Ninety-one-year-old Bill Bianchi, owner of Bianchi - Davis Greenhouses, was born into the family-owned flower business. He has never experienced such challenges with the supply chain.
"The plants that we grow here actually start life in Taiwan," he told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan.
Bianchi is nurturing tens of thousands of orchids inside his Riverhead greenhouses.
"When we don't get the plants on time, they don't bloom on time," he said.
Indoor temperatures at the greenhouses are regulated though coal.
Bianchi says poor weather conditions in major growing areas and labor shortages are increasing problems for wholesale delivery.
"There's no drivers out there. That's one of the big problems we have in our facility now," manager David Medina said.
With that big day looming, customer Michael Burst drove out from Manhattan.
"Is this for a special occasion?" McLogan asked.
"It's for Valentine's Day, yes," Burst said.
Valentine's Day is coming up soon, wedding season begins, and fingers crossed for Mother's Day.
"We've had serious problems getting our plants into the country because they all come through LA," Bianchi said.
The flower business involves a complicated supply chain. The chaos at ports, warehouses and retailers could persist through this year and even into next.
Charles Andonelos is a third-generation florist, which started in the Bronx.
"We're having a problem getting the flowers in. Big shortage on materials that we produce the arrangements with. Prices are sky high, as everything else in the world," he said.
Andonelos is trying to scale back prices. His customers are loyal and stayed with him through the pandemic.
He's working now on creativity and flexibility to keep the fabulous flower business thriving.
Florists say they are awaiting shipments on containers, floral tape, foam and candles to help make Valentine's bouquets.
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