Forcing Branches for Indoor Blooms
Late January and February are the best times for pruning many ornamental and fruiting plants in our landscapes. The timing is right for the plants. Did you know you can bring the cuttings from your pruning inside and force them to bloom?
Do your pruning on a sunny day when the temperature is above freezing. Once you bring the cuttings inside, recut the branches on a slant above the original cut and peel back 1” of the bark, or use a hammer to smash the branch end. Remove any dead foliage or buds from the lower 1/3 of the branch and place the stripped stems in slightly warm water.
Keep the branches out of direct sunlight in a room that is on the cool side. 60-70° is best perfect. Replace the water every 3 days or so with fresh tepid water.
Some shrubs that work wonderfully for forcing are forsythia, pussy willow and Japanese quince. Trees that you can force are dogwood, redbud, peach, and apple.