Lovely scents, transportive colors, dreamy shapes, symbolic meaning — it's never cliche to shower Mom with flowers on Mother's Day. When you can't hand-deliver fresh blooms from your local florist or farmer's market, online flower delivery services are a great solution. To help her get the best bouquet, we consulted with florist Fonda Sara, owner of Zuzu’s Petals, in Brooklyn, NY. She offered up expert advice on how to pick the right arrangement and send the most beautiful flowers to Mom. Then we conducted our own research (aka spoiled ourselves silly) by testing 10 of the most popular delivery services in the U.S.
Best Flower Delivery Service for Mother's Day
Freshest (flowers + concept)
Best Speedy Delivery
Best Farm-to-Table Model
Best Flowering Plant Delivery
Best Shopping Experience
Best Variety for Mother's Day Delivery
Sara's not just a pro; she's got passion. "I experience an endorphin rush when I see flowers..." she told Yahoo Life. "Nature is my oasis, and surrounding myself with flowers has been a lifelong endeavor." Read on to find out how to deliver such love and joy to Mom's door by Sunday, May 14, via the best flower delivery services nationwide.
How to choose the best flower delivery service
Some well-known, tried-and-true sites are prized for their reliability, but is that enough? For the best experience, Sara said to avoid "websites that have no personal touch, no human face," and to choose those who care. (Her flower shop, for one, takes a special approach: "We want our customers to know the artists behind the flowers," she said.) Most services offer same-day or next-day delivery, but Mother's Day falls on a Sunday, which complicates things. Luckily, you're ahead of the game right now, and all the sites we visited will let you preorder for Mother's Day weekend delivery.
How to choose the best type of bouquet for delivery
"So much of what is offered online is cookie-cutter, formulaic and uninspired. Choose arrangements that look like they were created by someone who loves flowers," Sara advised. And you'll need to think about the logistics too: "The structure of a bouquet determines how safely it will arrive," she said. "Wild, loose, leggy arrangements may be dramatic in place, but how will they look after being transported?"
Which specific flowers are best for Mother's Day?
You probably know your mom and have a sense of what will make her day/week/month, but here are some flower ideas from florist Sara to make it extra special.
Traditional: "Lilacs and peonies are everyone’s [Mother's Day] favorite," Sara said. Likely because this is their season.
Modern: "All of the same flower, monochromatic, architectural...ranunculus, tulips, calla lilies, anthurium, tropicals."
In-season: "Peonies, lilac, hellebores, ranunculus, anemones, tulips."
Longest-lasting: "Chinch, anthurium, ranunculus, thistle and scabiosa [pincushion]."
For color: "Ranunculus, roses, anemones, anthurium, tulips."
For fragrance: "Freesia, hyacinth, garden roses, lilac, stock, acacia."
How to keep them looking awesome
Mom will know what to do with them when they arrive, but Fonda shared a few tips: "Flowers delivered loose need to be re-hydrated properly in order to get the full value of their lifespan. Change the water often and re-cut the stems every two days."
Most of our delivery services include care instructions such as these:
Cut stems about an inch from the bottom at a 45-degree angle.
Fill with water and add food, if included.
Place out of direct sun.
Avoid extreme temps.
Pluck dead bits out daily.
How we tested these flower delivery services
We ordered from 10 popular services and considered the following factors:
Beauty/wow factor!: We want all moms to be delighted the moment they open the door. Does the arrangement deliver pure beauty? Will it make them smile every time they pass by? Does it look as good as the image on the website?
Health/longevity: We know not all flowers are blessed with a long lifespan, but we looked for good health, quality and how they held up.
Service: The experience should be good for you too. We looked at customer service, site usability, availability and speed of service. Most don't deliver on Mother's Day proper, but they will deliver the day before for a fee.
Value: Was it worth it?
The heart of each company was apparent in all the deliveries we received, for better and for worse. Passion is important, Sara explained. Of her own Zuzu's Petals, which serves the Brooklyn community, Sara said: "We are a small independent brick-and-mortar flower shop that has in the last 54 years survived economic downturns, the internet, fire, hurricane Sandy and the pandemic….we persist because we LOVE what we do and our place in the community has been earned through doing our best to share what we love with our neighbors."
