LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Guess what has gone up sharply in price, just in time for Mother's day? It's flowers, most of which come from south America to this area, this time of year. Ecuador and Colombia have had severe flooding that ravaged the flower farms. It means, dig deeper in your wallet to get flowers for mom.
"This is probably the worst time in the world for those floods," said Jeanne Mapes of Bloomers Flower Shop in Ft. Myers. "The floods wiped out the daisies, which are so vital for many flower arrangements. They also really hurt the alstroemeria. We are having to substitute for some of the standard items."
The costs are higher too, in some cases a few percent higher than last year, in others, as much as 100 percent higher. "The white daisies have doubled in price, if you can get any at all," said Mapes.
In addition, fuel surcharges are adding to the bill. Bloomers is charging $12 to deliver this weekend. Blossoms in No. Ft. Myers is charging $9.50 for delivery - up from $8 earlier this year.
"We are getting hit hard by the fuel costs. First, we pay $4 to put gas in our vans, then we pay the surcharges from the companies that deliver the wholesale flowers to our back door, after they are unloaded in Miami," said Robin Walton of Blossoms. "It is a real tough time for us, and yes we have to pass some of that along to the consumer."