In February 2003, Deborah Needleman, the former editor-in-chief of Domino, who currently helms T Magazine, penned an article on Slate titled “War of the Web Roses,” for which she ordered dozens of roses from various different online florists and reviewed them. She made the very obvious observation that nationwide florists generally suck for numerous reasons, namely, style, customer service, and longevity.
As it turns out, 12 years later, all but one of the florists Needleman recommended have gone out of business, and the bottom three she tested (all big names and “initials” in the floral business) are still going strong, winning the SEO and branding wars despite tacky filler flowers and blooms that wilt within days. Luckily, since then, a number of new online florists with all-around great product have “bloomed” in the marketplace and a few reputable oldies are still going strong. So in this high season of roses and little cards that say, "I love you," we thought we’d share our favorite places to order flowers online.
Scroll below for seven florists that have earned our seal of approval.
The Bouqs Just Make It Awesome Valentine’s Day Roses ($40 and up)
One of the most important terms in flowers is “farm fresh,” and newcomer The Bouqs is nailing it. The words imply that you’re receiving your stems as soon as possible after they’re cut on the farm (as in, they’re not sitting for seven days in a florist’s shop and wilting when they arrive). The Bouqs cut their flowers on the day you order, and then deliver straight from the farm, so you receive them in 2 to 4 days post-cut, rather than 10 to 14, which is industry standard.
Calyx Flowers Pink Goddess Bouquet ($43 and up)
An old-school brand (27 years old, to be exact), Calyx Flowers also ships direct from the grower, and they air ship so your blooms (still in bud) don’t lose their glory in a truck or cooler. While the florist’s website and branding is a bit dated, the style of their vases and cache-pots—not to mention the quality of their flowers—is top-notch.
Organic Bouquet Two Dozen Sweet and Lovely Bouquet ($70)
In a sea full of terribly styled floral arrangements, Organic Bouquet’s product stands out thanks to its simple, sophisticated, and reliable styling. Better yet, the company’s flowers are sustainably grown, eco-friendly, and affordable, too.
Flower Bud 40 Tulips ($85)
Flowerbud.com is a grower-direct site (“farm fresh” since 1999) that ships only premium-grade flowers like true long stem roses and lilies with three to five buds per stem, a rarity in the flower world. Tied with raffia, and delivered in a handsome box with a pretty card, the long-lasting flowers have a great presentation, too, which can be hard to find.
Flower Muse Light Pink Garden Roses ($90)
Making an effort to only pick the best varieties of flowers (think lush garden roses or a luxurious anemone), Flower Muse offers a variety of petals that's practically unparalleled—especially for those who aren’t partial to roses. Plus, they’re grower-direct and environmentally friendly, and the company only works with farms that offer free meals and healthcare for workers, plus free daycare and schooling for workers’ children.
Gabriela Wakeham Red, Purple, and Pink Arrangement ($215)
This one’s just for New Yorkers, but floral artist Gabriela Wakeham takes the cake for sophisticated and dreamy designs that are available to order (and more importantly, preview!) online. We love every single one of her stunning arrangements—if only we lived in NYC.
BloomThat The Romy ($55)
Located in several cities throughout California, one of our favorite online florists is BloomThat, which offers delivery seven days a week within 90 minutes. The brand has an evolving array of gorgeously arranged bouquets that arrive wrapped in burlap and a cute orange ribbon. We’re loving their newest delivery, The Romy (à la Romy and Michelle), which is was designed as a gift for your best girl friend, and includes a lavender candle, luxe hand cream, Compartes chocolate, and a friendship bracelet temporary tattoo.
What online florists do you recommend? Tell us in the comments below.