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Florists Urge Customers To Forget Roses This Valentine’s Day

Florists are urging romantics to buy flowers other than roses this Valentine's Day, as supply chains and shipping costs leave shelves bare of the traditional gift.

One florist in Perth, Rebecca Grace of Natural Art Flowers, took to Instagram to announce she would not be selling roses on February 14.

"Mondays have always been the most tricky of days for Valentine's Day, and with the current COVID situation, roses and many other flowers are almost double the price," she said.

"On top of that, most of these blooms are being delivered early the week before Valentine's Day due to a lack of flights."

Speaking to the ABC, Janki Shah, a floral wholesaler in Perth, also pointed out that most roses imported to Australia can come from Kenya and Ecuador on passenger flights.

Ms Shah said retail prices of roses had gone up 40 per cent above pre-COVID prices.

"Pre-COVID to now, freight prices have gone up 300 to 400 per cent, depending on the location that they're coming from," Ms Shah said.

"There are definitely some customers who have chosen not to opt for roses because of the pricing crisis— they're picking other things instead.

The rise in cost can also be attributed to a combination of border closures, floods and heatwaves in the rose-growing regions in Western Australia.

"Ordinarily, we might have looked into air freight options, but because our borders are closed in WA, air freight options are so limited and so expensive — it's not viable for us to use this as an option either," she said.

The chief executive of Flower Industry Australia, Anna Jabour, has urged customers to be kind to florists on Valentine's Day about price hikes.

"Valentine's Day is a day where people who don't normally buy flowers generally buy flowers, so that expectation there is already quite heightened," she told the ABC.

"We really try to be affordable and our prices include delivery, but there's a lot that goes into it."