Bringing vibrant pops of color and joy to our homes, cut flowers are a decorative delight, making them the perfect gift!
With numerous online flower delivery services available – and given their delicate and transient nature – it’s important to know your blooms will arrive safely and ready to flourish…
We decided to put online florists to the test, to find those that can be relied upon to deliver show-stopping bouquet after show-stopping bouquet. We tested a few houseplants, too. But if you want to examine your plant in real life before you buy, how does a trip to Homebase to shop our new collection sound?
How to care for fresh flowers
Whether you’re looking to keep your tulips from drooping, or make your peonies last a few more precious days, there are several simple steps you can take.
The first happens before you buy; look for bouquets that contain flowers still in bud. These will open once they arrive, making your arrangement last longer.
Next, check for any care instructions. This may sound obvious, but some plants like roses come with guard petals left on. These protective outer petals don’t always look the prettiest, but can be removed on arrival. Care instructions should cover this, and will detail how to use any accompanying flower food too.
Before placing your flowers in a clean vase filled with fresh water, trim the stems. Around an inch, cutting at a diagonal angle is best; this gives them more surface area to absorb water. Remove any leaves that will sit below the waterline too.
Refresh your flowers’ water every few days, and trim their stems by an extra one centimetre too. Finally, place them away from radiators and direct sunlight. This should prevent them from drying out too quickly.
With houseplants, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Check their care instructions to make sure you understand their water and light requirements.
how we test
We enlisted the help of more than 100 readers and sent out bouquets and plants from 22 different flower delivery services. Each lucky recipient shared their experience with us, reporting on their gift’s arrival, packaging, overall look and freshness.
We also ordered one bouquet and plant from each service, to assess the website and ease of ordering. We looked at the range of filters, selection of products and delivery options available online. Once the bouquets arrived, we timed how long they remained fresh for, too.
These are the ones we’re turning to for a bloom-filled home:
Best flower delivery service
Bloom & Wild
Bloom & Wild’s bouquets have a modern feel that brings instant cheer, and its website boasts an equally appealing set-up. Its easy to browse, so you can choose the right bouquet for your loved one quickly, and there’s a chic array of additional gifts if you’re feeling generous. All our bouquets arrived safely and lasted for three weeks, resulting in glowing feedback from our panel; it’s everyone’s new go-to.
Our pick: The Vinnie, £65
Price range: £25 – £95
Delivery options: Free Royal Mail tracked or Premium DPD delivery for chosen days, time slots and Sundays.
Best for single species bouquets
A vase bursting with a single variety of bloom is an easy way to tie table arrangements in with your overall décor, and no one does it quite like FlowerBx.
Find your favorites using its species, color and stem length filters, selecting how many stems you’d like too. Our bouquet of carnations was outstanding – they came with detailed care instructions and flourished for close to a month. In fact, one of our panel was so smitten with them, they took a cutting to try and propagate the blooms for their garden.
We tested: Lip Locked Carnations, from £40
Price range: £40 – £170
Delivery options: Free standard delivery, next day and same day delivery available in London. Nationwide delivery only available Tuesday to Sunday.
Best for ethical flowers
For flowers with a conscience, look no further than ethical florist Arena. To offset its emissions, it plants two trees through the Eden Reforestation Projects for every bouquet ordered. The brand cares about its producers too – all stems are sourced either from Fairtrade or vetted ethical farms. Plus, packaging is free from single-use plastic.
And the bouquets themselves? Well, they stayed fresh for up to 12 days on test and proved to be real compliment-generators for our panel.
We tested: Cookies and Cream, £59
Price range: £25 – £150
Delivery options: Nationwide, Monday to Saturday.
Best for houseplants
If there’s a spot in your home that’s crying out for some greenery, Patch has you covered. Specializing in houseplants, its website filters products according to light and water requirements, as well as by room.
Deliveries came with detailed care instructions too, making caring for your new plant-baby a doddle. Everyone also said they’d turn to the company again.
Note that next day delivery isn’t always available, and there’s no specified day delivery, so you can’t guarantee your order will arrive in time for a special occasion.
We tested: Rapunzel
Price range: £3 – £260 (£25 minimum spend)
Delivery options: Standard (free for orders over £30), nominated day, next day and advanced up to 7 days. Not all plants are eligible.
Best for gifting plants
To send plants as gifts, we’d suggest using Appleyard London. The florist has over 40 to choose from, each one coming in a pot as standard. You can choose which day you’d like it delivered, too. In London, you can even opt for same-day delivery, although check for restrictions around special occasions before buying.
The plants secured top marks from our panel, while the bouquets also proved to be real head-turners.
Our pick: Parlor Palm
Price range: £29.99 – £199.99
Delivery options: Standard tracked, premium tracked and next day; some postcode restrictions. Free delivery with annual membership.
Best for supporting local florists
Think of Floom like Etsy for fresh flowers. Independent florists list their businesses on the marketplace, showcasing their unique designs. Simply pop your delivery postcode in to see what’s on offer in your area.
As a result, our orders had a unique touch, and were hand-delivered by the florist. This pleased our panel, with one telling us it was the best bouquet they’d ever been gifted.
Though some didn’t receive calling cards to let them know their bouquets were left in safe places, luckily this didn’t impact the overall enjoyment or freshness of the flowers.
Our pick: Valley Girls, £51
Price range: £7 – £500
Delivery options: 7 days a week, delivered by the florist.
Best supermarket for flowers
No.1 Specialty British Tulip Bouquet
With delivery available seven days a week, Waitrose’s high-quality blooms can get you out of a tight gifting spot. The website lets you browse seasonal selections, through filters that include color and species.
There are thoughtful extras on offer too, including luxe smellies. Our bouquets did seem a tad smaller in real life, but they remained fresh for between 10 and 14 days. The packaging proved reliable too.
Our pick: No.1 Specialty British Tulip Bouquet, £32
Price range: £18 – £150
Delivery options: Next day and same day delivery 7 days a week.
Best supermarket for house plants
Marks & Spencer
You’ll find all the classic houseplants are covered with M&S, from peace lilies to rubber plants. There are some seasonal offerings too, and ordering is intuitive, from search to checkout.
Handily, free nominated day or next day delivery is also available. On our doorsteps, the plants arrived safely packaged, and with easy-to-follow care instructions.
We tested: Fiscus Robusta, £25
Price range: £20 – £60
Delivery options: Free nominated day delivery.
Best for flowers on a budget
You don’t have to splash out to bag some beautiful flora – Prestige has an affordable array that seriously pleased our testers. Every stem arrived well-protected, and the bonus box of chocolates was a tasty touch.
We were also impressed with how its customer service assisted one of our testers, who received some already browning flowers – a replacement bouquet arrived in no time.
We tested: Rose and Freesia, £29.99
Price range: £19.99 – £159.99
Delivery options: Next day delivery, 7 days a week.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io