All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go, Floral Industry Takes Hit Due to COVID-19

With virtually every large gathering across the country canceled due to COVID-19, cut-foliage growers had nowhere to send their product, greenery used to decorate and accent bouquets. But Sunday is Mother’s Day, and some will buy flowers for mom.

The Florida cut-foliage industry is valued at more than $100 million, not including the indirect impacts of the industry. Indirect impacts include providing significant employment, international trade importance, community development and tax revenue around the state, according to UF/IFAS Extension commercial horticulture agent Karen Stauderman.

When the stay-at-home order went into effect a month ago, cut foliage sales dropped by 80% to 90% over the first weekend of quarantine. Even as restrictions lift and the number of orders increase, this year’s sales are down by 40% to 50% compared to a normal Mother’s Day holiday, according to David Register, executive vice president of FernTrust, a cooperative of cut-foliage growers.

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