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Which flowers are best?

Bountiful bouquets, fresh flowers, and gift baskets: what more could you wish for when your doorbell rings? The truth is, there’s a lot of magic behind the curtain, so choosing a flower service is a big decision.

Flower services are online platforms where you can choose and personalize arrangements for delivery. Some companies have an umbrella of partnerships and you can select combined gifts of flowers, chocolate, and balloons. If you’re on a budget, you’re in luck, since you can shop by price. If you’re a savvy online shopper, catch flash deals to save even more.

Check out our buying guide on the best flowers in time for the next occasion you’re celebrating. 

What to know before you buy flowers

Arrangement type

When choosing flowers, you’ll obviously have an occasion in mind to inspire your choice of arrangement type. While you could go traditional and stick to appropriate colors and designs, if you see a less conventional arrangement that the recipient would like, go for it.

Another thing to consider when comparing arrangement types is the container. Premium or ornate vases are more expensive, wicker baskets are modestly priced, and plastic vases are the most affordable. If you’re foregoing a container and sticking to a bouquet, it’s sometimes a less expensive option, depending on the flowers.

Arrangement size

The sizes are based on volume and how many additional flowers and foliage are required. Small arrangements are cost-effective, but they’re known in many services for being unusually sparse. You’re better off spending a little more for a medium arrangement at the very least.

Delivery options

You have plenty of delivery options, but time is of the essence. Flower services allow for scheduling up to a month in advance, which is best if you want to secure delivery at a special price or snag an online deal. The closer you order to the delivery day, the more it costs. Same-day deliveries can cost as much as $50 on top of the arrangement.

Choosing add-ons

Add-ons are a simple way to personalize an arrangement. Teddy bears, stick balloons, and cards are the most popular options. For a classic combined gift, roses and chocolate is a winner.

Alternative gifts to flowers

Gift baskets

Gift baskets come in plenty of varieties and include a targeted assortment of goodies. Some include edible gifts like chocolates or charcuterie sets, and certain ones are designed to cater to specific dietary needs. Pampering gift baskets like spa sets are also popular. Gift baskets are great for individuals recovering from surgeries, group gifting, and as thank-you gifts. 

Fruit arrangements

Originally inspired by gift baskets, fruit arrangements are a modern version of an edible gift. You can order a simple fruit tray or collection of chocolate-dipped strawberries. If money is no object, go all out for a fancy arrangement carved and designed to look like a sailboat, flower basket, or dog. Fruit arrangements make a thoughtful gift for foodies, health-conscious recipients, and corporate gifting.

Potted plants

Even the freshest, most well-cared-for flowers have a shelf life. Potted plants, on the other hand, can last for years. Depending on their container — glass, wicker, or plastic — and how large they are, their price is comparable to that of mid-range bouquets. Plants are a smart choice for recipients who have pollen allergies. Potted plants are appropriate as sympathy gifts, hospital gifts, and for green thumbs.

Balloons

Balloon arrangements are surprisingly pricey for delivery, even for modest arrangements of less than a dozen balloons. Adding a balloon or two to an arrangement or basket is a modestly priced add-on. For the most part, your best bet is to simply pick these up locally and deliver them yourself for a fraction of the price. Balloons are perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, and to celebrate new babies.

How much you can expect to spend on flowers

Floral arrangements from flower service sites cost between $20 and $300, depending on how involved the arrangement is and whether you’re using seasonal flowers. Delivery, expedited service, and personalization fees typically add between $8 and $30 to each order.

Flowers FAQ

Q. What is “designer’s choice”?

A. It’s an option where floral designers choose the final look of your arrangement without any of your input. It sounds intimidating, but they use their freshest flowers and embrace creativity to make a one-of-a-kind gift.

Q. Why is same-day delivery so expensive?

A. It puts logistical pressure on a flower shop. Often they’re owned and operated by a single person who needs meticulous planning to coordinate deliveries. It’s expensive to find a driver on-demand, in which case many florists have to close their shop to deliver the arrangement.

What are the best flowers to buy?

Top flowers

Lovely Lavender Medley

Lovely Lavender Medley

Our take: High standards for arrangements and deliveries with consistent customer satisfaction. 

What we like: The lavender and white flowers are an elegant combination. The bouquet includes fresh Peruvian lilies.

What we dislike: Smaller selection and priced above competitors.

Where to buy: Sold by 1800flowers

Top flowers for the money

Magnificent Pink Rose & Lily Bouquet

Magnificent Pink Rose & Lily Bouquet

Our take: Get the most value by ordering in advance and selecting the biggest arrangement size possible.

What we like: Lush, bright arrangements delivered in well-packaged vases. Asiatic lilies and pink roses make for a stunning combo.

What we dislike: Arrangements don’t always end up looking like pictures.

Where to buy: Sold by 1800flowers

Worth checking out

Assorted Fall Rose Bouquet

Assorted Fall Rose Bouquet

Our take: Ideal for seasonal arrangements. The hues of fall – orange, yellow and red – lend a warm charm.

What we like: It comes with a “hello fall” sign to hang and a wide range of selection from 18 to 36 stems.

What we dislike: Might not be available throughout the year.

Where to buy: Sold by 1800flowers

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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