Forcing Branches in the Spring

Forcing Branches in the Spring
Designed by
All Rights Reserved

Forcing branches of flowering trees and shrubs is an easy way to bring a little spring into your home while it's still cold outside. Forsythia and pussy willows (Salix caprea) are the easiest to force, but you can try it with many other shrubs and trees too.
You'll need:

VERY sharp scissors or garden shears

vase or bucket to hold what you cut

warm water

hydrogen peroxide or a floral preserver

Cut your branches on a warmer, sunny day that is above freezing. You'll want to cut when they are about 6-8 weeks away from blooming for the best results. Cut the branches on the diagonal with very sharp shears. You want a clean, quick cut. Immediately place them in a luke warm vase or bucket of water. Cut above a bud, the larger buds are usually the flower buds. Cut about a 12 inch length. Place the bucket in a cool location such as a garage or covered porch overnight, still keeping the ends in the water. In the morning, cut a tiny bit off the ends again, and then make a 1 inch vertical slit up from the bottom of the branch, to allow more water in. Bring the flowers inside to a room that is about 70 degrees. Add a couple drops of hydrogen peroxide, bleach or a floral preservative to the water and change it, adding drops to the new water, every few days. The tips should NEVER become dry. Also, keep the vase out of direct sunlight. The amount of time till bloom will depend on when they are cut, and how large the buds are. Both pussy willow and forsythia will take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to bloom, depending on the bloom size.

You can dry the pussy willow if you wish. As soon as they bloom, place them in a vase with NO water to air dry. You can use them in dried arrangements as an everlasting, once they dry. If you keep them in water they will root, and can replanted once there is a root system formed if you don't wish to dry them.

You can also try forcing Witch Hazel, Dogwood, Flowering Quince, Flowering Almond, Pear, Cherry, Peach or Plum branches.


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


Seasonal Feature
Summer Harvest Tea

Before the cool weather sets in, enjoy the bounty of your herb, flower and vegetable gardens by giving a Summer Harvest Tea Party. Plan your theme around the garden, invite friends and family. Don't make it a formal affair, but rather a way to celebrate everyone's gardens and share produce, flowers, seeds and advice.

Read More…
Home & Garden

Harvesting and Using Summer Squash

Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables. I love the yellow summer squash in particular. They should be harvested while still tender, when they have a "glossy" appearance and are still small. You will most likely need to harvest daily once they start to appear.

Read More…
antibiotics online canadian drugs antibiotics antibiotics from canada