Consumer Reports: Flowers for Mother’s Day

If you’re planning to send a Mother’s Day bouquet, you want it petal-perfect. Holiday orders put a strain on florists. To see what you get, Consumer Reports ordered a variety of colored roses near another high-stress time for florists—Valentine’s Day.

The long-stemmed roses were ordered from three popular online florists — ProFlowers, FTD, and 1-800 Flowers. When the flowers arrived, they were assessed by Consumer Reports staffers. There were some surprises.

The boxed roses from ProFlowers flopped out of their protective plastic collar. All but five of the stems were broken. A Consumer Reports editor called ProFlowers to complain (without revealing her identity) and received a fresh bouquet the next day. Later, ProFlowers gave Consumer Reports a statement that said in part: “ …. we believe the damage occurred somewhere in transit between the farms … and your doorstep.”

All of the sites Consumer Reports checked offer a refund or a replacement if you’re not satisfied with your flowers. So be sure to ask your mom if her bouquet arrived in good shape.

As you’re ordering, take into account the cost of shipping. You won’t see that charge until you’re checking out. Consumer Reports paid between $13 and $19 per bouquet for shipping. And as Consumer Reports clicked around the three sites, the prices either began to drop or discount coupons were offered. So taking your time can really pay off.

Because delivery costs escalate as holidays approach, Consumer Reports says consider sending mom her flowers a few days early.

Consumer Reports advises that the best way to keep flowers fresh is to snip a half-inch from the bottom with a sharp scissors and get them into room-temperature water immediately. Use the flower food that’s included. And remove any leaves below water level.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.

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