If you have recently tried to purchase some flowers for a special occasion, you probably noticed the price has increased.
There is no question that flowers are expensive.
It seems as though the pricing just continues to go up, and some people wonder why.
Although this may not get you out of your annual Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day flower buying, it may help you understand what goes into this process and why prices are high.
10 Reasons Flowers Are So Expensive
Flowers will wilt when they are not refrigerated.
Although this may seem like a simple thing considering food is refrigerated, there are quite a bit of logistics involved in this process.
From the time the flower is cut to the time they get to the florist, they will need to be in a refrigerated truck.
Once they get to the florist’s shop, they need to be in a refrigerated case.
When they go out for delivery, they need to be refrigerated.
This is a lot of refrigeration and a lot of electricity used.
If you think about the electricity involved in this process along with the space requirements, the process is expensive.
Florists’ shops need to have ample refrigeration so that the flowers stay in good condition until they are put together into a bouquet.
We will get to the shipping costs involved with flowers in one of our later reasons, but shipping with refrigeration is considerably more expensive than traditional shipping.
Flowers placed in a refrigerated case will have a longer life, and they will not wilt as fast.
However, there is still a shelf life on flowers.
This refrigeration does not mean they will last forever.
Have you ever tried arranging flowers?
It looks rather simple, yet it is not.
When dealing with flower arrangements, you need to manage colors, heights, and flower types.
Creating a bouquet is genuinely an art form.
Knowing which flowers look good together and which should be in the front and on the side and in the middle takes quite a bit of practice.
Most people will say that it took them months to learn how to put a bouquet together properly.
It’s important to understand that, when dealing with flower arrangement, you are not only paying for the time of a person, but you are also paying for their expertise.
There will be a significant difference if you look at a homemade flower bouquet compared to one from a florist.
Certain colors will not pair well together, and florists can make sure this does not happen.
Also, depending on the occasion, some flower arrangements are more appropriate than others.
A florist will know how to arrange a proper bouquet for a birthday, a funeral, or a special occasion.
Certainly, this is a service that must be incorporated into the cost of the flowers themselves.
Unless you are walking into a florist, chances are you are going to pay for shipping several times when you purchase flowers.
You will pay for the cost of shipping the flowers to the florist (built into the price), and then you will probably pay an additional delivery fee.
Delivery fees for flowers are quite high.
Most of the time, they are around $15, and if it is a rush delivery or for a holiday of some sort, the price will only increase from there.
If you want to save money on a bouquet of flowers, you can go to the florist and deliver the flowers yourself.
The reason delivery on flowers is so expensive is that there are just not enough of them going around for the price to be lowered.
When you order things from other online distributors, you probably get free shipping because they have discounted rates with UPS, FedEx, and others.
With flowers, it is going to be more of a local shop delivering the flowers using their own personnel.
Certainly, this is a more expensive way to ship, and it will be more time consuming for the shop as well.
4. Bloom Size
Flowers must be harvested at the exact right time if they are going to be marketable for sale.
This brings up two issues.
The first is the high maintenance issue of only cutting flowers when they are perfectly ready.
The other is making sure you are choosing flowers that have the proper size bloom.
Even within the same variety of flowers, some will grow better than others.
For instance, based on weather conditions or climate, you could produce a batch of roses that come out too small.
Therefore, these are not going to be as marketable inside a florist’s shop, and they may not even take them.
This makes the bloom size very important.
For farmers to get the right bloom size on their crop, they need to pay close attention and adjust their watering and fertilization.
This is a difficult practice, and it takes years to learn and perfect.
The unfortunate thing about flower farming is that it is so difficult, many people are giving up.
Farmers are finding there are other crops which are more profitable and easier to produce, and they choose to work with those instead.
Considering all that is involved here, it is hard to blame them.
From the time flowers are cut at the farm to the time they make it to your bouquet, chances are they have changed in size.
The smaller flower becomes a problem because more flowers will be needed to fill a bouquet.
Many people are set on the idea that the larger the bouquet is, the more expensive it must have been to purchase.
This can sometimes be true, but it is not always the case.
Many times, the size of the bouquet has to do with the type of the flower and the size of their blooms.
A large bouquet full of wildflowers is going to be considerably less expensive than a small bouquet of roses.
You can’t fully determine the price of a flower by the size of its bouquet, but florists are accustomed to the idea of having to add extra flowers to make bouquets look the right size.
6. Supply and Demand
Just like anything else in business, flowers are subject to the supply and demand concepts of the world of business.
If you decide to send a bouquet of flowers on a random Tuesday in March, you will probably pay quite a bit less than you will on Valentine’s Day.
