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Flowers, Plants May Be In Short Supply At Nurseries This Spring

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PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Your flowering favorites may be harder to find this spring – not because of blight, but because supply just can’t keep up with demand.

As CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, the sun was beaming against pristine blue skies Thursday – in a perfect day for spring gardening.

“I’m up to trying to get my garden started,” said Dan Sugarman of Paramus, New Jersey. “It’s been a very rough winter, as you know.”

But now, it is a super spring, according to Rudy Eisele of Eisele’s Nursery in Paramus. He said business is blooming and demand is high, but supply is a growing problem.

We feel it is the economy, and it originates from the grower,” Eisele said.

It all started when the economy tanked in 2008. A total of 42 percent of growers were left with a huge surplus and in some cases had to eliminate 50 percent of their inventory.

Growers were left with a glut in some cases, and had to reduce their stock by 50 percent.

The reason was that there just was not enough room for the excess. Plants cannot grow when they are too close together, so every other plant was pulled out.

Growers got rid of the excess plants, and grew fewer plants from that point on.

“These growers really cut back, so it’s this gap in growing,” Eisele said.

He said the shortage is not serious yet. Consumers will only notice minor shortages.

“On certain sizes, all of a sudden, there’ll be a certain size missing,” Eisele said.

Agatha Toomey could attest to that, saying she spent the whole day going from nursery to nursery looking for a healthy mandevilla.

“One nursery said they couldn’t get them; they didn’t have them this healthy,” said Toomey, of Hackensack.

The right-sized green giant arborvitae tree might also be hard to find.

“We still have them coming in, but it’s slowing down,” Eisele said.

And annuals such as geraniums or Gerber daisies could also become harder to find. Such a shortage would not last long, though, because the bold-colored blooms grow quickly.

Fortunately, while supply problems may grow, prices have not yet budget on your flowering favorites.

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