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Everything You Need to Know About Ordering Flowers from UrbanStems

It’s been a few months since we last ordered fresh flowers from UrbanStems so I treated myself to three summer bouquets to let you know what’s rustling at this flower delivery specialist. For clarity, the bouquets ordered for our UrbanStems review were paid for out of my own pocket and shipped directly to my home in the Pacific Northwest!


My UrbanStems Experience – The Essentials:

There are several key factors that go into the experience of receiving a great bouquet of flowers. Here’s how I scored UrbanStems on this delivery round:

OVERALL:

Style & Design: Bright, modern, and stylish. The bouquets received closely resembled the designs presented when placing the order.
Quality & Freshness: Some slight wilting of the outer rose petals on a few stems, otherwise fresh, pre-bloom flowers throughout.
Packaging:  Robust, well constructed, and recyclable. The bouquets were well protected in transit.
On-Time Delivery: Arrived within the specified delivery window.
Ease of Ordering:  Fast and clutter-free though a few issues with availability to my respective delivery location.
Value For Money: The overall value at $50 to $75 per arrangement is good factoring in the flower types that were featured, the style, packaging, and overall service. The larger ‘double’ bouquet options definitely represented the better value overall given the savings available.

About UrbanStems

UrbanStems Style
Credit: Petal Republic

A bit of background if you’re new to the world of UrbanStems. This DC-based online-only florist was founded by two friends and launched back in 2014 ahead of Valentine’s Day that year on a mission to redefine the flower gifting experience. 

They center around farm-fresh flowers, imaginative and on-trend floral designs, and speedy delivery options which are available across the contiguous US. Today they also carry a wide variety of home-ready houseplants and chic gifts which can be paired with any of their signature floral arrangements.    

UrbanStems ships fresh flower arrangements to homes, offices, and venues throughout the country. There are no storefronts or warehouses involved which has a few practical benefits. The theory goes you’re getting seasonal flowers days fresher than you might find elsewhere and by cutting out the traditional ‘middlemen’ there’s usually a few dollars to be saved when it’s all said and done as well. 

Where Are My UrbanStems Flowers Coming From? 

UrbanStems The Manor Flower Arrangement
Credit: Petal Republic

Much like the vast majority of cut-flowers produced and sold in the United States, UrbanStems sources the majority of their blooms from flower farms in South America (primarily Ecuador and Colombia). 

These regions have been the cornerstones of global floral production for years now, benefiting from superior year-round growing conditions and advanced farming infrastructures that allow for a vast array of flower species to be produced throughout the year. 

When you consider the likes of Valentine’s Day, which falls in mid-February when much of the northern hemisphere is frozen solid, regions such as Latin America provide the best geographically adjacent options for lush red roses that simply couldn’t be produced domestically. 

Sustainability and The Environment 

We hear a lot about sustainability in the floristry industry but what does that really mean? 

Wastage is a huge problem throughout the supply chains due to the delicate and rapidly degrading nature of a fresh-cut flower but there are things that can be done to lighten the impact of our desire for beautiful blooms. 

For instance, sustainably conscious florists are experts at stock and inventory management, carefully balancing demand with supply to ensure they’re never overstocked with unusable flowers. In addition, past prime blooms under the right stewardship can be turned into sumptuous dried flower arrangements which last for months and years to come. 

At the beginning of the process are the farmers themselves who are growing flowers to meet the needs of weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and more throughout the year. 

Rainforest Alliance and Veriflora Certified Producers

Rainforest Alliance Certified Flower Farms

Good to know – UrbanStems maintain a strict policy of only working with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and Veriflora farms.

The Rainforest Alliance was set up as a way to ensure collective action for people and the environment producing in regions where the destruction of natural habitats and exploitation of local workers has been rife in years gone by.

The Alliance strives to ensure that 3 key pillars of sustainability (spanning social, economic, and environmental factors) are adhered to throughout the flower production process. This means local workers are paid a fair wage and have access to healthcare whilst the farms themselves are required to implement ecologically considerate production processes throughout.

To learn more, I’d recommend visiting the Rainforest Alliance who has a number of detailed FAQs. 


UrbanStems Floral Style, Collections, and Prices

UrbanStems Bouquets
Credit: Petal Republic

UrbanStems signature bouquets and floral arrangements stand out for their one-of-a-kind designs and creative partnerships with the likes of Vogue and other leading collaborations. 

Collections evolve and rotate as we move through the growing seasons so expect colors, fragrances, textures, and flower types to reflect what’s available and peaking at that given moment. 

