February 26, 2011

Forcing Forsythia For February

If you have a Forsythia bush you can also have some quick and easy spring color inside while it is still winter outside.  This early spring blooming shrub sets buds on old wood, meaning last year's branches.  You can see buds already formed in the winter.

Cut branches and bring them in to force their early flowering.  I like to get long branches for a graceful look in the vase.  I also look for those with the most buds.  If you can, gather a lot of them for a full look.

Crush or cut the branch tips again when inside.  This helps the branches take up water.  A little warm water at first can give them a boost.  After it has cooled, add in room temperature water.  Change it often, especially if there are buds on the lower branches below the water line.

Within a week I had these fully bloomed branches brightening up my home during a grey winter.  Forsythia blooms come out ahead of the leaves, hence the intensity of the color.  Green leaves unfurl and you can keep the branches when they take over or discard them. 

This is an easy, quick, and free way to bring spring inside.  It has become an annual tradition for me and a real pick-me-up.  I think you'll enjoy it, too.

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