I know in some parts of the country Spring is already underway, but here in New Jersey we have a few more weeks before we see any blooming going on. Usually every year about this time, I like to bring in some branches for forcing. It’s raining most of the day today but I might have to get out there to do this while it’s on my mind…
Are you wondering, what flowering trees and shrubs are good for forcing?
There are many spring flowering plants that will easily blossom indoors and you can experiment with whatever you have growing in your yard. Some traditional trees and shrubs to try include: azalea, crab apple, flowering quince, forsythia, magnolia, pussy willow, redbud, rhododendron, serviceberry, spirea, witch hazel, and fruit trees such as cherries, pears and apples.
It’s best to cut your branches on a relatively warm day. Look for swollen, plump buds. There will be both flower and leaf buds on the stems, but flower buds tend to be rounder and larger than leaf buds. Cut your branches at an angle and be sure your cut them long enough to display.
The right container makes all the difference in how they look. I prefer a vase that is wide at the bottom and narrow on top, similar to these.
Don’t let the branches dry out. A fresh cut, or better still, smashing the bottoms of your branches gently, will make it easier for the branches to take up water.
After placing your branches in a container of water, place your container away from sunlight, in a cool location. Check the water in the container daily and change it when it becomes cloudy or discolored. Depending on the type of branch and when you cut them, you should see the buds swell and begin to open within 1 – 2 weeks. At this time, you can move your flowering branches into sunlight and place them on display.
Keep checking and changing the water in the container and your forced blooms can last until the real thing blossoms outdoors.
Have you ever forced branches? It’s not hard, you should try it!
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
~ Luci ~
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