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

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.

13 Favorite Winter Flowers

Grow these flowers to keep your garden colorful throughout the season.

3 Houseplants With Lovely Winter Flowers

Rosemary, cyclamen and holiday cactus are houseplants that brighten winter with cheery blooms.

10 Best Perennials and Flowers for Full-Sun

Got a super sunny spot in your garden? These sun-loving flowering perennials thrive in the direct sunlight.

How to Grow Perennial Flowers from Seed

Buying container-grown perennials can get pricey. Save money by following this step-by-step guide for growing your own perennials from seed.

A Super-Easy Spring Flower Bed Cleanup

Learn a trick to make spring garden cleanup easy—and improve your soil at the same time.

Get Social With Us

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

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.