Sending flowers to someone who has been ill, or is recovering from surgery, is a practice of long tradition. Something that will cheer up the patient, provide a focus of beauty for them to look upon, and perhaps bring a smile through the pain is what many are hoping for. It’s a good thought, and sometimes an expected action, but there are a few things you should do before you place your flower order.

Call the Hospital

Before your place your order online with your florist, call the hospital. First, to confirm that you have the right one and not one of a similar name. Then, to confirm that the patient is still there–hospital stays are much shorter in modern times. You will also want to confirm that the patient can receive flowers, and to get the correct room number. Patients in ICU cannot usually have cut flowers delivered, but they can receive mylar balloons and stuffed animals.

Think of a Message

What you write on your card for the patient often depends on how well you know them, and the condition of the patient. Remember that family and friends will likely also read the message, so make it as personal as you can, but remember others will probably see it.

Make Sure of Your Information

Remember to give your florist as much, and as complete, information as is possible. Not only the correct name of the hospital, but the name of the patient, their room number, and any other pertinent information. Get this information to your florist as soon as possible, so that they can make sure the flowers are delivered while the patient is still admitted.

Send the Flowers to Their Home

If you are too late to send get well flowers to the hospital, it’s perfectly okay to send them after the patient returns home. In fact, in some cases it might be preferred. Talk to your florist and mention that the bouquet is for someone recently released from the hospital. They will know the best type of flowers to include that will not aggravate those with sensitivity to scent, or perhaps will recommend a gift basket or balloons instead.