Growers Direct Flowers Expert Tips: Mother’s Day Blooms on a Budget at the CFM Flower Market
Flowers are one of the hot-ticket items on Mother’s Day, with 72% of respondents to the National Retail Federation’s 2022 survey saying that they planned to pick out some blooms for mom this year.
A survey by California Flower Mall shows people plan to honor an average of six moms with flowers. Many say they plan to celebrate moms twice – on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 8, and Dia De Las Madres (Mexican Mother’s Day) Tuesday, May 10.
Gersain Bustos owner of Growers Direct Flowers in CFM shares expert tips on how creative shoppers can buy holiday blooms on a budget at the flower market.
Here are his insider secrets to beat price increases, supply chain issues, and the shortages we’re all facing:
Question: When someone comes to the CFM flower market for the first time they see 30 different businesses full of fresh flowers. Where do they start?
Bustos: Start at Growers Direct Flowers inside the CFM flower market, (in my humble opinion of course!). First decide how many flower gifts are needed and the budget for each gift. Do you have the time or interest to put a gift together yourself or would having it already done for you be best?
Question: Let’s say I want to save as much as possible on Mother’s Day flowers, how do I go about that?
Bustos: Buying fresh cut flowers by the bunch, and arranging them yourself will save money especially if you have the time, vase, and supplies on hand. Another choice is a pre-made bouquet that is ready for a vase.
Question: What are the best DIY money-saving cut flowers to buy this year?
Bustos: Fresh cut carnations, chrysanthemums, tulips, and filler flowers are plentiful, colorful, affordable, and long-lasting flowers. These come in 10 – 12 stem bunches
Lilacs are fragrant and in season for $10 a bunch
Fluffy hydrangeas stems and sunflowers fill out an arrangement for $2 – 3 per stem
A florist pack of roses contains 25 stems for $20 – $30, the stems can be distributed in different gifts
Question: How do I keep my flowers alive longer?
Bustos: All fresh cut flowers need to be processed or “conditioned’ meaning the stems need to be freshly cut and placed in water for a few hours before handling them. Next, remove the packaging, and strip the stems clean. It is best to remove the outer protective petals of roses, and cut stems a second time before starting to arrange them.
Processing cut flowers correctly is the best way to ensure long-lasting freshness called “vase life.” This is done behind the scenes by floral designers when you select an arrangement or a vase-ready bouquet. Hydration is essential. Once cut flowers are removed from the cooler rooms behind us, they are placed in buckets of water. Make sure to keep them cool on the way home, and place them in water quickly.
Question: What are the most expensive flowers?
Bustos: Fragrant garden roses are the most expensive rose variety. Peonies are one of the most popular, and precious blooms. U.S. crops are blooming late this year so we are importing them from Australia for Mother’s Day. They come in five stem bunches. We sell them for $35 a bunch during Mother’s Day – that’s $7 per stem – it’s an expensive plane ride from “down under.” Peonies will remain pricey until late May or early June when the West Coast peony crops arrive in the market.
Question: What else do flower market shoppers need to know to save?
Bustos: Arrive early in the morning. CFM flower businesses open at 4:30 am. Shop like the floral trade pros. Arrive before 9 am for the best flower selection and prices. Be flexible with flower choices and colors. Remember every kind of flower is beautiful to moms receiving them.
About Grower Direct Flowers
Gersain Bustos is a cut flower importer, distributor, and master floral designer. He owns five flower businesses in Los Angeles and Orange County. Growers Direct Flowers’ mission is to provide the freshest flowers direct from farms to consumers.
Growers Direct Flowers #102 is the first store on the left inside California Flower Mall’s 825 San Pedro St. entrance.
About California Flower Mall
CFM is a city block-wide wholesale flower market. It is open free of charge to the trade and public.No membership badge or license is required to shop here. California Flower Mall is located at 825 San Pedro Street and 824 San Julian Street in downtown LA’s Flower District. The largest flower trade neighborhood in the U.S.
The CFM community of 30 different flower businesses is open extended hours for Moms week:
Thursday & Friday 4:30 am – 7 pm
Saturday 4:30 am OPEN ALL NIGHT
Mother’s Day Sunday closing at 7 pm
Monday 4:30 am – 7 pm
Tuesday Dia De Las Madres 4:30 am – 7 pm
Bargain bloom hunters and procrastinators will find a variety of DIY fresh cut flowers from farms all over the world and a wide selection of bouquets and flower arrangements at CFM. The majority of CFM businesses accept credit and debit cards, Zelle, Venmo, and good old fashion cash.