Sunday, February 27, 2011

Forcing Branches!

Tricking branches of flowering shrubs and trees into blooming early is known as "Forcing Branches". It is a great way brighten up your home and also a great reminder that spring is around the corner! The most successful branches to use are ones from forsythia, cherry, and crabapple, but any bloomer can be forced.  Here are our tips for forcing branches:

1) Cut branches about 3 to 6 weeks before normal blooming season, it is easiest to force branches when their buds begin to plump

2) Put the branches in water with in 20 minutes of cutting. Place them in a container with a teaspoon of bleach to kill bacteria that may rot the branches. It is also necessary to keep the upper parts of the branches moist as well; spray them frequently with a misting bottle.

3) Now cover and keep them cool. Ideal temperature would be 50 degrees at night and 60 degrees in the day time. A garage is an ideal place for this stage, as light is not needed.

4) Once blooms begin to appear, arrange branches in a decorative vase and place them in a sunny spot. As the blooms open, change the water weekly and remove from direct sun light.

Let us know if you have any questions!!!

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