Individual Bouquets & Arrangements:

There’s typically a wide assortment of flowers to pick from spanning roses, peonies, lisianthus, calla lilies, ranunculus, delphiniums, lavender, proteas, tulips, and more. These feature across occasion-ready designs tailored to numerous meanings and intended sentiments (such as romantic gestures, birthday celebrations, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). 

Individual bouquets and arrangements (which can all be paired with a chic vase for an extra charge) are available in several size options ranging from modest up to grand and overflowing creations filled with all sorts of flowers. 

There’s also a good variety of dried floral arrangements which should retain their beauty for at least 6 months+. 

Individual arrangements start from around $50 with options going up to around $150 based on the size and complexity of the design.

Weekly or Monthly Flower Subscriptions:

There’s also a popular subscription flower delivery service that will furnish you with fresh arrangements weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. A real treat for the home, office, or special gift for friends, family, and loved ones. 

Options include a classic, seasonal, or luxury subscription plan ranging in price from $55 to $105 for each delivery. 

All subscriptions are very flexible which we appreciate. You can skip/pause at any time if you need a break or are likely to be on vacation for instance. 

Houseplants & Gifts: 

UrbanStems curates a growing collection of home-ready plant life spanning many popular varieties including ZZ plants, Fiddle Leaf Fig bushes, Snake Plants, Hoya Hear Cacti, Ferns, Orchids, Pothos plants, and more. Each arrives composed in a cool potting vessel and is ready to be unpacked and positioned on delivery. 


My UrbanStems Experience 

I ordered three separate bouquets for this order covering a mix of colors and flower types that were in season. Here’s how they looked on the UrbanStems website at the time of ordering:

The Manor – $65 

Featuring: Roses, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Ranunculus, Astilbe, and Tinted Red Boxwood

The Manor Urbanstems

The Prism – $80 

Featuring: Ranunculus, Roses, Scabiosa, Craspedia, Snapdragon, Mini Carnation, Solomio IMRE, Delphinium, and Ruscus

The Prism UrbanStems

Double the Nina – $130 

Featuring: Roses, Carnations, Bells of Ireland, and Eucalyptus.

Double the Nina Flower Arrangement from UrbanStems

The Online Ordering Experience at UrbanStems 

Having explored 100s of flower shop stores online I can confidently say UrbanStems scores well in terms of speed and general ease of use. Everything is clearly laid out, easy to navigate, pages load fast and the checkout process didn’t bombard me with endless upsells and pop-ups. Nice! 

I did have a few issues with certain arrangements not being available that particular week for delivery to my region for some reason but the helpful customer service team got me back on track. 


UrbanStems Flower Delivery Options in the USA

UrbanStems The Prism Flower Arrangement
Credit: Petal Republic

If you’re based in NYC or DC where UrbanStems operates a fleet of bicycle and car couriers then you can order flowers for same-day delivery up until the cut-off at around 4 pm that day. Delivery services are available 7-days a week. You can also specify a 2 or 4-hour delivery window.

For the rest of the country, next-day delivery is available on all orders placed by 2 pm and is fulfilled by FedEx and CDL. It’s worth noting that both primarily deliver from Tuesday to Friday between 8 AM and 8 PM each week so you may need to plan ahead a little. Some cities and regions also have weekend slots but you’ll need to enter your zip code and check at the time of ordering. 

You can also specify delivery instructions if you sign-up for a FedEx account (such as specific locations for the flowers to be left and preferred time slots on the day of delivery). You’ll also receive a tracking number to keep an eye on delivery when it’s in transit. 

I ordered a week out and was relatively flexible on dates so had lots of options to pick from. Based on past experience, delivery slots have quickly sold out ahead of major holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Christmas so I’d still recommend booking in a slot as and when you can. 


Taking Delivery 

I was actually out of the house when FedEx delivered my UrbanStems arrangements but kindly left the box with a neighbor as I’d preferenced in their app. The good news is they arrived on time as promised! 

As you can see below, each bouquet gets its own signature UrbanStems light pink delivery vessel to keep them safe and secure in transit: 

The UrbanStems Delivery Box
Credit: Petal Republic

The cardboard packaging is all recyclable as well so once you’ve removed the flowers simply fold and discard with the rest of your paper and cardboard household recycling. 

Once you open the box, you’ll notice a few neat tricks the UrbanStems team has put in place in the interest of ensuring your bouquet is in the best possible shape it can be. 

Firstly you’ll see the stems are secured in place with ties and some additional padding and the whole bouquet is wrapped in paper. 

Pre-bloom Flowers:

You might also notice the blooms are still somewhat closed when you first open the box. This is totally to be expected as UrbanStems (like other flower delivery specialists) ships their flowers pre-bloom calculating for the period of time from cutting through to delivery at your door. You’ll typically get to witness their full spectacle about 2 to 3 days after you’ve unpacked and arranged the flowers in a vase. 

