I've been cutting branches to force into bloom. They such a nice sight at the end of winter and so easy to do....
Look for shrubs with long branches and lots of plump buds. Using sharp pruners (or scissors, in my case today), cut branches at a 45 degree angle at least 12 inches long. Smash the bottom of branch with a hammer (or meat mallet, in my case today) about 2 inches from the cut.
|Photo: Country Home|
Place them in vases or ball jars full of room-temperature water and away from sunlight. Change water everyday for a longer bloom.
They will take anywhere from 1 - 3 weeks to open. Forsythia and pussy willow open the fastest, but you can also use azaleas, rhododendron, crab apple, flowering quince, magnolia, redbud, serviceberry, spirea, and fruit trees (cherries, peaches, pears, and apples). Anything with a plump bud can be forced.
|photo: Southern Living|
This year, I cut pussy willow, dogwood, redbud, and peach blossoms. The peach blossom water turned peach color immediately ~ weird huh? I unrolled a piece of burlap from a picnic last year and placed them in old hoosier jars on the dining room table. Probably not a practical place but that looked so pretty there. And pretty is what it's all about.
Now get out there and cut some branches!
|last year...star magnolia blossoms|