How to Cut & Arrange Lilies

Posted by Amber Williams on 9th Jun 2022

How to Cut & Arrange Lilies

Ah, lovely lilies! They're a florist's dream for a reason, and make a wonderful flower for both the flower bed and your favourite vase. 

If you're new to cutting flowers from your garden, then the thought of clipping months of hard work might feel just plain wrong. However, if done in the right way, you can harvest flowers throughout the season without doing irreparable damage to your displays.

Here's how to cut and arrange your lilies from start to finish, perfect for the beginner gardener. 

How to Cut Lilies 

Before you start clipping your lilies, it's a good time to mention that cutting any flower requires perfect timing. The best time to clip lilies is just before the buds actually open. This will increase their life in the vase, lasting longer than if they were already in bloom. 

We suggest cutting lilies at the stem with sharp secateurs, just before the first set of leaves. If you're after a long-lasting plant display that reappears without an issue each year, then best to not cut each flower the plant makes. Take around half of the blooms that appear, leaving the rest to die back naturally. 

Like with any plant, its foliage and flowers reach high to the sky, soaking up those precious sun rays to help store the energy for the following year. This is what helps them to regrow, producing the same amount of flowers year after year. If you cut back every flower and its stem as far as you can, you might stop it from reappearing, ruining its bounty. 

How to Arrange Lilies in a Vase 

It's best to know off the bat that lilies have incredibly sensitive petals that can crack or bruise with the wrong touch. This is another reason why we suggest cutting lilies before they're in full bloom, to protect the flowers while you handle them. 

Depending on the size of your vase, you'll want to cut your flower's stems to the correct length. Long stems poking out of a short vase creates an odd effect and will stop you from achieving that fresh from the florist look. 

Cut the stems of the flowers sitting on the outer rim of the vase shorter than those in the middle. This will give you a nice, round shape that looks lovely and professional! 

It's no secret that flowers last longer in the vase when given some nutrients and food. You can make an at-home remedy using just a few ingredients that you'll have in the cupboard. You can follow our flower food recipe here for directions. 

Once you've added your flowers to your vase and you're happy with their arrangement, you can finish off the display by cutting off the stamens. Some people argue that a lily just doesn't look the same without them, but if you worry about the pollen falling off and staining your clothes or that nice new table runner you got from your favourite shop, then cutting off the stamens is an easy precautionary step. 

Want to shop and grow lilies in the comfort of your back garden? Explore our full range of lily bulbs online today.