The Best Flower Delivery Service Makes for a Great Last-Minute Gift
Plus four vase recommendations to let your stems shine.
Published Dec 21, 2021 1:04 AM
If there’s one styling trick that Domino editors count on above all others when sprucing up a space for a photo shoot, it’s greenery, from a couple of budding branches in a tall ceramic column to a bunch of baby’s breath tied up in an amber glass vase. If you don’t have time to hit up New York’s Flower District or even your neighborhood grocery for fresh florals—or you want to give friends and loved ones something cheerful to look at—a delivery service is the way to go. But we’re not talking about the usual suspects. For a no-fail arrangement that doesn’t look cheesy and ships quickly and relatively inexpensively in boxes that ensure its quality, you need the best flower delivery services. Consider one of the six Domino-approved sources, below, for a beautiful bouquet that won’t disappoint.
- Best sustainable stems: The Bouqs Co.
- Best rustic wraps: Farmgirl Flowers
- Best dried bouquets: Popup Florist
- Best DIY arrangements: Botanical Brothers
- Best single stems: UrbanStems
- Best convenient curations: Fresh Sends
Best Sustainable Stems: The Bouqs Co.
Same-day delivery: Yes | Price range: $39–$120 | Storefront: Yes (in six states)
What we like:
- Partners with sustainable farms
- Shipping is included
- Costs $9 extra to deliver on weekends
Why we chose it: The simplest bouquets, all sourced from local farms, start at just $39.
If you’re the forgetful type, The Bouqs Co. has you covered. You can schedule a flower delivery up to a year in advance, so you never have to apologize for missing a birthday. Yes, sifting through the huge inventory of bouquets, plants, wreaths, and more can feel a bit like doom scrolling, but this company has simplified the process by categorizing its creations by color, style, and occasion, and everything ships same-day (or the next in a pinch), so it’s worth the time investment up front. Make your purchase on a Wednesday, and you can opt into curated deals of the week, which range from deep discounts on supersize arrangements to surprise gifts from partner brands like Sugarfina.
Best Rustic Wraps: Farmgirl Flowers
Same-day delivery: No | Price range: $50–$129 | Storefront: Yes (in San Francisco)
What we like:
- Compostable (or reusable) burlap wrap
- Includes an extra stem in case of damage en route
- Two-day delivery window
Why we chose it: Burlap-wrapped beauties that go beyond typical tightly bound rose arrangements.
Domino editors love to send Farmgirl Flowers arrangements—they’re well-packaged (no squished petals here!) and feature less expected and endlessly photogenic buds like anemone and ranunculus. The stems are delivered a little long to keep them intact during travel and come with a care pack and step-by-step guide to prepping your beauties for a more permanent vessel. Just be sure to choose the brand’s signature burlap wrapping for a bit of rustic refinery that also does the world a little good (it’s compostable and reusable). While the company offers arrangements of all kinds, from single-flower bundles and mixed bouquets that change daily to wreaths and houseplants, we’re also crazy about its Big Box bulk orders, a curated collection of 100 to 200 blooms for the DIY enthusiast with an upcoming event that needs embellishing.
Best Dried Bouquets: Popup Florist
Same-day delivery: No | Price range: $20–$250 | Storefront: Yes (in New York)
What we like:
- Lasts longer than regular flowers (preserved options, too)
- Outside of New York, processing can take up to three to five days
Why we chose it: No water, no sunlight? No problem.
If you live in New York City, you’ve probably come across a Popup Florist event installation. Favored by Eva Chen, Gigi Hadid, and Gucci, the flash florist is now a full retail store offering fresh and dried bouquets nationwide—think: simple bunches of lavender or pampas grass and decorative arrangements of preserved blooms like daisies, bunny tails, and more—because not everyone was born with a green thumb. Want to really wow Manhattanite friends? Choose the monthly subscription service to have blooms delivered every Tuesday. If that feels too extravagant, the company sells small posies they can admire all season long for as little as $20 each.
Best DIY Arrangements: Botanical Brothers
Same-day delivery: No | Price range: $45 | Storefront: No
What we like:
- One up-front cost
- Directions on designing your own arrangement
- One box ordered equals one tree planted
- Not yet available nationwide
Why we chose it: Seasonal buds and design directions arrive whenever you want for $45 a box.
Every week is a surprise when you subscribe to Botanical Brothers, a flexible subscription service that feels a lot like a flower CSA. (Our head of brand innovation ad creative studio, Megan West, was hooked after receiving a gift box earlier this year.) For just $45, you’ll get boutique blooms like mimosa, gerbera, snapdragon, Earl Grey rose, Lady White proterra, and chrysanthemum, plus tips on how to arrange them yourself. Free deliveries are made in the New York area every Thursday by bike, but if getting flowers every week seems over the top, you can control how often they arrive by spreading out the deliveries. The best part: The company plants a tree every time it delivers the ethically sourced buds. If you’ve always wanted to try creating your own bouquet (sans ikebana stress), this subscription service is for you.
Best Single Stems: UrbanStems
Same-day delivery: Limited | Price range: $30–$230 | Storefront: No
What we like:
- $20 credit for every friend you invite
- Free shipping on orders over $85
- Photo confirmation of delivery (yes, really)
- Vases cost extra
Why we chose it: When you want to keep things clean and simple.
