Why it’s tricky to buy flowers during the coronavirus pandemic
Australian florists, like Justine Ellborn pictured here, are experiencing high demand but low flower supply amid the coronavirus travel restrictions.(Supplied) Sydney florist George Pizanis says 20 years in the flower business has taught him one thing: "Flowers put a smile on people’s face."
But like many Australian florists, George is experiencing an increase in demand that he’s having trouble meeting.
"It sucks, but as the weeks pass we’re starting to feel more hopeful," he says.
Turns out pasta, flour and toilet paper aren’t the only hot ticket items during the coronavirus pandemic.
Flowers are in short supply right across the country.
"Everything that was coming from overseas has completely slowed down and prices have gone up," George says.
We asked florists why you mightn’t find exactly what you’re looking for, along with tips for what you can do instead. Why we’re suddenly sending more flowers
Sydney florist George Pizanis has seen an increase in demand for his flowers.(ABC Life: Moataz Hamde) People are buying each other more flowers than usual and the lockdown has certainly played a big part, George says.
"We’re sending up to 80 orders a day at the moment," he says — about double what his business would normally do.
"The card messages usually read, ‘I hope these make you smile’ or ‘I hope these brighten up your day’, ‘I hope you’re keeping safe’," he says.
"They’re mainly well wishes to cheer someone up."
Flowers are also being sent in place of catch-ups, says Adelaide florist Justine Ellbourn.
"You might go out for a drink on someone’s birthday, now you can’t, so you send flowers instead," she says.All the florists we spoke to experienced unprecedented demand for Mother’s Day flowers this year . Read more "The flowers haven’t stopped. They’ve just become more expensive," says Tom Carey, a flower wholesaler from Perth.That’s because the cost of bringing international flowers into the country has risen due to coronavirus travel restrictions.Justine says her store usually stocks a lot of chrysanthemums and daisies from Malaysia."They would normally cost around $25 retail, but now they’ve jumped up to almost $60," she says.When the prices of imported flowers went up, demand for Australian grown flowers increased as florists looked for cheaper alternatives.But Tom says the Australian flower market has never relied solely on local flowers, so there’s just not enough to go around at the moment. He anticipates supply will improve in a couple of weeks. These are the flowers to look for now Australian tulips are good value this time of year, says flower wholesaler Tom Carey.(Unsplash: Priscilla Du Preez) If you’re still in the market for flowers but can’t afford to spend big, Tom recommends buying tulips."Australian tulips are very good value this time of year," he says.It’s not a good time to have your heart set on roses, as they’re a heavily imported flower and hard to get a hold of right now."There are daffodils and jonquils [varieties] growing in Victoria which should be coming into production very soon," Tom adds — he predicts they’ll be good value.Justine says […]