Forcing Flowering Woody Branches Indoors
Extend the season by forcing branches from spring-blooming trees and shrubs to flower indoors.
For a colorful display in midwinter, cut branches from spring-blooming trees and shrubs and bring them inside. With a little bit of help, you can force them to bloom earlier indoors.
Pussy willows are a good choice for forcing inside. The stems are tough and woody, so crush the cut end with a hammer or cut into it with clippers to help the branches take up water once they're placed in a vase. Cherry, flowering quince and forsythia stems can also be cut and forced in the same way.
Place prepared stems in a vase of warm water in a well-lighted room. A drop or two of hydrogen peroxide will speed the blooming process. If you want the blooms to last longer, place the cut branches in a cool room in low light.
You can also cut pussy willow branches off the plant at exactly the stage you want them. Bring them indoors, but don't put the branches in water. Just spray them with hairspray, arrange them in a vase or similar container and they'll last a long time.
Forcing Bulbs Indoors
Force spring-blooming bulbs indoors so you can enjoy their beauty ahead of schedule.
Flowering Bulbs for Fall Planting
Plant these bulbs in fall for a glorious show of color in your spring or summer garden.
Winter-Hardy Tropical Plants
Many of the plants that project the tropical look aren't winter hardy below 15 to 20 degrees (USDA Zone 8). But many of these plants make excellent houseplants and can be overwintered in the home, spending summers in your garden.
Barking Up the Right Tree
The beauty of unclothed deciduous trees includes one of their most overlooked but dramatic features: the bark. Especially in winter, the many colors, textures and patterns of bark in selected species seem to take on a whole new beauty.
Learn about several plant varieties and the planting information for each zone.
More Flowering Plants
Learn about more than a dozen plant varieties and the planting information for each zone.
Growing Food Through the Cold Season
Your garden doesn't have to stop producing just because the cold weather has arrived.
Spring Colors for the Garden
Paul James shares a list of some of his favorite spring-blooming plants.
Turnips have a rich history and interesting health benefits, and can be grown easily in spring or fall home gardens.
When to Plant Turnips
Turnips are cool-weather plants that can be sown in late winter, spring, or late summer to give them the two months they need to mature before it gets too hot or freezes.
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