Best Flower Delivery Service for Mother's Day: UrbanStems
When these stunningly beautiful flowers arrived fresh and snugly packed in a joyful box with clear instructions, I was 100% smitten. They paired perfectly with the poetic vase (there are several to choose from). But UrbanStems' delivery service also stands above the rest because they work directly with Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Plus, there's an array of choices for actual Mother's Day Sunday delivery (just plug in the zip and delivery date to see available options, some as low as $48)! Most of the services we tested don't deliver on Sundays at all. So if you have time to explore just one site, let it be this one. Not every bit of the packaging inside was recyclable, but the bio-based hydration wrap was a forward-thinking choice.
Pros: Fresh flowers; wide variety of arrangements; exciting vessels; flower subscriptions available; same-day deliver in NYC and D.C.; Sunday, May 14 delivery.
Biggest Wow: Farmgirl Flowers
Not all Farmgirl Flowers bouquets are as extravagant ($119) as this Force of Nurture bouquet — browse the under-$70 picks by checking the box at the left-hand side of the site and Farmgirl's signature burlap-wrapped arrangements — but they are all beautiful. When the pretty box arrived, I opened the top, peered down and was blown away by the beautiful soft color palette and fresh scent. Thankfully, the delicate hydrangeas were carefully wrapped because it was a bit tricky lifting the arrangement out of the box. And the ceramic vase with a hand-dipped glaze is a total keeper!
Pros: Fresh, beautiful, seasonal flowers; artful arrangements; eco-conscious; flower subscriptions available.
Cons: Somewhat limited selection.
Freshest (Flowers + Concept): Fresh Sends
The Send won me over with its personality (it came wrapped in a fun "newspaper," tucked inside the most delightful box) and its utter beauty. It arrived just 20 hours after ordering, containing the freshest blooms, lovingly arranged. The price point is right on, too! Now, there weren't as many choices, so if you are set on a certain type of flower, you may not find it; but the good side to that is a solid focus on what's in season. *This is the one I'm sending to Mom this year.
Pros: Fresh, beautiful, seasonal flowers; fast delivery; fun branding; flower subscriptions available.
Cons: Limited selection.
Best Super-Speedy Delivery: 1-800-Flowers
These lilies were among the first flowers to arrive (in bud form), landing on my doorstep within 21 hours of placing the order. The box itself was a turnoff: That green and purple logo was everywhere and there were junk mailers inside. But also inside were clear directions, clever easy-release protective packaging (no scissors needed!) and not one but two packets of flower food. By day four most of my flowers had opened. No, these are not "fragrant," as erroneously described on the site, but Asiatic lilies are not known to be fragrant. 1-800-Flowers has been in the home-delivery game for a long time (the founder opened his first shop in 1976), and that experience shows for the most part, but the whole package felt a bit dated. I'd consider 1-800-Flowers as sort of a flower emergency hotline, with bouquets available for same-day delivery, even on Mother's Day — that's a huge plus.
Pros: Fast, reliable service; healthy flowers; loads of add-ons; Sunday, May 14 delivery for certain bouquets.
Cons: Logo overkill; many cheesy choices.
Best Farm-to-Table Model: BloomsyBox
This BloomsyBox Pink Blush bouquet felt fresh-picked right out of the box. Sweet peach and pink gerberas, light pink roses and deep purple purple mini calla lilies create a lovely palette. The eucalyptus was not fragrant, as described, but the roses sure were. The company is vertically integrated, meaning they handle every aspect of delivery from the ground up — planting to delivery — and they seem to do it with care. Another good candidate here for a gift subscription, we think.
Pros: Sustainable business model; flower subscriptions available.
Cons: No option to add a vase; no weekend delivery.
