Growers ditch daisies for pot, florists scramble to fill orders


Some Mobile area florists were scrambling to fill orders this year for Mother's Day, but not for the reason you may think. Owners we spoke with say growers are switching to a more profitable crop: cannabis. Local 15's Andrea Ramey reports how marijuana is complicating life for florists.

Phones ring constantly at flower shops in the Spring.

"Mother's Day is the peak," said Laura Kay's Nursery general manager Ernest Wilkerson.

But this year, a certain green bud made things more difficult to get gerber daisies.

"When did they stop growing these?" asked Ramey.

"In the last year," replied Wilkerson.

"In places where it's legal, a lot of our growers have gone to marijuana because it's more profitable," said Cleveland the Florist owner LeNae Denson.

Denson says she got a notice from her gerber grower that her standing order of 250-500 gerber daisies a week would no longer be filled. Denson says the late notice has her scrambling to fill spring orders.

"In fact, the biggest gerber grower in the country now has shut down and gone strictly to marijuana," said Denson. "So, we have to get all our gerbers now from Holland and South America."

"A lot of the Colorado growers, and I'm sure now that they've legalized Florida, Florida growers are going to do the same thing," said Wilkerson. "They can make more profit growing cannabis."

Four different flower shops we spoke with say they had some issue getting gerber daisies this spring. Two of those we confirmed bought from the same grower in California. We reached out to that grower for comment but did not hear back.

Florists say if the trend continues, it will eventually create shortages and drive the price of flowers up.