Forcing spring-blooming branches

A little fresh color in your home can help chase away the winter blues. And there’s no better time than now to force buds from spring flowering shrubs and trees. By about the middle of January, outdoor plants have had their six weeks or so of sufficiently cold weather, and have formed tiny buds.

If you’re outside doing a little winter pruning, you’ll end up with a great selection of branches good for forcing. To ensure beautiful cuttings, try some of our time-proven tips.

  • Select a flowering hardwood branch, such as pear, cherry, or forsythia
  • You can choose a small or large branch, but you should be able to see buds on it
  • Once you get inside with your branches, fill your sink with water and trim the branch ends again to aid in uptake
  • Fill your vase with warm water and keep the branches in a warm place to speed up the blooming process
  • Use cold water and keep the branches in a cool or even cold place to slow down the blooming process (this way you can better time the blooming of your forced branches)

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