FAQs — Ordering Flowers

I don’t know anything about flowers. Where can I get information? Who can I ask?

You probably know more about flowers than you think you do! People are becoming more and more familiar with flowers as they become an integral part of our modern culture and play a role in most major life experiences and social settings.

However, professional florists are the real experts, whether you’re interested in flower care or varieties. They can help you fine-tune your knowledge of flowers. Florists can also suggest design styles for any occasion. Build a relationship with your local florist, and let him or her be your floral mentor.

How do I go about finding a florist in my area?

Relying on word of mouth is often the best way to find a florist. Keep an eye on the flowers at weddings and parties you attend, or the flowers in arrangements delivered to your friends and co-workers. If you like the flowers and design style, inquire as to which florist they came from. If you use a telephone book to find a florist, look for one with a local address. If you choose a national service with a toll-free number, pick an established organization with a strong reputation for providing great service. You can also find a florist in the National Florist Directory.

What qualities should I look for when choosing a florist?

Every floral shop has its own personality. Look for the qualities that best fit your needs, such as creative flair, outstanding service, personal attention, helpful suggestions, selection and variety, top quality product and good value.

Will a florist take my order over the phone if I have never ordered at his or her shop before?

Yes, full service florists will take phone orders if you have a major credit card. Some florists will establish an in-house account after you have made an initial order.

Will a florist send me a bill?

Many florists offer direct billing options for their regular customers. Ask your florist about this service and what the requirements are for establishing an in-house account. If your florist does not provide a direct billing service, he or she will take major credit cards.

How do I know what to order?

Flower shops are a treasure trove of arrangement styles, new flower and plant varieties and gift items. Here are a few tips on working with your florist to create a truly personalized gift:

Tell your florist about the recipient’s personality. Is the recipient a dramatic person? Or perhaps romantic, artistic, traditional or outdoorsy? What are some of his or her hobbies and interests? Do you know the recipient’s favorite color or flower? The simple selection of a flower in the recipient’s favorite color can really personalize an arrangement. Take the Society of American Florists’ Floral Signature Quiz to determine the floral personality of the recipient.
If you are ordering flowers for someone’s home, what is the home like? Is it traditional? Or perhaps casual, Victorian, country or contemporary?

Florists are experts at the art of expression. Let your florist help you look great by creating a highly personalized gift.

What information should I have on hand when I call the florist?

If you are having the flowers delivered, have the recipient’s full name, address and telephone number ready. Any special information such as a work number or times the recipient will be at home are also helpful. Determine your budget before the call and have your payment information ready. Be sure to write out what message you would like to include on the enclosure card. (Your florist can offer suggestions if you’re not sure what you want the card to say.)

Can a florist make a special design for me?

Absolutely. That’s what florists do best! Describe to your florist what you have in mind or ask for creative suggestions. Nothing is more personal than a made-just-for-you floral arrangement.

I never know what to write on the enclosure card. Where can I find some suggestions?

You might want to look at poetry or a book of quotes for ideas. Ask your florist what might be appropriate. Florists have seen thousands of cards and probably have a few ideas to suit your particular occasion. Click here for a list of creative card messages.

What is the best way to send flowers to another town? How can I find a florist in another city?

Most florist shops are members of national wire services and/or know florists in other towns. Your flower order can be taken by your local florist, who will then contact a florist for you in another town and place your order.

If I send flowers to another town, how do I know what they’ll look like?

Most flower shops have books containing traditional designs that you can select from. If you have something specific in mind, be sure to communicate your thoughts to your florist well ahead of time in case he or she has to order any special types of flowers or plants. Another tip is to take a photo of a flower arrangement you like to your florist so they can make reference to it while ordering.
Do certain flowers mean certain things? What if I send the wrong thing?

There are no rules when it comes to sending flowers. With a little thought and help from your florist it’s virtually impossible for you to send the “wrong thing.” Consider the recipient’s age, gender and floral preferences (if you are aware of any). Share details about the personality of the recipient with your florist and he or she will customize your arrangement and ensure the recipient’s delight.

What do the different rose colors mean? Is red always for passion?

In Victorian times flowers had assigned meanings, but even then there was much discrepancy. A man would commission his florist to create and a bouquet, and thereby a “special message,” to his beloved. It was up to the lady receiving the flowers to decipher their meaning. Today there are so many flowers and colors that this tradition no longer applies. Red roses are traditionally associated with romantic love, but this is not a universal rule by any means. Flowers have a much broader vocabulary.
Is it cheaper to order flowers that are in season? How do I know what flowers are in season?

Simply ask your florist what flowers are in season and the best value. Flowers come into flower shops from every corner of the world and every flower is in season somewhere almost all the time! Seasonal varieties are often less expensive when in great abundance. For example, roses are a super value in summer because it is their peak growing season.

If my girlfriend loves a certain flower and I want to get it for her birthday, can I special order it?

Certainly. Be sure you know the name of the flower, and if there’s a certain color you’ll need. Call your florist one to two weeks in advance if possible, as he or she may have to special order the flowers. The sooner your florist can order the flower, the better your chances are of having it in time for the special day.

Where do flowers come from?

The abundant varieties you see in flower shops today come from growers all over the world – Europe, Australia, Africa, South America, the United States and more. More flowers are available now than ever before and modern shipping technology allows product fresh from the field to be transported to the marketplace in a matter of hours.

Aboutflowers.com is hosted by the Society of American Florists, the U.S. floral industry trade association. Click below to find a local SAF member florist to send flowers, roses and gifts for delivery.