Spring to me, is always such an exciting time of year. All at once, as if by magic, the world is brought back to life and suddenly bursting with colour. By the time March arrives I often find myself getting a bit impatient waiting for Spring to arrive, and all trees to be covered in soft blossoms and fresh green leaves. We have been enjoying a bit of this over the past week with the unseasonably warm weather here in Ontario recently, however, if you find yourself still under frost in your area, here’s an easy way to bring a little bit of early Spring indoors. ‘Forcing’ branches is the technique of bringing branches indoors by imitating the Spring weather conditions they would normally experience as the weather warms up and therefore tricking or ‘forcing’ them to blossom early. This way you can enjoy a beautiful display of Spring flowers indoors long before the trees have flowered outside.
How to force spring branches indoors:
- You can bring branches indoors as soon as the buds have begun to swell.
- Select branches that are at least 12 inches long and have a lot of buds of them.
- If temperatures are still below freezing, bring branches indoors, cut their ends, and soak the branches in water before continuing with the steps below.
- As soon as you get them indoors, hold the ends of the branches under water and trim an inch off the ends, then split the ends using a knife.
- Keep the cut ends underwater at all times.
- Remove any buds that will be underwater in your vase, as these can eventually start to rot over time.
- Keep the branches in a cool area of your home with low to medium light (you can even leave them in a basement or closet) until they are ready to bloom. You’ll be able to tell the buds are almost ready to bloom when they start to develop a bit of colour.
- Once they are ready, place the branches in their brighter, more permanent location. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or warm areas as this will decrease their lifespan and can damage the buds.
- Change the water in your vase frequently to eliminate any accumulating bacteria and mist the branches every few days to keep the buds fresh.
- Be patient – branches can often take anywhere from two weeks to a month to bloom. The closer you are to the plant’s natural blooming time, the quicker this will be.
- At full bloom, your branches should last a few weeks – keep them well hydrated and away from heat to preserve them for as long as possible.