Forcing Flowering Woody Branches Indoors

Extend the season by forcing branches from spring-blooming trees and shrubs to flower indoors.
variegate kumson forsythia has early yellow blooms

variegate kumson forsythia has early yellow blooms

Variegated Kumson Forsythia

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.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Flowering Plants

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.

Flowering Bulbs for Fall Planting

Plant these bulbs in fall for a glorious show of color in your spring or summer garden.

Fall Gardening, Planting and Lawn Care Tips

The gardening season isn't over when the weather gets cooler.

Treasure Flower and Other Eye-Catching Plants

Here are 12 plant varieties and the planting information for each zone.

Planting Trees Properly

Follow these planting tips to help you grow healthy trees in your yard for many years to come.

13 Best Fragrant Indoor Plants

Infuse your home with the perfume of these scent-sational plants.

Plants for a Shade Garden

Check out annuals, perennials, groundcovers, shrubs and understory trees that are made for the shade garden.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.