How to Bring Your Spring Garden Indoors Early

yellow blooms on forsythia branch
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How to Bring Your Spring Garden Indoors Early

The Best Shrubs to Choose and Steps to Encourage Blooms

Spring is a season of renewal and growth, and what better way to celebrate it than by bringing some of that beauty indoors? Forcing branches from shrubs and trees to bloom early is a delightful way to enjoy spring blossoms even before the weather warms up. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Types of Shrubs and Trees Suitable for Forcing

Popular choices of shrubs and trees are suitable for forcing. 

How to Encourage Early Blooms

Step 1: Selecting the Right Branches

Choose branches with plenty of buds that are beginning to swell. Look for branches that are about 1 to 3 feet long and have a good shape.

Step 2: Cutting the Branches

Cut the branches at a 45-degree angle using sharp pruning shears. Make sure to cut just above a bud or side branch to encourage future growth.

Step 3: Preparing the Branches

Once inside, make a second cut under water to ensure that no air enters the stem. You can also split the base of the stem about an inch to help it absorb water more easily.

Step 4: Soaking the Branches

Place the branches in a tub of warm water and let them soak for several hours or overnight. This helps the buds to open.

Step 5: Arranging the Branches

Arrange the branches in a vase filled with warm water and floral preservative. Place them in a cool room with indirect sunlight.

How to Make Your Own Homemade Flower Preservative

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon household bleach
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1 quart lukewarm water

Thank you to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for the recipe

Step 6: Caring for the Branches

Change the water every few days and mist the branches regularly. Keep them away from direct heat sources.

Step 7: Enjoying the Blooms

In one to three weeks, depending on the type of shrub or tree, the buds will start to open, and you'll have beautiful indoor blossoms to enjoy!

Forcing branches to bloom early lets you bring a touch of spring into your home even before the shrub  has fully awakened from its winter slumber.