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Forcing Spring Branches

As spring slowly begins to appear in the trees and gardens around us, I often find myself giddy with excitement. I can't wait for the buds to burst open with their soft pastel colors delighting my eyes and sweet scents filling my nose. And yet, I can't manage to speed up nature.

Or can I?

plum tree blossoms forced to open indoors
Pink blossoms of a plum tree

Many spring blooming trees can be forced to bloom indoors simply by cutting a budded branch and placing it in a vase of cool water. Keep the water clean by changing it every few days and before you know it, the flower buds will swell and pop! A beautiful blossom has appeared!

My favorite - and easiest - branches to force are plum (pink flowers in the image above), yellow forsythia (below) and the coral-pink blooms of quince (bottom image).

Yellow forsythia branches in full bloom
Cheery yellow flowers on forsythia branches

Forsythia is one of the easiest to force. This multi-stemmed shrub produces long, thin branches loaded with flower buds. Simply cut a few of the branches when they are just starting to show a sliver of color and put them in water. You will have a blooms in a few days.

Quince blossoms in early spring
Quince blossoms in early spring

Have you tried forcing flower branches indoors? What are your favorites?


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