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Flower shortage hits the 'wedding capital of the world' Vegas

A flower shortage is affecting local businesses, and one florist said there is a long list of reasons why. In the spring, the owner of English Garden Florist in Las Vegas, David Pellew, spoke about a hard time of getting products in for Mother’s Day. Pellew said they’re still having that problem. “This week, certain varieties of flowers we typically use all the time just weren’t there,” he said. He said farms are having a hard time getting employees and local suppliers, including himself.

“The shortage is not only in the United States. We have farms down in South America and overseas, and they also have the exact same problems getting employees in some of those areas. COVID hit them a little bit harder,” Pellew said.

And he said there’s more than labor and distribution issues. “A lot of the farms are raising cannabis now instead of flowers cause it’s more profitable, so that hurts too,” Pellew said. He said production in South America for roses is down 40%. There’s a lack of variety of colors, especially white roses he attributes to funerals.

At After Hours Flowers, customers are not as picky about what they order, so co-owner Verna Padgett said the shortage hasn’t affected them as much. They are the only florist open 24 hours in Las Vegas, and red roses are the main seller.” Guys going on dates, guys in trouble, you want to send your wife flowers, and she works until 4 a.m., I’m the only one that will take her flowers,” Padgett said.

Business is going well, but Padgett said she is concerned about how dependent the U.S. is on flowers from other countries. “Flowers come from all over the world, and they either go to L.A. or go to Miami, and they get distributed in the United States, and yeah, I think about how that’s going to change the industry. We’re just going to have to get creative with the flowers we do have,” Padgett said.

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