Millions of people will say 'I love you' with a beautiful bouquet of flowers this Valentines Day.
But what if the flowers you send your sweetheart don't look like the ones you ordered or even worse, what if they don't show up at all?
INSIDE EDITION placed orders from five national flower delivery companies and had them delivered to the Little Rock, Arkansas, home of professional home and garden designer P. Allen Smith, who hosts “Garden Home” on PBS. “When we order flowers online we always chew our nails about what it’s going to look like,” says Smith.
We ordered a beautiful bouquet online for $165. According to the website, it features lavish purple hanging amaranthus and opulent lavender orchids. But when the flowers arrived, the hanging amaranthus and the orchids were no where to be found in the vase.
INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero asked Smith, “So what do you think of this arrangement in terms of what we paid?”
“I think that's too much money because you’re missing two things and the spray of orchids, well that's the most expensive flower that would have been in the arrangement,” explained Smith.
Watch the Full Segment of this Story
We paid $100 for another mixed bouquet called “Delightful Dream” from another online national company. The arrangement features over a dozen pink tulips. But when the flowers arrived, we didn’t get a single tulip. Not one. Instead, we got gladiolas, which Smith says is a cheaper flower.
Comparing the flowers we received to the picture promised online, Smith said: “This doesn’t match the photograph at all.”
And the hydrangeas and lilies in the vase were a total mess. “They arrived dead on arrival,” said Smith.
But none of those problems came close to the issues we experienced when we ordered the most popular flowers for Valentines Day - red roses!
We paid $150 for two dozen red roses from Flowershopping.com, but when they arrived we got stiffed 6 roses. Instead of 24, we only got 18 roses! “If you ordered 24 roses, you should get 24,” said Smith.
Flowershopping.com blamed the missing roses on the local florist that delivered the order. That florist, Bella Flora, says before accepting the order, they told Flowershopping.com they would lose money if they sent 24 roses, and could only deliver 18. Flowershopping.com disputes that.
We also placed an order with FTD. FTD been in business for over 100 years and is known for their marketing expertise and high profile. But when we paid FTD $99 for their 'Blooming Masterpiece' bouquet it never even showed up! That’s right – we never got the two dozen roses we ordered. FTD called us later that day to apologize and offer us a refund.
So what can you do to make sure your Valentine not only gets their flowers, but gets the right kind of flowers? “Talk to a human being,” advised Smith.
Instead of ordering online, he says it’s smarter to call a local florist in the city or town where the flowers are being delivered.
Once those flowers arrive, there are things you can do to keep them fresh and alive a lot longer.
Smith said, “The thing with all these flowers that consumers need to know is you have to keep them away from a direct light source. You need to keep them away from heat.”
Next, cut the stems on an angle, and change the water every other day.
He said, “I'm going to share with you my secret homemade recipe that really works.”
He says feed your flowers with either plant food or your own homemade mixture that consists of half water, half lemon-lime soda, like 7-Up, plus two aspirins and one-half teaspoon of bleach.
“The bleach keeps bacteria from growing in the water,” he said.
And the soda? He said, “The lemon/lime soda provides food, it feeds the plant.”
The aspirin reduces the level of acid in the vase.