US (MT): How a nationwide flower shortage has impacted Butte florists

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a nationwide shortage of flowers and house plants in the United States. Florists are scrambling to keep up with the increase in demand. "Since COVID hit, a lot of the farms in South America have shut down or they couldn’t get people to pick the farms or anything else due to illnesses and stuff, so it put a stopper on everything," said Diane Schalk, owner of Schalk's Posie Patch.

The flower industry came to a halt when the pandemic began as the demand for flowers plummeted. Now that big events are beginning to come back, demand has shot up. Florists have been having a hard time keeping flowers and houseplants in supply because demand is way too high for them to manage.

Over Mother’s Day weekend, prices for flowers rose double the amount. Schalk compared it to Valentine’s Day increases. "When the demand is up, prices go up, but for us to even buy roses they doubled in cost," Schalk said. Orders Schalk had placed never came or rerouted to different states. "I was told many a time that it would be here, we would have it so it was heartbreaking to let my customers down," Schalk said. Many suppliers are warning florists that this shortage could last all summer.

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