I love to see blooms indoors. I’m not a fan of house plants sitting in dark corners or dropping dead leaves all over. So naturally, forcing branches into full-on flowers indoors is a simple garden fix for the last days of winter. And it’s not at all hard to do. Branches from almost any Spring flowering shrub or tree can be used. Consider forsythia, red bud, pussy willow, quince, crab apple and cherries to bring inside for a forced flourish.
Choose branches that are at least 12 inches long (I prefer at least 20 inches) and should have several tight but plump buds on the branch. Carefully cut the branch away from the parent shrub or tree with a sharp clean knife. You may want to take a few more branches than you need, just in case some fail to bloom properly indoors.
Carefully split the base of the branch about 4 inches up the branch and then trim 1 inch off the base. Place the whole branch in warm water. After the branches have soaked overnight, remove them from the water and place them immediately into the container or vase where they will be displayed, preferably in a room that’s between 60 and 7 degrees. Large clear glass containers look great with dark branches immersed in water.
The flowering branches will need bright, indirect light in order to bloom indoors properly. Direct light can be very intense and may burn the branches or flowers. Like any flower bulb, your branches should bloom within one to 4 weeks. Make sure you change out the water to keep it fresh to help flowers to last longer.