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Flower shortage hits the ‘wedding capital of the world’

<i>KVVU</i><br/>Florists in Las Vegas are having trouble getting flowers.
Florists in Las Vegas are having trouble getting flowers.

By Lauren Martinez

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    LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — 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, David Pellew, spoke about the hard time of getting product 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.

“A lot of funerals, and frankly, I’m getting tired of doing it. I’m here every morning banging out funerals and staying late at night and I’m just getting tired of it, so I wish you guys would get vaccinated so I can have a break,” Pellew said.

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 o’clock in the morning, I’m the only one that will take her flowers,” Padgett said.

Business is going well, but Padgett said she is concerned 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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