Flowers are the most popular present for Mother's Day, which falls on May 8 this year. If you can't choose your own bouquet, you can shop online for arrangements that are bursting with color. Consumer Reports ordered from three national websites, ProFlowers, 1-800-Flowers, and FTD, to see whether the arrangements they deliver look like the arrangements pictured online.
Testers checked two dozen deliveries of roses, tulips, mixed flowers, and orchids. The flowers cost $57 to $87, including delivery.
Judges compared photos of the flowers to the pictures on the florist's website. Some of the bouquets proved a good match. But other arrangements didn't measure up.
On FTD's website, the mixed flowers looked lovely. But the flowers FTD sent looked a lot different. Overall, the mixed bouquets were the most disappointing. There were more substitutions of flowers, different colors, and different sizes.
1-800-Flowers was best at sending what was ordered. And their tulip bouquet was the best match of all. Of course, if you really want to plant a smile, nothing beats delivering the flowers yourself.
Once the flowers arrive, they'll last longer if you keep them in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight. The Society of American Florists also recommends using the little packet of flower food that comes with most bouquets, but says be sure to follow the directions.
Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this Web site.
Copyright © 2007-2011 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.