Online originals: National flower shortages may force customers to pay more for Valentine’s Day

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – Millions of people are gearing up for Valentine’s Day just around the corner. If you’re considering giving a bouquet of flowers to someone special, local florists say you better act fast as global supply chain issues affect products.

Domestically, flowers are scarce due to global supply chain issues and recent inclement weather. According to the International Flower Trade Organization:

  • 247,717 jobs in the floral industry were lost between 2019 and 2021
  • Over 3,000 flower farms – around a third of global farms, closed in 2019-2021
  • More than double the number of weddings expected in 2022 compared to 2021 and 2020
  • Prices for high-end flowers, such as certain types of roses, have soared by as much as 90%

Historically, the prices of Valentine’s Day products are increasing, due to the increase in prices from wholesalers, forcing companies to do the same. Del Johnston, an employee of the Winterville Flower Shop, said daily flower prices compared to Valentine’s Day prices can range from $35 to $50.

Wildflower Florist owner in Greenville, Jessica Shore, said the price increase she’s seen due to supply issues is between 80 and 100 percent.

“It all starts from the fertilizer and getting people out to the farms, the flower farms, and it flows down to the cardboard to get it here,” Shore said.

Johnston said their Winterville store hasn’t had a lot of flower shortage issues and they’re still getting deliveries every day. They noticed shortages in other essential products.

“It’s things like vases, baskets, those kinds of things are hard to come by now,” Johnston said.

Johnston also said this shortage was significantly worse than in 2021. Last year, “people were ordering flowers because they couldn’t bring their spouses to eat or anything.” Shore is experiencing similar shortages.

“Our local supplier is really good at keeping them (flowers) fully stocked for Valentine’s Day. Cases have been a problem getting them here. Freight costs are what’s crazy right now.

Jessica Shore, owner of Wildflower Florist

So while other parts of the country are seeing extremes in flower shortages, it looks like eastern North Carolina is stocked, loaded, and ready for the holiday of love. Wildflower Florist in Greenville and Winterville Flower Shop tell 9OYS they’ve had an abundance of Valentine’s Day orders so far and expect more orders to arrive next week.

Local florists agree on tips for flower shoppers this Valentine’s Day:

  • Take your time and be patient
  • Order early and look to pick up/deliver the day before
  • Be flexible to different types of flowers. If one is out of stock or too expensive, there are plenty more to choose from.

Certain types of roses can be particularly hard to find this year, which means the ones you find can be extremely expensive. Johnston recommends trying a different type of floral or mixed arrangement this year to save on cost and stress.

“I know roses are the normal thing, but we have lots of other pretty flowers so you don’t have to pay $124 if you’re limited on what you can spend.”

Del Johnston, Winterville Florist

Shore recommends going for a designer’s pick, “that way we can make it fun and it’s not your typical standard hard pink dozen, it can be fun and whimsical and show someone you’re really care.You can choose your price and we can work around it for you.

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