GEORGE TOWN: The low supply of flowers coupled with people cutting down on expenses for non-essential items are driving devotees to opt for artificial flowers for this Wesak Day celebration.
Florists are seeing a drop in sales for real blooms.
One of them, Chong, said business has not been as good as during pre-Covid-19 pandemic times.
“Devotees now prefer artificial flowers as they are cheaper and can be re-used.
“There still are requests for fresh flowers like carnations and orchids, but florists here are facing lower supply of the blooms these days,” she said.
Florist Adren Ong said demand for flowers was slow as customers’ feedback was that they wanted to save up to buy other things.
He said the price of flowers has not increased in many years.
“For flowers meant for prayers, we can custom make an arrangement for RM80.”
Florist Bryan Chew said the flower demand for this year’s Wesak Day was still considered high, but they were facing a supply shortage of local flowers like chrysanthemums and anthuriums (Flamingo flowers).
“I believe after the movement control order, instead of planting flowers, farmers in Cameron Highlands have now switched to planting vegetables.
“It could take them a while before they start replanting flowers as they need to import flower seeds,” he said.
Cameron Highlands Flori-culturists Association president Lee Peng Fo said people nowadays have opted for artificial flowers.
“This is not only happening during Wesak Day, but for other occasions as well.
“Another reason could be that the country is still recovering from the post-pandemic effects. Many people do not want to spend on non-essential items,” he said.