Best Flowering Plant Delivery: The Sill
This precious Petite White Orchid with Yellow arrived the picture of health with 13 buds. With care it could last for many Mother's Days to come. I originally planned to test one of The Sill's few but fierce bouquets, but the wait for delivery was listed as 3 to 10 days. I'm not complaining, really, especially since most packages ship free via UPS carbon neutral shipping, but I needed them sooner. I turned my attention to The Sill's true area of expertise (plants), which had a more reasonable 2-to-6-day wait. When I found the package upside down on my porch (despite clear "This Side Up" labeling) six days later, I was worried. Then, after I brought it in, my rude cat knocked the box off the table — but this orchid was so cleverly packaged that it remained in perfect shape. As someone with three very plant-curious pets, I love that The Sill happily directs you to "Pet-Friendly" choices. They even offer a 30-day happiness guarantee for plants. The package did not come with clear care instructions but rather directed you clumsily to the site. There was a tiny QR code but it was so small my iPhone couldn't pick it up. We want Mom to have easier access to this.
Pros: Healthy flowering plants; carefully packaged; pet-conscious, nice pots; clear, helpful website; orchid and other plant subscriptions available.
Cons: Longer delivery window; care instructions online only
Best Shopping Experience: The Bouqs
The Aquamarine is not only visually interesting (round and soft flowers mix with pointy and exciting), but it's affordable and long-lasting too. There's plenty of variety on The Bouqs' site and its user-friendly design offered easy navigation, allowing me to sort and filter by flower type, delivery date, price, occasion, color, vibe. The Mother's Day selection is vast. Our bouquet arrived later than the others, but it looks like it may have staying power. I don't much care for the tin vase, which was $12 extra, but it's doing its job. Without the vase, it's a steal at $49.
Pros: Good variety; healthy flowers; easy to use site; affordable selections.
Cons: Slower delivery.
Best Variety for Mother's Day Delivery: ProFlowers
If you could bottle up Mom's garden, it would indeed look something like this Mom's Garden Bouquet...dancing with fresh roses, ranunculus and peonies. It's not the cheapest of the brand's offerings (check out the Mother's Day under $60 section), but it's a good one and feels personal. Of the glass vases I received, this was the nicest, but you could always skip it and save $15. (Mom's got vases, y'all.) ProFlowers offers same-day hand-delivery by local florists and international shipping via parent company FTD.
Pros: Pretty flowers; as pictured; solid vase; user-friendly site.
Cons: No Sunday or Monday delivery.
Two delivery services that fell short:
The selection pictured on their site is fabulous, and I was excited for the gorgeous Pink Berry hydrangea bouquet, but I didn't have luck getting what we wished for. Impressively, this was the very first arrangement to arrive — within 11 hours of ordering — and it was hand-delivered in a vase, display-ready. Problem is there were zero hydrangeas, the vase wasn't at all like the modern one pictured, and the whole thing lacked character. The company, which calls itself "one of the world’s leading hand-delivered luxury floral and plant services," relies on local florists to put together their arrangements. If that florist has what you need in stock, awesome. But if they don't, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit — no refunds, except for severely damaged items. (We didn't receive a response to our emailed complaint.) The full bouquet of flowers that did come were so perfect that they almost looked fake. Pretty, sure, but also pretty boring.
Pros: Fastest delivery; hand-delivered; bouquets are full; flower subscriptions available.
Cons: Not what I ordered; cold, corporate vibe; strict return policy; poor customer service.
The Artisanal Flower Pitcher bouquet I received had a totally different spirit than what was ordered. There was no artisanal pitcher (even though it's in the name of the bouquet) or purple flowers. Instead I received a big, hand-delivered arrangement of standard-looking orange and pink roses, carnations and daisies. The site says flowers and vases may vary, depending on local florist, but I didn't expect it to vary so much. I (as the recipient) reached out to the company and heard back quickly, and they asked me to involve the sender, which would be awkward, if this really were a gift. I didn't respond, but they went ahead and credited $26 to the account.
Pros: Large arrangements; hand-delivery; international delivery; very responsive customer service.
Cons: Not what I ordered.