Best flower delivery services 2019: for that special someone

Flower delivery
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We've tested dozens of flower delivery websites over the years and in order to compare the best online flower delivery services and florists fairly and impartially, we ordered either one or two dozen red roses from each vendor.

Then we spent 12 days unboxing, watering, monitoring and sniffing the 10 bouquets, before grading each arrangement. We also compared each flower delivery service’s range of products and website, to determine the top flower delivery companies to buy from in 2019. Delivery is also important so we’ve highlight which services offer local same day flower delivery and we’ve also factored in the cost of each delivery.  

After concluding all our tests we felt that 1-800-Flowers.com offered the best flower delivery overall as it adds a range of gifts in addition to flowers, and the roses we received from 1-800-Flowers.com had large, beautiful blooms that smelled great. It’s our pick of the bunch, but there are others to choose from.

ProductPriceOverall RatingFloral SelectionOrdering & DeliveryCustomer ServiceNon-Floral GiftsAppearance & FreshnessFlower LifeCustomizable ArrangementsPre-Arranged BouquetOutsources to Local FloristsIncludes VaseFilled Our Order Correctly & On TimeDelivery Confirmation EmailOnline Order TrackingEmail & Phone AssistanceStuffed AnimalsTasty TreatsDécorJewelry
1-800-Flowers.comView Deal5/59.8101010B+11 days
TelefloraView Deal4.5/5101065A+6 days---
Flowerpetal.comView Deal4/59.51062.5B+11 days----
ProFlowersView Deal4/59.34.31010B11 days---
FTD Online Flower DeliveryView Deal4/59.54.3105A-6 days-----
Flower.comView Deal3/5105.822.5A+6 days------
Harry & DavidView Deal3/557.365C11 days------
Flora2000View Deal3/56.37.325B+8 days-------
Flowerbud.comView Deal2.5/55.54.360F9 days--------

Best service overall

1-800-Flowers.com

1-800-Flowers.com

1-800-Flowers.com is the place to shop if you're looking for more than just the usual lilies and roses

Reasons to Buy
You can buy much more than just flowers.
Our reviewers gave the roses we got a B+ for presentation and freshness.
Our roses lasted for about 11 days before wilting.
Reasons to Avoid
The bouquet arrangement wasn’t exactly as pictured online.
Shipping costs are hard to find on the website.
The bouquet didn’t come with instructions or plant food.

This flower delivery service has one of the largest selections of flowers out there, and the bouquet we ordered arrived with massive red rose blooms. But wait. There’s more. Jewelry, wreaths, chocolates and stuffed animals don’t even begin to list the things you can order online for delivery. You can also buy unique flower designs for special occasions, such as the Fabulous Feline Get Well, which is shaped like a tiny kitty and is sure to make anyone feel a little bit better.

1-800-Flowers.com outsources its arrangements to local florists, so we ordered the Rose Elegance bouquet, which arrived prearranged with 12 red roses, baby’s breath and some greenery. It stuck out from the rest of the bunch for its height and spry arrangement, and our reviewers gave it a B+ for its freshness and appearance. This was partially because the roses had some of the biggest blooms we had ever seen, which lasted for an impressive 11 days.

This flower service has a huge selection and delivered a bouquet of roses that would have done the trick on Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or simply just because. For these reasons, this is our best overall pick of the best online flower delivery services.

Best cheap service

ProFlowers

ProFlowers

We ordered the One Dozen Red Roses bouquet from ProFlowers at a shockingly reasonable price

Reasons to Buy
The flowers we ordered lasted for about 11 days before wilting.
Our order was fulfilled correctly and on time.
It comes with a moisture sponge to ensure your flowers are fresh.
Reasons to Avoid
The recipient has to assemble the bouquet.
The moisture sponge included with your roses makes a mess when you take it apart.
The flowers we ordered stayed closed for about three days before fully blooming.

