Mother's Day 2021: Flowers may be hard to come by, more expensive this year due to COVID pandemic

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Mother's Day is this Sunday and if sending flowers is on your to-do list, finding the perfect blooms may be a challenge.

Like so many other businesses, COVID is having an impact on the floral industry.

In downtown Los Angeles, at the California Flower Mall in the flower district, business was already booming early Friday morning. Customers were eager to purchase flowers at wholesale prices.

"What we're dealing with is most pandemic issues," Mark Chatoff, president of the Flower Mall, told ABC7. "Colombia had a lot of issues with labor sources. Farms had to be literally shut down last year. So to turn on the switch, so to speak, and get flowers back in line, is a big, big production."

Chatoff noted that Colombia is the larges exporter of roses in the world.

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"Plus you have the severe weather and climate issues," he said. "They've had some severe weather changes down there, making it more difficult to build a robust crop."

However, for consumers who buy flowers locally -- within about a 200-mile radius of L.A. -- "there are plenty of products that are available, and they're not subject to the same conditions that Colombia had to endure," Chatoff said.

Despite the challenges, this Mother's Day is expected to be even busier in flower sales than last year when forced separation spurred more deliveries.

Shortages are even deeper when it comes to decorative plants.

Vases imported from Asia are another item in short supply.
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