How to Force Flowering Branches Indoors

Cherry Blossoms

Ever wonder how to get branches of winter dormant flowering trees or shrubs to bloom indoors? I saw some branches of these available for sale at Trader Joes today! If you have a tree that blooms in the spring like a cherry tree, almond tree, dogwood, pussy willow or perhaps a forsythia shrub, you can force the blooms to flower indoors in a vase of water.

Cherry Blossoms

A few tall branches look quite dramatic in a tall vase against a wall in a foyer or on a table against a plain wall. Look for the tree or bush that has some buds that are getting large on the branch but have not “cracked open” yet. Cut the branches and bring it inside and place the entire length into a tub of warm water and leave it to sit overnight. This will help the buds to “crack” open. (If the branch already has some flowers opening, just place in the vase.)

Forsythia Blooms

In the morning, give the bottom of the branch a clean cut and place in the vase where it will stay. In the old days, florists would be advised to “smash” the ends of woody stems. We don’t recommend that. To allow the best chance for water uptake in the stem, use very clean and sharp pruning shears. Splice the bottom of the stem up about 2 inches in a cross format to allow more surface area for the water to enter the stem.

Try not to move the vase once the flowers start to open on the branch as the blooms will be delicate and can fall off easily if moved.

Almond Blossom

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