Flowers are expensive, aren’t they? We ordered the One Dozen Red Roses bouquet from ProFlowers at a shockingly reasonable price, and it was very well-liked by our team of reviewers.

ProFlowers sends a delivery confirmation email so you don’t have to wonder whether your surprise has arrived. It also provides online order tracking if you want to see where your order is. Extra gifts including stuffed animals, food, décor and jewelry are also available, so you can pretty much get everything with one visit and order. ProFlowers allows you to customize your order with different vases, or you can choose not to include a vase at all.

Our order came in a box, which meant it was hard to unpackage. It wasn’t fun for us to struggle in the lab with the zip ties that secured the roses, and we imagine it would be less fun doing so at your desk. We understand secure packaging is important in keeping your blooms beautiful, but you’ll want to make sure that special someone has access to scissors if you send them boxed flowers.

Our 11 reviewers rated bouquets based on appearance, smell, whether they would recommend the company to someone else, and whether they thought the flowers were worth the price. The ProFlower bouquet received a B for overall freshness and quality and lasted for an impressive 11 days.

Best shopping experience

Teleflora

Teleflora

Teleflora stood out because of its large selection of bouquets and the stunning beauty of the dozen red roses we ordered

Reasons to Buy
Our reviewers gave the flowers we ordered an A+ for freshness and appearance.
The bouquet we ordered came already assembled.
Teleflora’s website is well-designed and easy to use.
Reasons to Avoid
The flowers we ordered lacked any instructions or plant food.
Our roses wilted badly after about six days.
The additional gifts are limited to stuffed animals and tasty treats.

Teleflora stood out because of its large selection of bouquets and the stunning beauty of the dozen red roses we ordered and received. The website is easy to navigate and the company also offers a handful of other gifts to choose from, if you’re really looking to impress.

With Teleflora you can choose between a standard, deluxe or premium bouquet in a huge variety of flowers. You can also buy other gifts such as balloons and chocolates, but the best part about shopping here is being able to search by flower color, type or “deal of the day.” With the latter option, you simply enter the occasion, recipient and price range and the website will generate a beautiful arrangement for you. One downside though is you can’t access your total shipping and handling costs until you have entered information about who is sending and receiving the flowers. These costs can vary by where you live but can sometimes cost $15 or more, drastically increasing how much you spend.

The My True Love Bouquet with Long Stemmed Roses was outsourced to a local florist, so your own flower quality might vary. The arrangement we received had large deep-red blossoms that were already open, paired with several varieties of flat-leafed greenery that added just the right amount of contrast. Averaging data on appearance, smell and cost, our 11 reviewers gave this bouquet’s overall freshness and appearance an A+.

Best exotic service

Harry & David

Harry & David

Harry & David online flower delivery service has some of the most unique flowers available

Reasons to Buy
There are many non-floral gifts.
Plenty of exotic flowers to choose from.
Reasons to Avoid
The bouquet we ordered was expensive.
The bouquet of roses was not the finest we received

There are a plenty of traditional blooms to choose from including roses, daisies and lilies as well, but there is also a huge selection of exotic flowers. You can get succulents, hydrangeas, herbs or even join the Bulb of the Month Club to receive amaryllis, tulips, crocuses or begonias, just to name a few. 

Instead of going for a traditional bouquet you could order a bonsai tree, orchid, or even a beautiful bunch of lavender. There are also unique vases and packaging so your order stands out. The bouquet of red roses we ordered received a relatively acceptable grade of C- from our team of reviewers.

Best website

FTD

FTD

We like FTD because both the flowers and the website are both rather beautiful

Reasons to Buy
The website is well-designed and easy to use.
Reasons to Avoid
The blooms on our bouquet were small.

It’s well-designed with beautiful photos. You can use the search box to look for content by flower, color or holiday, or use preset tabs on the side of the web page to browse options for birthdays, anniversaries or even "just because”. You can "quick view" each bouquet and it's pricing information or view each bouquet on its own page to select the size, delivery location and date. 

