Our honest review of FTD, the best flower service for same-day and international delivery

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Best flower delivery 2021 FTD 4x3

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyFlower Delivery Service (small)

Sometimes you really just need to send some flowers fast - moments of sympathy or apology, last-minute gifts, or when an unexpected celebration is in order.

While many popular online flower delivery services like the Bouqs and UrbanStems offer next-day delivery options, they stop short of same-day delivery, or they only offer it in select urban areas.

For same-day flowers, your options are usually: pick something up from the store, find a florist, or use a floral wire service like 1-800-Flowers, Teleflora, or Florists' Transworld Delivery Service (FTD). While I always prefer to support small businesses when I can, floral wire services are a great option when your recipient lives far away and you don't know a local florist.

I've used both 1-800-Flowers and FTD in the past to send flowers in a pinch, but never seen the end result. Recently, I had the opportunity to try both as part of our guide to the best flower delivery service, and I was far more impressed with FTD's selection, prices, quality, and delivery experience. Here's why FTD is now my go-to for same-day flowers.

How it works

FTD has been in the flower delivery business for more than 100 years and offers delivery to all 50 states and more than 150 countries. In most cases, as long as you place your order before 2 p.m. at your recipient's local time, you'll have the option of getting it delivered the same day. In order to make this happen, FTD often partners with local florists to fulfill and deliver orders (though some products, like plants, may ship via UPS from FTD).

Once you put in your delivery address and choose a delivery time, you'll be presented with a range of floral design options in different styles and at different price points. Shipping starts at $17.99, but you may have to pay more for weekend delivery or expedited delivery to Hawaii and Alaska. Expect to pay at least another $5 for a "same-day" fee on top of shipping.

Review of FTD

FTD's product selection encompasses flowers, plants, gift baskets, edible arrangements, chocolate, and other gifts. While there are lots of options, the site is surprisingly easy to navigate. I put in my address and a few different delivery dates to see how that impacted what was available.

FTD flower delivery service review 2021 plant
The Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant we ordered from FTD.

According to the website, 114 bouquets are usually available in my area with enough lead time, but with same-day delivery, my options were limited to about 37 (though this still represented a wide range of styles and prices). The available arrangements primarily include flowers like roses, lilies, carnations, and sunflowers, in bright colors like yellow, red, and pink. While this makes sense since those are fairly hearty flowers that are popular and almost always in stock at florists, the overall vibe of the arrangements is more traditional than modern.

I placed one order to be delivered to myself and one to a coworker in Seattle. We ordered the Charm & Comfort Bouquet for same-day delivery and a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant for delivery later in the week to evaluate the experience of receiving an arrangement delivered by a partner florist and a plant from FTD via UPS.

FTD flower delivery service review 2021 bouquet
The "Charm & Comfort Bouquet" we ordered from FTD.

Your delivery experience will vary based on the florist that fills your order, but both our Seattle tester and I received fuller, fresher flowers and plants from FTD than from other similar same-day services like 1-800-Flowers. The colors in my bouquet were more muted and the vase I received was different than in the picture on FTD's website, but I actually ended up liking the colors I received better and some variation is expected with all flowers based on what's fresh and available. My bouquet was in excellent condition and lasted a little more than two weeks.

The delivery experience was a bit odd; I got a message saying my flowers had been delivered when they very clearly had not. A few hours later, my doorbell rang and my flowers actually appeared. While it was still within the estimated delivery times, the false delivery message threw me for a loop.

I also, of course, included an encouraging note to myself to be delivered with the flowers. The florist who delivered the arrangement hand-wrote the note, but did so on a "get well" card. I had a good laugh about it, but it may not have been so funny if I was delivering to a loved one. A big caveat on all this, however, is that all these delivery quirks were a product of the florist that delivered my arrangement and not FTD. So just keep in mind your mileage may vary.

FTD flower delivery service review 2021 note
The note that came with my bouquet. I wrote an encouraging message to myself. Oddly, it came hand-written on a "get well" card.

Cons to consider

To me, the fact that your experience can vary wildly based on who fills your order is the biggest con of using any floral wire service. While FTD vets all of its floral providers, there's still no way of knowing just who might end up filling your order.

The arrangements also lean more toward traditional colors and flowers, which may not be everyone's style. Traditional arrangements aren't particularly my cup of tea, though I was able to find something I liked a lot after weeding through the options.

The service was also quite pricey. The bouquet itself was priced reasonably, but once you tacked on tax, delivery, and a "same-day fee," my bouquet ended up costing around $140. This was a bit sneaky, because the upfront cost of the bouquet made it look cheaper than other options like UrbanStems or Farmgirl Flowers, but the added fees actually made FTD pricier overall.

What are your alternatives?

If you have more than a day to get flowers to your recipient, you have many more options that may suit their tastes or preferences better. We particularly like UrbanStems, which we named the best flower delivery service in our guide. It offers next-day delivery to most of the US, and same-day delivery in New York City and Washington, D.C.

If you're pressed for time, need to send flowers internationally or to harder-to-reach parts of the US, a floral wire service like FTD is your best bet. There are other similar services like 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora, but we have been less impressed with bouquets we've received from them.

The bottom line

If you need flowers in a pinch, FTD is the best same-day service we've found. It's also a great option if you need to send flowers internationally or to Alaska or Hawaii, where many other services don't deliver.

Pros: Orders filled by local florists; a large selection of bouquets, plants, and gifts

Cons: Experience can vary based on which florist fills your order, designs are more traditional and less modern

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