Enjoy a spring preview of flowering branches! Bring flowering tree branches , such as crab apples and forsythia, indoors so you can enjoy spring early. A little warm air and water will “force” the branches into beautiful bloom. Starting in February, gather branches from flowering rhododendron, apple, cherry, or crab apple trees to bring indoors for an early spring look. In March you can continue the soul-lifting spring colors with clipped of magnolias, mountain laurel, lilacs, dogwoods, and bridalwreath trees.
Follow the steps below to create a one of a kind natural spring look for your home or office.
1st Cut dormant branches, select pencil-thick branch sections about 12-24 inches long. The cut should be used with a sharp knife or pruner making an angled cut at the base.
2nd Bring the branches indoors, then strip buds, twigs, and leaves from lower sections that will be underwater. Use a knife to pare away an inch or two of bark from the base, smash the woody base with a hammer – this will enhance water absorption for the branches.
3rd Place branches in a water-filled sink or bathtub and give them a long soak about 30-40 mintues. Wrap branches in wet newspaper, then place them in clean, luke warm water. Move to a cool, dark area; mist branches and change water daily for 3 days.
4th On the fourth day place branches in a tall water filled vase or pitcher and bring them into a bright indirect sunny location in your home or office. The cooler the space the longer the branches will bloom.
BEST TREES AND SHRUBS FOR FORCING INDOORS
|Tree or Shrub||Time to Bloom|
|Cornelian dogwood||2 weeks|
|Crab apple||4 weeks|
|Flowering almond||3 weeks|
|Flowering dogwood||5 weeks|
|Flowering quince||4 weeks|
|Horse chestnut||5 weeks|