Flowers have been a go-to gift on Mother’s Day for more than 100 years, but beautiful bouquets from local florists in 2022 could be in short supply due to supply chain woes, labor shortages and inflation.
“Right now, we have the business,” Tammy Kaus, owner of University Flowers in College Station told KBTX. “We just can’t get the supplies. This puts so much stress on me and my employees.”
$2.9 Billion of Flowers to Bought this Mother’s Day
Any supply issues will be felt acutely this coming Sunday as Americans will purchase some $2.9 billion worth of flowers as 2022 Mother’s Day gifts, according to the National Retail Federation, making it the single biggest flower-buying holiday only behind Valentine’s Day and Christmas/Hanukkah.
Corpus Christi Castro’s Flower Shop co-owner Debbie Castro told KRIS 6 News that in addition to the supply chain, labor also continues to be an issue: “Especially in the floral industry … the designers themselves. That the talent itself -- it is hard to find right now.”
And if labor isn’t an issue, then local florists are dealing with rising costs on supplies needed to make Mother’s Day arrangements, such as vases.
“Its almost a $1 increases on everything. And it’s mostly due to the shipping,”
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
The New York Times reported in February in “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” that supply chain challenges, labor shortages and poor growing conditions have led to a global shortage of fresh flowers.
“What we are facing now is an abrupt halt in the entire floral world,” Rishi Pael, CEO at HMR Designs told the New York Times.
The worldwide flower industry is still recovering from a disastrous 2020 when lockdowns during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic led to unsold inventory and entire flower crops being discarded.
Most Americans may not be aware that most of the flowers sold in the United States, according to the New York Times, come from the Netherlands, Colombia, Ecuador, and Kenya.
“It was never a problem before, but now everything is a problem,” Bob Conti, a partner at Ed Libby Events, a floral design company in Hackensack, N.J. told the New York Times. “We’ll find out there are no white flowers, or the specialty rose is just not available. There is no way to get it. People can’t get containers, floral tape, supplies or even colored candles. No one can promise things. It’s been crazy. Just nuts.”
White Carnations Started Mother’s Day Flower Tradition
Anna Jarvis, who spearheaded the drive to create the annual Mother’s Day celebration that occurs the second Sunday of each May, started the tradition of giving flowers on the special day in 1908.
Her mother, who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and led peace initiatives that brought Union and Confederate mothers together for a friendship day, had a favorite flower: the white carnation.
Ann Jarvis wanted to honor her mother, who had passed away three years earlier, on May 10, 1908, so she had 500 white carnations sent to a Grafton, West Virginia church where Mother’s Day events were being held.
“The carnations were to be worn by sons and daughters in honor of their own mothers, and to represent the purity of a mother’s love,” writes Jonathan Mulinix in Mental Floss.
Mother’s Day and flowers have been intertwined ever since.
Roses are the Most Popular Mother’s Day Flower
While white carnations can still be spotted on Mother’s Day, they are not as popular as other flowers, especially the rose.
Breck’s mail order flower and gardening company did a survey of what flowers mom’s most wanted for their special day and found the following Top 10:
Interestingly the most popular Mother’s Day flower varied from state-to-state with other flowers, outside of the Top 10 above, such as:
- Gardenias (Alabama)
- Crocus (Hawaii)
- Geraniums (Idaho)
- Amaryllis (Kentucky)
- Cyclamen (Maine)
- Chrysanthemums (Montana)
- Begonias (New Hampshire)
Mother’s Day is One of 3 “Super Bowl Sundays” for Florists
Mother’s Day is one of three big holidays each year, along with Valentine’s Day and Christmas/Hanukkah, which drive big business to local florists.
According to the Society of American Florists (SAF) , the biggest holidays for florists in transactions and dollar volume are:
- Valentine’s Day - 30 percent transactions (28 percent dollar volume)
- Christmas/Hanukkah - 26 percent (29 percent)
- Mother’s Day - 26 percent (24 percent)
- Easter/Passover - 9 percent (6 percent)
- Thanksgiving - 8 percent (8 percent)
- Father’s Day - 2 percent (4 percent)
And what type of flowers are mothers getting on their special Sunday? The SAF found:
- 80 percent fresh flowers
- 40 percent outdoor bedding and garden plants
- 37 percent flowering houseplants
- 23 percent green houseplants
The SAF also found that those shopping for flowers on Mother’s Day were bringing bouquets for more than just their mothers with people buying for their:
- Mother - 64 percent
- Wife/Spouse - 27 percent
- Mother-in-Law - 8 percent
- Self - 10 percent
- Grandmother - 8 percent
- Sister - 8 percent
- Friend - 6 percent
- Girlfriend/Significant Other - 5 percent
- Aunt - 4 percent
Flowers and More Being Bought on Mother’s Day
The National Retail Federation 2022 survey found that moms are receiving flowers and more this coming Sunday.
The average expected spending for Mother’s Day is $245.76 in 2022, up from $220.48 last year and up from $152.52 a decade ago.
Of that $245.76, the break down among categories is:
- $54.14 - jewelry
- $40.90 - special outing
- $26.41 - electronics
- $24.31 - gift cards
- $22.46 - flowers
- $22.40 - clothing/accessories
- $19.74 - personal service
- $13.34 - houseware/gardening tools
- $8.68 - other
- $7.80 - gift cards
- $5.58 - books/CDs
Flowers remain, however, a go-to gift with 77 percent of men and 66 percent of women shopping this Mother’s Day, putting flowers in their carts.
Millennials and Gen-Z are leading the flower buying with younger age groups leading the bouquet brigade with 82 percent of those ages 18 to 24 buying flowers this Mother’s Day.