How to Cut Woody Spring Stems

Ask any florist, and they will tell you spring is the best time for cut flowers! Some of the loveliest varieties are available this time of year. Many of those like spirea (pictured), lilac, cherry blossom, quince, and viburnum have woody stems. If you like to bring these inside the house for fresh cut arrangements, you´ll need to cut the stems a special way! Today we are partnering with the new garden store, The Golden Rabbit, to bring you this special florist´s tip!

woody stems
First, cut a criss cross! So, cut into the stem upwards in both directions so that if you were looking at the stem face on, upside down, you would see a cross. Next, cut the stem at a diagonal. This will make it much easier for the flowers to absorb water. Be sure to use heavy duty, sharp clippers like these Japanese flower shears, to get the cleanest cut!
spirea watercolor
Spirea is one of my favorite springtime blossoms. I foraged these and arranged them simply in this modern glass vase that makes just a few stems feel like art.
clippers and apron
I absolutely love the denim apron from Golden Rabbit as it has places for tools and pockets too! The Golden Rabbit is a new garden store from Germany that also sells online. I am smitten with their beautifully designed products. Take a look right here.
apron close up
garden apron
Photos by Chelsea Fuss. Apron, clippers, and vase from The Golden Rabbit. This post is sponsored by The Golden Rabbit. Click here for our ad information.


  1. I’m definitely going to try this method – much easier than the current one I employ that involves carefully splitting the stem in half for a few inches and then snipping one half off, exposing the porous stem center. Would you recommend this for larger woody stems like hydrangea?

  2. Thanks so much for these tips! I have only been getting a couple of days out of my lilacs, definitely going to try this method of cutting.

  3. hi chelsea, i’m looking through your posts to see what tools you’ve used for your flowers and branches. do you recommend these shears to cut through cherry blossom branches (around 1/4 – 3/4 inches thick?) or are they more suitable for thinner stems like lilacs?


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