Ordering flowers online also makes it easy to see a wide variety of bouquet choices. The photos on these sites are lovely: Lush arrangements of fresh flowers in full bloom, expertly styled. The only thing you can’t do is take a deep sniff. But how can you know how the photo compares with the arrangement that actually shows up at mom’s door?
Online flower delivery companies are an especially convenient way to order flowers. Numerous websites allow consumers to search their inventories and put together flower arrangements from anywhere in the world.
Consider having your arrangement arrive a few days before a major holiday. You could save some additional money. Delivery costs escalate in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, as they probably will around Mother’s Day.
Wesley Berry Flowers. In both Seattle and Chicago, the bouquets were sent unarranged, with no vase, and the ends of the roses weren’t kept wet. There also wasn’t any greenery whatsoever; it was literally just 12 rapidly drying roses in a box, and Seattle’s were already a little wilted. Wesley Berry’s website also got the worst score — it had annoying pop-ups; it refused to show us the shipping charges; and, at the end of the transaction, we found a tiny “donation” box pre-checked that would have charged us an additional $4 had we not caught it. These roses had the distinction of being the first roses we had to throw out — a mere three days after receiving them. Not recommended.
Flowers are a popular way to express love, gratitude, sympathy and a wide variety of other sentiments, so it isn’t surprising that they generate nearly $35 billion a year in business revenue. Flower delivery services are an important part of the flower industry, allowing you to let someone know you’re thinking of them even if you’re far away or if fresh flowers aren’t blooming where you live.
Increasingly, flower delivery companies are either being acquired by other corporations or are building partner relationships with other firms to expand the kinds of gifts they can offer you. For example, 1-800-Flowers.com has acquired Harry & David, and FTD has acquired ProFlowers, although ProFlowers and Harry & David still operate as independent entities. FromYouFlowers.com, which is not included in our comparison, is part of the Teleflora network of national and international floral vendors that use local florists to fill orders.Flowerbud.com, has developed a partnership with Stargazer Barn, which offers you a selection of wine, candies, jewelry, perfume and more.
Exclusively for our readers, this Multicolor Peruvian Lily Bouquet drops from $34.99 to $32.99 at Florists.com. Plus it ships for free, which saves $14.99 in fees. It features 50 blooms of multicolor Peruvian lilies (alstroemeria) in a clear vase. You can choose delivery dates through 7/31 with select blackout dates. Check the calendar for all available dates. Please note that some dates will incur an additional fee. You can also choose 100 blooms for $5 more. Florists.com guarantees their products, and will offer a replacement or refund for any issues. Sales tax is charged in most states.
In Chicago, the roses in the 1-800 Flowers bouquet were seriously glorious — big, luscious, bold blooms dotted with sprays of baby’s breath, and the vase was nice and heavy. This was the most traditional bouquet we saw: Close your eyes and picture a dozen red roses; that’s what these were. These roses got good scores in all four cities, although you can see that even between Seattle and Chicago, the arrangements were very different. Seattle’s felt sweeter and less dramatic, although it got extra points for being delivered within hours of placing the order.
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If flowers arrived arranged. There are companies that don’t disclose that they just send stems in a box, requiring the recipient to arrange the flowers themselves — which defeats the purpose of paying a florist to arrange your flowers.
If you can’t go to work in the morning, realize it’s your mom’s birthday, order flowers, and then have them there that very afternoon, what’s the point? Many online flower delivery companies charge extra (sometimes 25-50 percent extra) for same-day delivery service, but we wanted this feature to be an option in case you needed it.
Teleflora has been delivering flowers for over 81 years. It partners with 13,000 florists in the United States and Canada and more outside North America. Consumers order from Teleflora, and a local florist makes the delivery.
Unlike companies that work with a network of local florists, ordering from Bouqs means you get the exact arrangement that you view on the website — in our case, one dozen gorgeous red roses. The downside? The flowers aren’t arranged ahead of time, and they arrive with none of the additional greenery and fillers that florists add to plump up an arrangement. Our instruction card told us to trim a couple of inches from the stems of our roses, and to remove outer petals and any damaged leaves. Once we did this, the flowers were gorgeous, with deep red petals and vibrant green stems. But this DIY experience may not appeal to everyone.
