Winter’s barren branches represent a promise of spring to some. The knowing that those dormant twigs can bring such simple beauty indoors is satisfying.
Forcing early-blooming branches is quite simple, provided you start with the correct naturally early-blooming tree or shrub. The following are all excellent examples that can be forced to bloom indoors:
‘Bridal Wreath’ Spirea prunifolia
‘Chinese Snowball Bush’ Viburnum
How to Force Early Blooming Branches into Bloom
- Select branches that are not essential to the form of your shrub or tree, in a crowded section, and towards the back of the plant.
- Cut medium-sized branches with lots of buds, preferably buds that are beginning to open.
- Cut branches on the diagonal to encourage water uptake.
- Condition the ends of the branches (in order to absorb the maximum amount of water) either by smashing the ends with a hammer or cutting the end in half once, and once again.
- Adding weighted (river rocks or metal florist frog) to anchor the vessel.
- Place branches in a vessel of warm water to acclimate (milder water temperatures help ease the transition the plants must make from outdoors to indoors).
- Change the water every few days to prevent rot.
- Once blooms appear, display and enjoy!