There are extra gifts to add right then and there so you don't have to look for them separately. The roses we ordered arrived with small blooms, but were perfectly formed and earned a grade of A- from our reviewers, so we’d recommend checking this online flower delivery website out.

Online flower varieties 

Flower delivery services offer a wide range of flowers for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a happy bundle of daisies or a romantic bouquet of roses, you can find them online. One thing to keep in mind, however, is whether an online company sends flowers from its own warehouse or outsources to a local florist. 

Companies that assemble their own bouquets are more likely to match the photo online, so you know exactly what you’re getting. When a local florist is contracted to fill an order, flowers can show up looking a little different because of artistic interpretation of a bouquet or sometimes even a shortage of a certain type of flower.

Home much does flower delivery cost?

The sticker price of any given bouquet from an online flower delivery service can increase considerably with a delivery charge. In our experience, delivery or shipping and handling can cost anywhere between $10 and $20 depending on what you purchase and where you live, so even a cheap flower bouquet’s price can end up almost doubling. 

How to make your flowers last longer

There are several things you can do to keep cut flowers alive for as long as possible. ProFlowers recommends cutting 1 to 2 inches off the stems before putting them in a vase. Cut the stems at an angle to improve water intake, and continue this process every couple of days. Use room temperature water in your vase and change it out every two or three days, along with any flower food that came with the bouquet. It might seem counter-intuitive, but you should keep cut flowers out of direct sunlight and heat. Don't display them near fresh fruit either, as fruit releases gases that can kill your flowers faster.

ProFlowers conducted tests with myriad household items that are supposed to keep your flowers alive longer: vodka, apple cider vinegar, hairspray and even bleach. It found keeping flowers chilled in the fridge rendered the best results, along with adding a little lemon-lime soda to the bouquet's water. The home remedy yielding the worst results was hairspray, so keep the Aqua Net away from your flowers at all cost!

How we tested and found the best flower delivery service

We thought the best way to find the top flower delivery service would be to order the same thing from each one. So, we ordered either a dozen or two dozen red roses from each website and scheduled them for delivery on the same day. When they arrived we either left them in their respective vases or unpackaged them from their boxes, noting how they looked and following the instructions that came with each bouquet. All of the boxed flowers came with at least one packet of plant food and instructions to clip about an inch or two off the bottom of the stems before putting them in a vase. The pre-arranged bouquets came with no instructions and no plant food, so we left them alone.

It’s interesting to note here that some of the companies we ordered from got it wrong. Some bouquets we received were short a flower or two, while others sent us 12 even though we had ordered 18. 

After letting the bouquets sit overnight, we then took surveys rating the look and smell of each bouquet, as well as whether they appeared to be worth the price, including shipping and handling. The flowers remained in our lab in the following days as we kept their water fresh and collected data on how quickly their blooms opened. We also waited for how long it took them to die, which to us was when the majority of the blooms were droopy, falling apart and no longer visually appealing.

When it came to fulfilling our orders, we discovered national flower delivery companies that outsource to local florists often don’t arrive as they look on the website. We lowered scores for companies that sent us too few roses, but didn’t hold it against companies that sent us more than the order called for – as long as we weren’t charged for the extra flowers.

Why are flower arrangements so expensive?

The cost of a bouquet varies by the type of flowers you want and how many. Obviously, the larger and more extravagant the bouquet is, the more expensive it is.

We ordered a dozen roses from the 10 companies we tested and discovered that bouquet cost an average of about $75, including all shipping and handling fees. There are more extravagant bouquets with balloons and chocolates available for around $250, or simpler arrangements for about $30.

Bouquets can be expensive because many flowers are grown on another country or even continent and often harvested by hand. Shipping flowers across the globe and ensuring they’re kept fresh costs a lot.

