Ordering the Perfect Flowers Every Time

Sending flowers is a gesture that’s always appreciated—when it’s done right.

By: Karin Beuerlein
Related To:
Bouquet of Red Rose

Bouquet of Red Rose

Red flowers spell romance.

Photo by: Photo courtesy of EZBloomers.com

Photo courtesy of EZBloomers.com

Red flowers spell romance.

Stumped at ordering flowers for a special occasion?  Floral industry consultant Abner Maldonado, founder of the flower-delivery service EZBloomers.com, offers these tips on choosing an arrangement that’s sure to please:

Red roses for romance

You may not know much about traditional color symbolism (see our photo   gallery for details), but red roses are universally recognized as the flower of romantic love. Not for your tennis partner or your employee unless there’s something else you’re trying to say.

Express love in other ways

A spray of wildflowers, a seductive orchid or an armful of sweet lilacs might just win someone’s heart. Ask your florist for ideas.

White flowers show sympathy

It’s sometimes hard to know what to send when you’re offering condolences. White is a traditional color for mourning; purple is also acceptable because it expresses admiration. It’s also appropriate to send flowers in the favorite color of the deceased.

Be mindful of pollen

If your recipient has allergies—or if the flowers are for a wedding or a party—go with orchids, roses, carnations, irises, dahlias or begonias, which are fairly sinus-friendly. Stay away from pollen-loaded or strong-smelling flowers such as lilies, sunflowers, dusty miller and jasmine. “If it attracts bees, it’s not good,” Maldonado says.

Choose long-lasting varieties

The most resilient flowers will last one to two weeks in a vase: roses, delphiniums, carnations, lilies, sunflowers and alstroemerias (not a flower you’d typically know by name, but one you’ve likely seen in many arrangements). To boost longevity once the flowers are delivered, trim stems at a 45-degree angle to keep them from sitting directly on the bottom of the vase, which prevents them from taking in water.

Trust your eyes

If you’re ordering in person, give the flowers a good once-over. There should be no browning or wilting before you purchase.

Order in advance for major holidays

Valentine’s Day is the most stressful day of a florist’s year, and the overwhelming number of deliveries boosts the chance of errors and delays. “Order a week in advance for Valentine’s Day and schedule delivery for the 13th instead of the 14th,” Maldonado says. “That way your significant other will get his or her flowers before everybody else, and your florist will love you.”

Decide what you want on the card before calling the florist

It saves time. It’s also helpful to let your florist know the age of the recipient, so that he or she knows whether to skew hip or traditional with the arrangement.

Watch for hidden fees

If you aren’t ordering directly from a local florist, know that wire services often hide substantial fees for middlemen in the total price; they’re order-gatherers, not actual florists. EZBloomers.com, Maldonado’s service, charges only a small flat fee for the referral so that a real live florist gets most of your money. This means you get more flower for your dollar.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Tropical Flowers and Plants

Groom an equatorial paradise in your own backyard with tropical flowers and palms that thrive in heat and humidity.

How to Plant Perennial Flowers & Plants

Perennials are the mainstay of the traditional flower garden. When planted correctly, they are long-lived.

Fast-Growing Flowers and Plants

Young children have short attention spans, so to get them interested in gardening, choose plants that do something spectacular, fast. While no plant gives instant results, many germinate and turn into something recognizable quickly enough for your child to remember sowing them.

Garden Plants and Flowers

Learn how to discover which plants underscore and help define a specific garden design style.

Plant Nectar-Rich Flowers

Bees are suffering an alarming decline in numbers, so plant a border of nectar-rich flowers to keep these essential insects well fed. Prolong the food supply by growing early- and late-flowering plants.

Ligularia (Leopard Plant): Our Favorite Flowers

Take off with these rocket-shaped flowers.

Low-Maintenance Plants and Flowers

A young family or a busy job may leave little time for gardening -- you may just want to be able to enjoy the yard without feeling guilty about the work to be done. Here are some ideas for plants that will look after themselves for most of the year, and not require a lot of pruning or fussing over.

Planting Flowers for Spring Fragrance

Hyacinths, viburnum and daphnes bring blooming sweetness.

Selecting and Planting Flower Bulbs

From the purchase to maintaining them throughout the season, this simple guide to bulbs will help ensure garden success.

Lantana Plant and Flower

Give your yard a color boost with the changing beauty of lantana flowers.


Island Life

6:30am | 5:30c

Island Life

7am | 6c

Island Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Desert Flippers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Desert Flippers

2:30pm | 1:30c

Desert Flippers

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

House Hunters

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.