A lot of the best flower delivery services on this list don’t allow for much customization—you get what you get and you don’t get upset. In some instances, that’s part of their allure, but for times when you want control over which flowers you receive, use UrbanStems. It offers single-bloom arrangements of anemones, ranunculus, delphinium, lavender, peonies, lilies, and more. The brand works with Rainforest Alliance–certified farms to ensure stems that help protect ecosystems, conserve water, and promote safe conditions for workers, so you can feel good about your purchase, too. And if you happen to live in New York City or the Washington, D.C. metro area, you can double down on your do-gooder status by taking advantage of same-day delivery via bike.
Best Convenient Curations: Fresh Sends
Same-day delivery: No | Price range: $55 | Storefront: No
What we like:
- Tracking information comes with every order
- Includes a handwritten note
- A variety of flowers sent
- Deliveries made Tuesday through Friday only (and can sell out)
- $25 flat-rate shipping
Why we chose it: Decision fatigue is a bummer, but these flowers aren’t.
If you can relinquish control over the look of the bouquet you’re gifting, Fresh Sends deserves your trust. Here you won’t have to check any boxes for colors or styles or flower categories—in fact, the only choice you’ll be making is whether to go with the regular- (15 to 18 stems) or full-size (24 to 27 stems) arrangement. Part of the reason for all the ambiguity is that the company chooses the freshest flowers available at the time, which changes not just from season to season but throughout the day. Domino’s associate design editor, Kate McGregor, and deputy photo editor, Andie Diemer, have loved their experiences. “I sent them to my gram, and she was raving about the variety of flowers,” shares Diemer. One caveat: If you’re aiming for next-day delivery, be sure to order before 5 p.m. ET.
- If you’re more of a “I’d rather pluck my flowers from the garden” type of person, then we’d like to point you in the direction of Plantgem. The company ships seeds and rare bulbs, making this the perfect gift for expert and amateur growers alike.
- To satisfy all your plant-mama friends, consider The Sill, Bloomscape, and Leaf & Clay.
The Perfect Pair
- “I love having lots of small julep cup–size vases. I use them for leftover wintergreens, herbs, foliage, and flowers foraged by me and my kids—even grocery store flowers look prettier cut down and made into little sweet arrangements,” says Naomi deManana, Domino’s style director. “They work great for bedside tables and bathroom ledges, or grouped on a mantel or down the table as the centerpiece.”
- Associate style editor Julia Stevens says it’s always helpful to have a couple of bud vases on hand, whether it’s a modern one like the MoMA Design Store’s Glass Ribbon vase or something more organic such as Malaika’s Daisy Yellow vase. “Creating arrangements for these vessels is so effortless that I find myself reaching for them left and right,” she adds.
How We Chose These Products
We avoided tacky arrangements and pricey shipments by asking Domino editors which of the best flower delivery services they turn to when gifting family and friends (or, let’s be honest, their own tabletops).
Our Shopping Checklist
Part of the risk of going with an online floral delivery service rather than making a local stop is damage along the way. The services listed here do their best to keep buds safe, namely through a fitted cardboard box that won’t crush your petals when fully closed. You also want your bouquet in transit for the least amount of time possible—these flowers are starved of water and sunlight!—and in most instances the companies offer same-day and overnight shipping.
According to our chief content officer (and resident planet whisperer), Kate Berry, the greatest indicators of fresh florals are firm, tight buds with flecks of green. You’ll have better luck at keeping them prim and proper all week long than those that arrive fully unfurled. If longevity is a concern, go with varieties that typically last longer, like carnations.
The more stems your bouquet contains, the bigger and more expensive it likely is. If you’re shipping your gift with a vase, the number of flowers sent isn’t really a concern, as they’ll be made to order, but if not, consider what will fit with what you (or your receiver) has.
Q: Do all flower delivery services come with a vase?
Nope—and most aren’t included in the cost either. But don’t feel pressured to use what these services suggest; part of the fun of receiving a bouquet is being able to place it in something that pairs best with your aesthetic (scroll back up if you skipped our editors’ favorites).
Q: I don’t have a green thumb. Any tips on how to keep my flowers from drooping?
Depending on how your bouquet arrives, you may need to do a bit of prepping before plopping it in your vessel of choice. Grab a pair of scissors and cut at least a half-inch off the end of the stems (this number will vary depending on the height of your vase), holding them at a 45-degree angle to give the flowers more surface area to suck up water. Then keep florals fresh with daily water changes (and maybe a splash of Sprite or 7Up) and foliage trims to make sure leaves don’t sit below the water level, where they’ll rot. Last but not least, don’t place your flowers just anywhere. Free from their roots, these petal-studded stems are a bit heat- and light-sensitive, so avoid spots where they’ll bask in the sun all day or temperatures are sure to fluctuate (read: no radiators!).
Q: When my flowers have run their course, how can I dry my bouquet to keep it forever?
You might be shocked to learn that you shouldn’t wait until the bitter end to preserve your stems. Fully opened buds are more prone to losing their petals, so plan to pull and section them out beforehand, then hang them up to dry. For more in-depth advice, we’ll default to Tiffany Thompson and this guide to drying flowers.
The Last Word
If you’re looking for an alternative to the generic 800-number flower arrangements, consider one of these six tried-and-true best flower delivery services, approved by Domino editors and their loved ones. Whether you’re choosing sustainable blooms or DIY-friendly bundles, the magazine-worthy bouquets arrive quickly and hassle-free, ensuring that your gift gets where it needs to be with minimal stress.
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