A few years ago, I tried to order flowers online for a friend’s birthday. Thirty minutes and about twenty dollars in hidden service fees later, I placed my order. It never arrived, because the advertised one-day shipping didn’t exist.
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While lovely, the FTD bouquet was not actually the most stunning arrangement we saw. Where FTD won us over was with its consistency in all four of our test cities — the company’s bouquets got top scores in Chicago, Seattle, and our two rural communities, which we discovered is hard to do. In Seattle, tiny purple buds accented the roses, and this delivery was the only one that included a little red ribbon around the vase. In our two rural cities, the quality of the roses was striking, although our Wisconsin-based recipient pointed out that each FTD bouquet had a lot more greenery than the pictures on the website suggested — which is good or bad depending on how you feel about greenery.
A Fair Trade certification is the most widely accepted method of ensuring your flowers come from a reputable source. Fair Trade standards revolve around six main ideas: empowerment, fundamental rights at work, livable wages and working conditions, sustainable production, transparency, and an internal management system. Essentially, you’re paying for flowers that are sustainably grown by employees paid a living wage and treated well. To become Fair Trade certified, farms must go through a lengthy application and review process. Because most flower delivery services work with a large network of farmers, it’s unlikely that all of any provider’s floral arrangements will be certified. But most of our top picks offer at least one bouquet option:
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The roses from 1-800-Flowers arrived in fine shape, but our survey panelists were less wowed by them than the FTD roses. When judging how similar our delivery (on the right) was to the flowers online photo (on the left), 37 percent of our staffers gave them a good rating (3); 37 percent rated them fair (2). Only three of the 77 people who looked them over in person thought they represented the best quality among our rose bouquets. Only two said they were the lowest quality.
The bouquet from Florists’ Transworld Delivery (FTD) was beautiful when it arrived in Chicago. It arrived on time and completely arranged in a heavy, clear glass vase that was securely packed in a sturdy box. Each of the red roses was gorgeous, lush, and fully blooming with a rich rose scent, and surrounded by dense greenery. We were made even more impressed by the FTD bouquet considering that its website didn’t do great in our evaluation — it’s confusing to navigate, with annoying pop-ups and guilt-trip-heavy bouquet upgrades that are ranked “good,” “better,” and “best.”
Long lasting and fragrant, carnations are a popular choice for sympathy arrangements. The red carnation evokes admiration while a pink carnation stands for remembrance. White carnations stand for pure love and innocence.
Interestingly, FlowerPetal got poor ratings in Seattle: while lovely enough, the roses weren’t long-stemmed and the bouquet lacked the drama that was advertised online. Would the baby’s breath have helped?
We were left with 16 online flower delivery companies to test. But hold up! Some of these companies, such as Flower.com and JustFlowers.com, are actually the same, with identical checkout systems, mailing addresses, About Us pages, and customer service phone numbers. (JustFlowers owns Flower.com, but we decided to order from Flower.com since its website was way cleaner than JustFlowers’.)
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It may mean ruining the surprise, but if you’re sending flowers to someone, make sure the recipient will actually be present at the address where you’re sending them. With the majority of online flower delivery companies, you can authorize the delivery person to leave the flowers at the recipient’s address, but, during testing, we realized that our writer lived in a Chicago house with a locked front gate, and she needed to be home for the flowers to be delivered. When she asked several delivery companies what she should do about the front gate, they stated that they do their best to leave the flowers inside locked gates, but if there is no access, the flowers simply can’t be delivered.
Offer assistance or help around the house. If you’re a close family member or friend, you can offer to babysit or straighten up around the grieving person’s house. This is a sweet gesture and very useful during such a delicate time.
As one of the most recognizable flowers, roses can be a beautiful part of an arrangement of funeral flowers. White roses evoke reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. Pink roses signify love, grace, appreciation and gentility. Dark crimson roses denote grief and sorrow. Yellow roses are given by friends of the deceased to symbolize their strong ties. When you include a single rose in a bouquet it expresses enduring love for the deceased.
