Sunday, March 22, 2009

Forcing Blooms

Today I clipped a few branches to force from some flowering trees in and around my yard. (Can you tell I'm getting impatient to see something other than a crocus around here?!) Some bloom earlier than others, so I’m curious what will happen.
If you’ve never done this, it’s not hard at all. The only requirement is that the branches being forced must have had at least 6 weeks of dormancy (not hard in zone 6!). Just bring them indoors and put them in a vase of warmish water – split the cut end a few inches and remove any buds that would be under water. Put them in a spot out of direct sunlight. Normal room temperature of 60 – 70 degrees is fine. Be patient - it can take 1-6 weeks before you’ll see anything. Change the water every few days to prevent bacteria growth.

I’m trying:
Forsythia

Dogwood

Ornamental Cherry

Magnolia




Which one will bloom first? (The forsythia are due any day outside now, so I'm guessing those.) I’ll post an update when I have something to show!

8 comments:

Joanne said...

I love the look of branches blooming indoors like that. It's got a very artistic feel to it, accenting a room.

wendy said...

I forced forsythia in February last year without any problem - but this year I wasn't as obsessive, didn't search the web ahead of time and probably put them in too much light. In February all I got was leaves and two little flowers. Still, the green was nice.

I have early daffodils blooming now (zone 5) too along with my crocusses -- spring is coming, slowly but surely.

our friend Ben said...

OMG Jen, I thought I was going to choke when I saw the "American Gothic" picture of the Obamas! Too classic!!! Our friend Carolyn is the branch-forcing queen. When we go to the Friday Night Supper Club at her house these days, we're likely to see arrangements of witch hazel, forsythia, pussy willow, redbud, flowering quince, and mercy knows what-all. We can't bear to cut our own stuff for the house---we want it all outside!!!---but we admire your efforts. Every bit of color helps!

tut-tut said...

There is something so spare and beautiful about forced branches.

tina said...

I think the forsythia will bloom first. Let us know.

flowergardengirl said...

The only one I could do right now is dogwood. The rest have bloomed already. This hasn't been our prettiest Spring. I really don't know why. We had an awful drought last year that really stressed the plants. Maybe that has something to do with it.

I may just go get a dogwood branch and give this a go. I've never done it before but it sounds like fun. We can compare pictures and timing.

Karen said...

Those are going to be stunning and are a great way to bring spring in a little earlier. I can understand your impatience! I was going nuts until the daffodils finally started. Once they're here, I feel like we're out of the woods. Hope you get there soon!

Squirrel said...

I think I'll try this pink thing in my backyard. I forget what it's called -- Japanese something?

I never thought about forcing forsythia. Good idea.