Here’s how my arrangements were looking straight out of the box:

UrbanStems Flowers in Box on Delivery
Credit: Petal Republic
UrbanStems Pre Bloom Flowers
Credit: Petal Republic

What Comes in the UrbanStems Box? 

In addition to the flowers, of course, UrbanStems includes the prerequisite packet of flower food and some handy care instructions with details on the bouquet you’ve received. 

Flower care instructions and flower food provided by UrbanStems
Credit: Petal Republic

What Condition Were the Flowers on Delivery?

Our flowers arrived in a good, fresh condition which I’m pleased to report (scroll through below). You can see the outside petals of the lilac rose flowers starting to dry a little (again, this is to be expected from experience). I’d always recommend gently peeling away a few of the outside petals when you’re first arranging the bouquet in a vase. These are often the first thing to wilt in transit as the flowers are craving a drink after being out of the ground). 

UrbanStems The Prism Bouquet
Credit: Petal Republic – UrbanStems ‘The Prism’
UrbanStems The Manor Bouquet
Credit: Petal Republic – UrbanStems ‘The Manor’
UrbanStems Double the Nina Flower Arrangement
Credit: Petal Republic – UrbanStems ‘Double the Nina’

Setting Up Your UrbanStems Bouquet at Home

The bouquets were essentially good-to-go on delivery. You won’t need to summon up your creative floral design skills if you don’t want to, which is great for those who just want to enjoy their floral arrangement without the fuss. 

Unless you’ve specifically added a vase at the time of placing the order, your arrangement won’t include one with the order so make sure you have something ready to go when you take delivery. 

I followed the instructions referenced on the delivery box by cutting the stems about an inch from the base at a 45-degree angle. I also removed the leaves and foliage further down the stems that might be submerged in the water. 

Then, simply prepare the vase by sprinkling the flower food sachet in and topping up about a third to halfway with cold tap water. Now, drop the cut stems into the vase and you should be good to go. 

As a general rule, I’d recommend keeping an eye on the water level in the vase (every home environment will see different speeds at which the water evaporates). Look to switch out to fresh water every couple of days if possible to maximize the longevity of the arrangement. 

Also – keep the fresh flowers away from any ripe fruit and make sure they’re not in a spot exposed to bright, direct sunlight which can scorch the delicate flowers.

How Long Will My UrbanStems Bouquet Last? 

Your mileage might vary but I always look for a fresh flower bouquet to last a minimum 7-days with the hope of them still looking plausible after about 2 weeks. Remember, your UrbanStems bouquet isn’t going to be in full bloom for 2 or 3 days so you should be in for a good 10 days at least of beautiful fresh flowers. 


The UrbanStems Verdict 

UrbanStems The Prism Flowers
Credit: Petal Republic

Overall I can say UrbanStems delivered a great selection of bouquets once again. The flowers most importantly arrived fresh, on time, and were a very close match to the arrangements displayed on the UrbanStems website at the time of ordering. 

In comparison to other national flower delivery services I’ve tried recently, the standard/single arrangements weren’t quite as large and bountiful as I’ve experienced from the likes of BloomsyBox and Enjoy Flowers. In terms of design and flower varieties used though, I’d say this is a slightly more premium and stylish experience overall though. 

If you’re looking for on-trend bouquets and color-filled floral designs, then these definitely get two thumbs up for the likes of birthday celebrations, anniversaries, house warmings, new babies, romantic gestures, and more in addition to chic options for the home or office. Just be sure to plan ahead of time around key holidays and floral gifting events as their delivery slots get booked up fast.

For alternatives, I also frequently order from the likes of The Bouqs, Ode a la Rose, BloomsyBox, and others who operate similar farm-to-door delivery services with a slightly different twist in terms of style.

For more, check out UrbanStems here. 

Enjoy! 

Sophia @ Petal Republic.


UrbanStems Flower Delivery FAQ:

UrbanStems are based out of Washington DC.

As with any flower delivery order, it’s best to transfer from the box as soon as feasible so you can rehydrate the cut flowers. Typically, flowers can stay boxed for up to 48 to 72 hours dependent on the prevailing conditions.

UrbanStems flowers arrive pre-bloom so you’ll get to witness their full spectacle for longer. The arrangement should last a minimum of 7 to 10 days.

UrbanStems deliver throughout the Lower 48 States.

UrbanStems flower arrangements typically range from $50 to $150 in price dependent on the size of the bouquet and specific flowers that are used.

Delivery fees will vary (typically $10 to $15) based on the total value of the order and the recipient’s zip code.

UrbanStems offer same-day flower delivery in Washington DC and New York City.


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