By this time of year, we’re ready for blooming branches! It’s easy to force spring flowering branches to brighten up winter. This simple technique forces twigs to break dormancy early for beautiful flowers and colorful leaf buds. Most trees can be snipped and brought indoors. Some of our favorites to use are: Forsythia, Quince, Cherry, Magnolia, Redbud, Pear, Crabapple, Pussy willow and even some Maple trees produce interesting buds!
Once temperatures start to rise above freezing in late winter and buds begin to fatten, it’s the perfect time to cut them. Branches force best when cut on a warm day. The later in winter you bring them inside, the faster they will bloom. Twigs cut now may take a few weeks. Those snipped in March may open in just one to two weeks.
You’ll need pruners, branches, a bucket filled with warm water, bleach, and a vase or container.
Gather and snip branches at least twelve inches long, using the pruners to make clean cuts. Use sharp pruners and be selective, considering the shape of the plant as you cut. You may also want to smash the ends with a hammer to prevent cuts from healing over. Fill a bucket with warm water and add 1 tablespoon of bleach. Place fresh stems in the bucket and wait for the buds to swell. Keep branches out of the sun and mist occasionally. Once buds begin to swell, arrange the stems in a sturdy vase or container and enjoy!
Posted on 1/29/2014 at 6:15:00 PM