The Beauty of Flowering Branches Indoors

A beautiful preview of spring, flowering branches are an elegant, dramatic way to bring a little bit of nature into your home. Easy to bring into bloom, these branches arrive heavily budded, and their flowers will gradually open over the course of a few weeks.

Forsythia, Quince, Cherry Blossoms, Plum, and Magnolia are beautiful—and perfect for forcing.

Once you receive your flowering branches, the first course of action is to trim the branches. Using a sharp pair of pruners, cut your branches to the desired height. A good guideline is to trim branches to about two times the height of your vase.

Pruning Tips to Ensure a Longer Vase Life
  • Always cut your branches on a diagonal.
  • Next, cross cutting the base will ensure the branches are able to take up more water.
  • Lastly, removing the bark off the last few inches of the branch will further allow water to penetrate the branch.

The goal is to create open surface area on the branch to make it easier for them to take in water. The base cut of all flowers and branches seals up after a few days in water—and in a few minutes out of water—so be sure to give your stems a fresh prune every few days. The fresher the cut, the longer your branches will continue to bloom, and add beauty to your space.

Japanese spirea with curated vases from our studio.

Keeping Branches Hydrated

Once your branches are properly pruned, place them in a vase filled with warm water. Change the water every few days, or anytime it appears murky. With all cut flowers, fresh clean water is imperative, as it keeps natural bacteria from developing, thus lengthening the life of your cut stems. Flowering branches have a vase life around two to three weeks.

If you notice the buds on your flowering branches are not blooming, try pruning back your branches and placing them in very hot water. The hotter the water, the easier it will be for your branches to drink the water. This should shorten the amount of time it takes for the buds to bloom. Do not hesitate with the temperature, anything just below boiling is safe to use on the branches.

Flowering branches such as Forsythia (pictured above), Quince, Cherry Blossoms, Plum, and Magnolia are beautiful, and perfect for forcing. These harbingers of spring can provide the mood lift we sometimes need in the final stretches of winter … enjoy!

Get the Look: Iittala Aalto Finlandia Vase in white,  Secrecy Vase, Book: The Flower Fix.