We have used Proflowers
in the past with generally good results. As I prepared this Buyer's
Guide I decided to order from them again and carefully document
the experience. Pictures coming soon.
Placing the Order
Ordering from the website was unremarkable. I placed the order
on a Thursday afternoon. It was too late for next-day delivery,
so I decided to pay $5 extra and have them delivered on Saturday.
I was disappointed that no order confirmation was sent to me, but
I did receive shipment confirmation on Friday, along with the FedEx
On Saturday, January 27, 2001, my wife received a dozen long-stemmed
red roses that I had ordered for her from Proflowers.com. They were
delivered by FedEx at about 10am in an extra-strength cardboard
box with styrofoam insulation. No cold-pack was included, perhaps
because of the january weather. They had been shipped from Columbia.
The flowers were all large blooms with deep red color, arriving
in excellent condition except for one bloom, which had fallen off
its stem. Each rose stem had been inserted into a small, individual
rubber-sealed vial of water. Twelve stems, twelve little vials.
An accent of small white flowers was included, but no greenery.
When I placed the order I was asked to supply a personal message
for the recipient. The message is computer printed on a nondescript
paper inside the box, along with flower care instructions.
Preparing and Arranging
Preparing the flowers required the following steps:
- Open box, undo twist tie which holds flowers in position
in box and carefully withdraw the bundle of stems from the cardboard
- With scissors, remove the plastic wrapping and rubber bands.
- Select a vase, mix the supplied "flower food" with
- Select a large shallow bowl, fill it several inches deep with
- Remove the vials from the stems and place the stems in bowl
- Keeping the stems under the water in the bowl, cut them to
- Quickly place the newly cut flowers in the vase.
My wife was about to cut the stems in air when I remonstrated that
the instructions stipulated they be cut under water. This came as
a big surprise to her. I don't know how much difference this makes,
but don't expect your recipient to necessarily follow these instructions.
The first "large shallow bowl" we tried was not large
and shallow enough -- it was too hard to cut the stems without bending
them, so we switched to another bowl.
The first vase we used had too large an opening: the flower arrangement
was too floppy and loose. The second vase we tried was too light
-- the arrangement was unstable. We finally switched some other
flowers out of the vase they were in and used that.
Neither of us is particularly adept at arranging. It took a while
to get a reasonable balance of the roses and the little white accent
flowers. We regretted that no greenery had been included, that would
have been nice. But we enjoyed going through the arrangement process
I also received an emailed delivery confirmation within a few hours.
A very nice touch.
Sometime in 2000, we had a dozen Proflowers roses sent to our daughter.
Her experience was that they arrived in only fair condition, and
were wilted within a few days. She reports that the stems were not
packed in individual water vials as they should have been.
My wife and I are very happy with these flowers -- they look great
as I write this (and they lasted for nearly two weeks). It's
too bad about the one blossom that fell off its stem. A local florist
would certainly have replaced it before even attempting delivery.
But if I want cut flowers for my own use in the future I can save
even more money and buy them at the local supermarket (1 dozen small
red roses for $20-25).
If your recipient enjoys arranging flowers and has flower vases
that they like to use, then a shipment of freshly cut flowers may
be ideal. Proflowers
is a great source in that case.
If, on the other hand, they just like to look at flowers,
and would prefer not to engage in do-it-yourself arranging, or if
you just don't want them to have to bother about it, then I advise
having a florist deliver a completed arrangement. Take a look at