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Expect to pay more for mom's flowers this Mother's Day

The International Floral Trade Center in Carlsbad was buzzing with activity Thursday. The wholesale flower market is gearing up for Mother’s Day and some of their customers, mainly florists, were stocking up for the big day.

Flower sales for Mother’s Day are expected to be higher than ever this year. According to the National Retail Federation, people in the U.S. will spend $3.2 billion on flowers alone.

Arturo Mendoza, better known as Pepe, is the owner of Pepe’s Flowers in Oceanside. He says he sells ten times more flowers in the Mother's Day season than at other times.


"Mother’s Day is very busy, crazy, so right now we’re  getting ahead, getting flowers for Mother’s Day and getting ready for Mexican Mother’s Day and American Mother’s Day," he said.

"We’ve already started seeing the traffic in here where it’s just crazy, where you go home at the end of the day and your head’s spinning," said Renee Williams, a sales representative for Mellano & Company.

She said it’s one of the busiest times of the year for the 500-acre Oceanside farm, and this year seems to be even busier.

"This will be my third Mother’s Day with Mellano's. We were busy (before), but I just don’t remember it being this busy early on," she said.

Their farm is famous for their colorful ranunculus. People from around the world buy them and come to their farm to see 6 million of them in bloom. Their signature flower is finally thriving again thanks to the sunshine. But that isn't the case for some of their other big sellers like gunni, a type of eucalyptus used as greenery in bouquets.


"Gunni is absolutely beautiful but because of the rain we didn’t have that either," Williams said.    

The heavy rains and wild weather have damaged and delayed many of the specialty crops florists rely on.

"It's definitely affected our farm. Pittosporum (a flowering shrub) is one of our biggest sellers, and it's just kind of depleted it. We're limited in what we sell now because we get like maybe a few buckets here and there, so the customers are like frantic, like, 'Where am I going to get this?'" Williams said.

"The season for different varieties is very late, so we don’t get some of the things that we normally get. So that hurts some people a lot," said third generation florist Robin Phillips. She owns Adelaide's La Jolla, a flower shop that's been in business 86 years. She said rain is one factor that's been contributing to higher prices.

"Prices have kind of skyrocketed," Phillips said, adding that they've been going up since COVID-19.  

"Just like everything else, everything is going up in price," said Abby Olivas-Twist, a Vista resident who buys flowers often. "I’m finding the flowers I’m buying here today are a good $3 more a bunch than the last time I was here."

But that won’t stop her from buying blooms for her madrecita. Like many who have roots in Latin American countries, she will celebrate Mother’s Day twice. 

"Celebramos Dia De Las Madres on May 10 for my mom, we are Mexican. Le llevamos flores, estamos allí con ella, we have dinner and just get together with her, then, Sunday comes around, American Mother’s Day, and we do it all over again," she said in Spanglish.

Pepe’s advice is to get your order in early because they often run out of the prettiest flowers and delivery times.