Mistletoe shortage threatens ABQ shoppers

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An old Christmas tradition is disappearing fast. The famous kissing plant isn’t blooming like it used to. In fact, Mistletoe is getting the kiss of death.

“Mistletoe is an endangered species,” said Peoples Flower Shops Vice President Josh Glass.

Glass said over the past few years the drought has wiped out more than half of the mistletoe crop.

“We keep a small amount of it, what we can get,” said Glass.

Even then, the remaining crop isn’t up to par.

“It should be greener than this, a little more alive if you will and it should have berries on it,” he said.

Shopper Julio Jaramillo is a big believer in Mistletoe romance.

“I think if you get caught underneath there you’re giving a kiss absolutely,” said Jaramillo. He said without it Christmas wouldn’t be the same. “It brings back cheer and folks tend to look out for that and want to participate in that,” said Jaramillo.

To help make up for the shortage, flower shops like Peoples, are now relying on other holiday options like floral arrangements and poinsettias.

The only difference is those flowers don’t come with a guaranteed holiday smooch, but florists aren’t giving up hope.

“It’s sad to see Mistletoe, its day has faded, but it’s been replaced by so many other wonderful traditions,” said Glass.

Most of the Mistletoe sold in New Mexico comes from Texas and California.

Because of the shortage, there’s a booming business in fake Mistletoe.

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