Baginton Nurseries managing director Will Lamb says councils are being "painfully slow" making orders. "No one seems to realise you can't grow plants in a few weeks."
He added that councils are concentrating on keeping summer displays looking good and have "not got any time to look ahead".
Fellow grower RC Smith said local authorities were ordering later and said cuts were to blame and councils juggled budgets. He said some councils had yet to pay for this year's plants and that polyanthus running out for 2015 already. The growers said that for many spring bedding plants "time is running out" to grow them before October planting.