahead, so you don't have to wait around. It is always best to pre-order, so you don't have to stand around the day of or possibly not get the order in.”