Branches of some plants can be ‘forced’, or made to bloom indoors before they’d bloom outdoors.  Good ones for this include forsythia (pictured), pussy willow, quince, spirea, flowering crab apple, flowering cherry, lilac and dogwood.

-Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle to improve the stem’s ability to uptake water.  To help this even more, make some vertical splits on the bottom 1” of the stem; smashing that part with a hammer will do the same thing. 
-Put  the stems in a vase of water right away, trimming off any buds that would be below water level; they make the water spoil faster.
-Keep it out of direct sunlight, and change the water every 2-3 days so it doesn’t grow bacteria.  You could also use flower preservative (still changing the water at least once a week); a homemade version is below. 

The flowers should bloom in about three weeks, depending on how close to blooming they were when cut.  If you cut them about a week before normal bloom time, they’ll only take 2-3 days to bloom inside.

To learn when to prune a forsythia (or other spring bloomers), see the post from 04/09/12, Pruning Forsythia or Lilac Bushes.


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