How to make your flowers last: tips and tricks

Now you know where to go to get the best flower delivery, there are several things you can do to keep cut flowers alive for as long as possible. ProFlowers recommends cutting 1 to 2 inches off the stems before putting them in a vase. Cut the stems at an angle to improve water intake, and continue this process every couple of days. Use room temperature water in your vase and change it out every two or three days, along with any flower food that came with the bouquet. It might seem counter-intuitive, but you should keep cut flowers out of direct sunlight and heat. Don't display them near fresh fruit either, as fruit releases gases that can kill your flowers faster.

Here are some more tips and tricks for caring for a bouquet.

  • Fill the vase with warm water when the flowers arrive. Warm water travels up plant stems more easily and quickly, so your blooms will open faster.
  • Remove any leaves that sit below the waterline in the vase.
  • Use the plant food that comes with the bouquet. It’s included for a reason: It works.
  • This might seem obvious, but remove all packaging from the flowers. Don’t leave any part of the bouquet zip-tied together; it can damage the stems as they sit and bloom.
  • Put your bouquet in a place where it gets substantial natural light throughout the day.
  • Avoid using room spray or any other aerosol chemicals near a bouquet.
  • Clip off leaves or petals when they die. This will prolong the life of your bouquet.
  • Give your bouquet fresh water every couple of days.

Feeding your flowers after they’ve been delivered

Most flower delivery services include a small packet of plant food you should mix in with the water in the bouquet vase. Have you ever wondered what that powdery substance actually is? These packets usually contain citric acid, sugar and bleach. This is because a byproduct of photosynthesis is sugars that help the plant grow. Adding a little extra sugar to the water the plant consumes essentially gives the bouquet a little boost. You can make alternative plant food at home with one teaspoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of salt and half a teaspoon of ammonia added to one gallon of water.

Staying in season

It’s easy to stick with tradition and buy roses on Valentines Day, white carnations for weddings and lilies for funerals. However, for better bouquets, we suggest buying based on season rather than tradition. Many of the best flower delivery websites and local florists build amazing floral creations based on whatever is in season. For example, in the fall, you see more sunflowers, mums and greenery. In the spring, there are more daisies, lilies and baby’s breath. Following these trends leads to more luscious bouquets. In fact, if you insist on a certain bloom that isn’t in season, it could look dead or droopy. This also means availability varies depending on where you order from. Trusting the florist to arrange the most beautiful version of the bouquet you order is often the best route to take.

Some flowers bloom through more than one season. The following is a list of what time of year you should shop for certain flowers online:

  • Spring: amaryllis, bird of paradise, freesia, hollyhock, larkspur, stargazer lily, orchid, peony, pussy willow, tulip, poppy
  • Summer: calla lily, carnation, chrysanthemum, dahlia, foxglove, hydrangea, lilac
  • Fall: baby's breath, carnation, iris, gerbera daisy, orchid, Queen Anne's lace, roses, salvia, sunflower
  • Winter: acacia, evergreens, holly berry, pansy, phlox, roses

Flower delivery for allergy sufferers

You might think that there isn't an option for people who love flowers but can't have them around because they're allergic to them. However, there are a lot of flowers you can get that won't make people sneeze or give them itchy eyes.

The hydrangea plant is ideal because it comes in a lot of different colors but won't bother allergy sufferers. Allergens are usually found in a plant's pollen, so try to avoid flowers that carry a lot of pollen. Geraniums, for example, work well because they have low levels of pollen. Flowers with higher levels you should avoid include daisies, sunflowers and chrysanthemums.

If you know the person you’re buying flowers for is very sensitive and you’re afraid to get anything with a bloom on it, a cactus or succulent is a great alternative. These green plants don’t have any blooms and, therefore, don’t have any pollen, making them perfect for folks with sensitive noses. Note that some breeds of cactus, like the Bunny Ear, do occasionally flower under the right conditions, so do your research before you buy. It’s not as fun as surprising a friend or loved one with a bouquet, but you can always ask what types of flowers and pollen they’re allergic to so that you won’t risk giving them a gift that makes them sneeze.