Love is in the air! As of the time of publishing this post, Valentine’s Day 2019 is just around the corner. As a result, flower deliveries will soon be in full bloom all across the country. While the most time-honored way to gift flowers is in person (and preferably with chocolates), you can also ship them! Whether you want to send a personalized bouquet to that special someone or just show a friend that you care, this guide is all about how to ship flowers. Let’s get started!
Package Your Flowers Properly
When it comes to shipping flowers, the golden rule is to package them properly! You’ll want to ensure the flowers arrive safely with all of the petals and stems in tact (or else what’s the point?). Here’s an easy process to follow when you’re ready to ship:
Use a Strong, Corrugated Box
The best way to make sure your flowers arrive safely is to ship them inside a new corrugated box, and to use the proper packing material inside. We recommend lightly wrapping the flowers with packing paper, the same way you’ll find flowers wrapped in plastic at your local grocery store.
Cut the Stems
Some long-stemmed flowers such as roses might not fit into your box, so you may need to cut the stems to make sure the flowers fit. Obviously, you’ll need to measure so you don’t cut the stems too short. If possible, be sure to leave at least a couple of inches of room between the petals and the edge of the box. This minimizes the chances of the cardboard rubbing up against the tips of the petals and causing damage.
Clamp the Arrangement
Always use cable ties (or rubber bands, if you don’t have cable ties) around the middle of the stems to secure floral arrangements inside your box. This prevents the individual flowers from shifting around during transit and keeps the arrangement in tact.
Protect the Vase
If you’re shipping the flowers inside a vase, make sure to cushion the vase with plenty of bubble wrap and/or foam sheets. Some vases are made of glass, so you’ll need to treat those the same way as you would when packaging a fragile item.
Do NOT Include Water!
This one is important. When shipping flowers, you cannot include water in the vase. While water doesn’t technically fall into the category of shippable hazardous materials, shipping flowers with water is prohibited because it may leak and cause product damage or safety issues.
Need some additional tips on packaging flowers? Check out this PDF that FedEx published.
Which Carrier Should I Use to Ship Flowers?
Flowers are lightweight items, and if you’re a floral retailer, you know they are a relatively low-margin product. Therefore, you’ll want to choose a shipping carrier that will get your flowers to your destination quickly, safely, and at an attractive price. If you pay too much for shipping your flowers, it won’t make sense for your business model. Simply put, the US Postal Service will always offer the best mix of affordable cost and quick delivery times. If you’re not using your own custom branded packaging, USPS also provides free boxes…just make sure you cut the stems so your flowers can fit inside.
Sound Like Too Much Work?
If you’re not in the business of selling flowers, you may find it too much of a hassle to pick them, cut them, pack them, and send them out. We wouldn’t blame you—it’s a long process! Sometimes it’s easier to just find an online retailer that sources flowers from local distributors. It ends up being more expensive than doing it all yourself, obviously…but you don’t have to worry about packaging and shipping. These businesses will even deliver your flowers in a vase along with personalized notes! Here’s a list of some companies that sell flowers online:
Pro Tip: Those flowers aren’t complete without a box of chocolates, especially around Valentine’s Day! Check out our guide on How to Ship Chocolate for some tips and tricks.