Flowers have been the symbol of gratitude, love, sympathy, and appreciation for humans all over the world. With their beautiful smells and decorative color, it is no surprise that they are in every local grocery store waiting to be delivered to that special someone.
However, given the hardships of the pandemic, there is now a flower shortage in the world that hasn’t been seen in over 30 years. It is unsure of how long this shortage will last, and some predict that it could be anywhere from months to years.
Because of the pandemic, Covid-19 has caused shipping problems, lack in flower events, lower production levels, shortage in air cargo space from south America and other regions of the world, and cargo charges.
Rose farms also have shorter stem lengths due to weather and farms in California are getting out of the flower business to start growing cannabis because of the higher profit they generate.
Due to these reasons, there are higher than normal prices for flowers and florists are saying they want to take pre-orders far in advance so they can find sources of the right flowers. They also say that Color and varieties are harder to find because of shortages and brides who want specific flowers and colors may be disappointed because they may not be available and if it is available, it will be expensive; and because of the shortage florists are under a lot of pressure to find new customers who are willing to pay for the now higher-priced flowers.
To help fight this shortage florists are switching from shipped-in flowers to locally grown flowers, and florists must become educated on the seasonality of flowers and how to care for them while educating their customers.
There are currently 73 flower farms in Utah with many being small backyard gardens, and several with acreage. And while growers in Columbia and California can grow almost year-round, Utah has a shorter growing season.
To combat this, Utah grows in hoop houses to extend the growing season but farmers face greater challenges in high flower times such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Sometimes farmers will also grow flowers that cannot be shipped like dahlias which cause its challenges.
To help fight the shortage Shelly Zollinger, who has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from USU, is an Author, speaker, Landscape designer, and flower farmer. Has used Flourish Flower Farm to utilized its 5 ½ acre farm in Brigham City Utah to sell fresh cut flowers to florists all over Northern Utah. Her farm currently sells 93 types of flowers and woodies and works on teaching workshops in flower arranging and wreath making. Zollinger and her farm occasionally do a “you-pick” day where you cut and take a bouquet home while also offering a farm tour once a year.