Forcing branches indoors allows you to enjoy flowering branches before their natural bloom time. It's all easier than you think. So why wait? Find out how to force branches into early bloom with the steps below.
Doing a little late-winter fruit tree pruning? Bring those branches indoors to enjoy their beautiful blossoms before spring arrives. Be sure to use freshly cut branches for forcing.
The best candidates for forcing include:
Remember, these trees and shrubs need about 2 months of temperatures below 40°F/4°C before they can be forced into bloom indoors. Late winter or early spring is the ideal time to start gathering branches. Select branches when buds are starting to swell. Take several because some may not bloom.
That's it! You should expect your branches to blossom in about 2 to 4 weeks.
Keep your cut branches in a fairly cool (60-70°F/16-21°C) and bright room, but away from direct sunlight. Just like potted and cut flowers, warm temperatures and sunshine encourage flowers to open, while cooler temps will allow flowers to open slowly and last longer.
Another trick that helps flowering branches to last longer is to cut off a bit of the stems every day or two, allowing them to drink up more water. Also, replace with fresh water every couple days, keeping the water level at the same height.
To show them at their best, place just a few branches in each vase. Group 3 or 5 branch-filled vases together for a beautiful display.