North Texas florists warn of higher prices, limited selection for Valentine's Day

Supply chain issues are making for a very expensive Valentine's Day.

This year, the flower selection is slim and whatever is available is going to cost a lot more. 

It’s a combination of factors. Growers are still trying to catch up with increasing demand, then there's the problem of transport.

One flower wholesaler said his freight costs have increased by 50%.

At Botanica Wholesale Florist in Irving, employees are working nonstop. Valentine's Day is the company's biggest moneymaker.

They're one of the largest wholesale flower companies in entire the state, but getting the petals has proved problematic this year.

"The product, they are coming from Ecuador and Colombia," said Adres Ochoa, who is general manager at Botanica.

He said 70% of their flowers come from Colombia and Ecuador.

The supply chain shortage is cutting into their profit margins. Getting product on planes and trucks for timely transport often goes to the highest bidder.

"Now we're paying, I would say, 50% more on freight than last year," Ochoa said. "So that makes us increase our prices and that's the way you have to do it."

Taylor Doyle is the owner of The Floral Eclectic, based in Dallas.

Doyle decided to offer dried arrangements this Valentine's Day due to the rising cost of fresh flowers and the challenges of getting exactly what she needs.

"So that I can buy the product ahead of time. I don't have to worry about it coming in," she explained.

SMU economist Mike Davis said this all ties to the spread of inflation, which he believes will be a long-term problem.

"Now people are starting to spend that money and they're just not goods for them to buy," Davis said. "Every sector is being impacted. And so that means that it's very hard for consumers to just avoid it."

Doyle offered advice when ordering flowers for Valentine’s Day.

"Just be patient and be understanding when we come to you and tell you that some certain things aren't available," she said. "But we're going to make it look as beautiful, if not more beautiful than what you imagined in the first place."

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Ochoa said he expects prices to start to level off by late spring or early summer. He said his employees have been working long hours making sure all of their Valentine’s Day orders get filled.