Flower shortage could impact Mother’s Day gifts

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you’re planning to buy flowers for your mom this Mother’s Day, be prepared for your flowers to look a little different from what you’re expecting.

Because of a flower shortage in South America, many flower shops, like Norton’s Florist, don’t have as many flowers as usual. Cameron Pappas, the shop’s owner, said some of the farms they rely on in Ecuador and Colombia stopped production for several weeks because of uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic. That delayed the growth schedule and combined with other issues, created a big problem.

“Their employees are on strikes. Weather plays into it,” Papas said. “There’s just sort of a perfect storm going on right now that’s causing a shortage of flowers.”

Pappas planned his Mother’s Day production schedule six months ago. That was his original schedule. The modified one, he said, is “completely different.” The supply chain has become unpredictable. On Monday, he was expecting to get 430 boxes of flowers until he had a conversation with his Atlanta-based distributor.

“He said: you’re going to get 180 boxes today. I don’t know what they are, but you’re getting 180 boxes today, and you’re getting the rest of them tomorrow at some point,” Pappas said.

Some items just didn’t get shipped and customers could see the impact of that when they receive their orders.

“If we don’t have hot pink roses, we’re going to use light pink roses. If we don’t have white hydrangeas, we’ll use green hydrangeas,” Pappas said. “So, we try to substitute and do it as similar as possible.”

Pappas recommends that customers place their orders as early as possible and Norton’s will accept them as late as possible. But eventually, they’ll run out of flowers.

“Thankfully the customers are understanding and okay with us making small substitutions,” Pappas said. “As long as mom gets flowers, right?”

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