Around the holidays when flowers are known for being a great gift, the pricing will undoubtedly increase.
As the demand goes up, the supply lowers, and you will pay quite a bit more for the flowers.
The other way supply and demand have changed the world of flowers is by the overall demand.
The demand for flowers has not gone down at all, but many farmers and growers realize that the process of producing and selling flowers is not profitable enough.
They have started to grow other crops and move away from the flower business, but consumers still want their flowers.
All of this will lead to an increase in the cost of flowers for the end user.
7. Cost of Owning Small Business
The cost of owning a small business is getting more and more expensive.
There are so many hidden fees a consumer never thinks about that must get incorporated into the price you pay for flowers.
Between the cost of labor, insurance, and rent, a florist must sell many flowers to be even slightly profitable.
This is difficult, and although shop owners hate to raise their pricing on their flowers, sometimes they have no other choice if they want to keep the doors open.
Small flower shops do not make tremendous amounts of money.
In fact, they are not very profitable at all.
Sometimes they will have larger projects like weddings which help them to make extra money.
However, by the time they manage their supply and their demand, there is usually quite a bit of waste and product that doesn’t get paid for.
This will cut into their profit, and it makes it very difficult to succeed as a small business owner.
The next time you buy flowers from a small shop, you should probably know you are helping them pay rent.
You are helping the shop owner feed their family!
Where is the middleman in the flower business?
If you have used any of the online flower giants like 1800Flowers or FTD, you know how easy and convenient it is to get flowers.
These companies are not stocking all of these flowers themselves.
They have partnerships with local florists to help fulfill the orders.
That is why sometimes you will order from 1800Flowers, but a local shop will make the delivery.
This is a great way for a local shop to get business and to get repeat business as well, but there are lots of people involved in this process.
When lots of people are involved, prices go up.
For 1800Flowers, the local florist, and the local delivery company to each make their money, you will end up paying a higher price.
Sometimes, if you can go into a flower shop directly to purchase your flowers, the pricing will be considerably less.
Of course, this is not always the case, but it is certainly worth a shot if you are looking for a deal.
Another way to avoid the middleman is to find the area where you are trying to deliver flowers to and do a general search of local florists.
If you call that florist, they may be able to work out a price for you and come up with an arrangement based on a picture you sent.
Some will even tell you to go to the 1800Flowers website and look at something you like.
Then, depending on their availability, they may be able to work out a deal for you on some local flowers.
Most of the time, the flower shop will love this option because their profit margins will be larger as well.
Flowers are delicate.
When they are moved from the farm to the store, and then from the store to the end user, there is potential for them to break.
You will notice that, when flowers are delivered, they are treated with care.
No matter how hard a florist tries to keep flowers in great condition, there are many that just don’t make it.
When you consider the waste and the flowers that don’t make it, the price for the flowers that do make it will undoubtedly go up.
Since flowers are delicate, they also require special packaging and paper when they are shipped and transported.
You can’t throw a bunch of flowers in a box and expect that they are going to arrive undamaged.
This is just not the case.
Packaging supplies and transporting materials also add up in cost.
Even if your flowers came in a box, you should know that the box is somehow incorporated into the price of the flowers.
10. Difficult to Grow
Last but certainly not least is the fact that flowers are difficult to grow.
We’ve touched on this a few times throughout our article, explaining why many farmers are starting to give up on flowers as one of their crops.
A flower is difficult to grow for a variety of reasons.
One reason is that there are outside agents a farmer will not have control over.
For instance, some seasons are rainier than others.
Depending on the type of flower being grown, this can change the way the flower looks and how it turns out.
Rain and sun and temperature will affect not only the size of the flower but the colors as well.
Flowers cannot be grown in all areas of the world.
Most places have a very short season for flower growth and are therefore not a good place to grow flowers.
Many holidays will encourage people to purchase flowers are during the cold months of the year.
Therefore, flower growers must be located in warmer areas and be ready to ship the product in.
Flowers are also susceptible to bugs and other critters which may try to eat them before they can be picked for sale.
To protect flowers from the elements and from nature, in general, is a tough job, and it will certainly lead to flowers costing more money.
Hopefully, you can now see why flowers are so expensive.
Certainly, you are not being ripped off and charged a large fee for no reason.
There are truly many moving parts to the flower producing world, and in order to make sure that all of those parts stay profitable, flowers cost a lot of money.
As an alternative, you can try and grow your own flowers and pay for refrigerated shipping to your family and friends.
If you participate in this process, you will very likely see that there is no reason to be complaining about the price of flowers!