Many sites offer flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals and “just because.” Corporations often send floral gifts to employees or other firms. If you do not want to give someone a floral bouquet – and for some people, this implies a romantic message – you might prefer to order a live green plant, a bonsai plant or a dish garden with cacti. These kinds of gifts could be perceived as more professional and would safely congratulate or thank someone without sending the wrong message.
Answer: Yes, it is okay to send a gift to a friend if you didn’t know the deceased. If a friend is grieving but you don’t know the deceased, it is still necessary to send a sympathy card or gift. It’s important to acknowledge a friend’s loss even if you didn’t know the deceased personally.
If sustaining local florists is important to you, Teleflora only uses local florists across the country and still scored high in our freshness grade test. It’s our top pick for best local flower delivery, and it also specializes in Flowers in a Gift, which means the recipient gets a keepsake vase or other container along with the blossoms.
Last but not the least the wholesales. If you are based in London there are several options you can chose from. You can go for an online wholesaler which can provide a great range of flowers at your fingertips, day or night. But it is not the same experience as picking flowers yourself.
Orchids say “I will always love you”. When giving an orchid plant as a gesture of sympathy, it is important to give consideration to color. Pink and white are traditional colors of sympathy. Varieties such as the phalaenopsis orchid and dendrobium orchid are suggested by florists as appropriate plants to denote sympathy.
When someone passes away, it’s important to send a sympathy card and/or gift to acknowledge the grieving person’s pain. In order to honor the deceased and send your condolences to the grieving individual or family, you can send a thoughtful gift or sympathy card as soon as you hear the news of a death or you can wait until the funeral. When it comes to letting someone know that you care about their loss, always take appropriate measures to show sympathy.
Delivery fees: Make sure to note whether the delivery fee is included in the price shown on the website. These fees can add $15-$25 to the price, and you don’t want to be surprised when you’re ready to check out. Some companies sell membership programs that provide free shipping on deliveries during the membership period. Consider one of these if you send flowers regularly.
All the companies we reviewed provide a website where you choose flowers and pay for them. You typically need to establish an online account with the firm, which is easy to do, and then fill in what you want, where and to whom it should go, and how you will pay.
Answer: Yes, you can definitely send a gift after the funeral. Healing takes a while so your sympathy gift is still relevant after the funeral. Try to send your gift no later than two months after the funeral to make sure your gesture is well-received.
Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are the busiest days of the year for florists, which can strain resources and limit what’s available for same-day delivery. To avoid the frustration of seeing “not available” next to the bouquet you’ve picked out, we recommend placing your order as far in advance as possible. This ensures you get what you want and can help avoid rush delivery fees.
Some also have the Fair Trade certification, which means their products meet various standards for the way producers treat the environment and the workers who tend the plants. This includes such things as restrictions on child labor and use of pesticides and other chemicals.
We took pictures of the three bunches of roses in our photo studio. Then we asked 77 staff volunteers to inspect the arrangements and choose which ones they thought represented the best and worst quality, all under the supervision of our lab experts. We followed with an online survey of 162 staffers who were shown the flowers online pictures (we didn’t identify the websites) next to photos of the roses that were delivered, and asked how similar they were on a scale of one (not at all similar) to five (extremely alike). FTD roses got the best scores; staffers liked the ProFlowers bunch the least.
Sending flowers is a nice way to express your gratitude to a friend or thank someone for using your business. Nearly all flower delivery websites have a section of flowers that are appropriate to send as a thank-you gift.
A bouquet is more than just a bunch of cut stems. For many, sending flowers is shorthand for, “I love and care about you!” That is, unless those flowers don’t arrive. Or they arrive wilted, or dead, or in a box with no water and no vase at noon in Phoenix when the recipient isn’t home.
The Basics: The Bouqs Company’s bouquets are so beautiful that brides are known to order them for weddings. The service offers sustainably grown, farm-direct bouquets from local artisans, all clearly marked with a price and delivery date so there are no surprises at checkout.
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