A Mother’s Day tradition is under threat from sky-high prices, putting a huge strain on flower retailers around the country.
Florists say they're feeling the pinch from rising wholesale prices, narrowing down the profit margin.
“Usually, I would buy a bunch of roses for $15 and then on the auction floor the other day they were going up for $39,” said Wellington florist Lulu Kelly.
United Flower Growers, which hold auctions in New Zealand's three largest cities, says every Mother’s Day there’s a greater demand – causing prices to rise.
The average price per stem this week has increased by 20 per cent in Auckland alone compared to last year.
It’s a big blow for local growers who are still recovering from the financial fallout of Covid-19, after rows upon rows of flowers were tossed out during lockdown.
A year on and supply is limited with next to no imports available.
“Most growers would get their last kind of big flush of flowers right on Mother’s Day and then tapering off from now until the end of May,” florist Isabel Buckley told 1 NEWS.
“This time around, crops were finishing a couple weeks ago. We were forced to go to auction really because growers can’t provide us with much.”
Some florists are even absorbing the costs, so their customers don’t have to.
“I don’t want to overcharge for flowers, because it means an unfair deal for the customers and you want them to come back and enjoy the flowers.
"You don’t want it to feel like a massive purchase of something that’s perishable at the end of the day.”