How to Force Branches and Bulbs

forcing branches spring cherry blossom pink

forcing branches spring cherry blossom pink

It’s hard to resist the bunches of colourful spring blooms that show up at markets, florists and corner stores at the time of year. If you’re craving a hit of colour but prefer your floral arrangements a little on the wild side, forcing branches or bulbs is a perfect way to bring some outside, inside – and very inexpensively at that. Flowering branches would make a dramatic centrepiece at your Easter table or a pretty addition to an entryway.

forcing branches spring forsythia apartment therapy

Not a green thumb? It can be difficult to know just which shrubs will flower. Country Home magazine suggests looking for shrubs with long branches and several plump buds. For those of you in the southern states, your shrubs may have already started to bloom outdoors; the further north you live, the better your chances of finding branches with buds. Though it doesn’t take much to prepare branches to bloom – a fresh cut, a quick hit to the ends with a hammer and some room temperature water will do the trick – keep in mind that different varieties require longer time to bloom. Check out the Farmer’s Almanac for a reference guide.

If you don’t have access to branches in your backyard (or don’t want to get caught “borrowing” them from a public space), you can also force spring bulbs, which are readily available in garden centres or home improvement stores. I love the contrast of the banged up, painted tin cans with the neat appearance of daffodil sprouts, shown by Camilla Fabri of Family Chic. And don’t miss this hyacinth how-to over at The Art of Doing Stuff; Karen shows several ways to transform a plastic pot of flowers into super stylish groupings.

If you’re a first time flower forcer, check out the sourcing section below for more tips and how tos. How are you planning to you bring a little spring inside?

Forcing Branches into Blooms Indoors from The Farmer’s Almanac
+ Forcing Branches from Country Home Magazine
+ Forcing Branches on The Marion House Blog (wonderful examples of using branches in different spaces)
+ Forcing Spring in A Can from Family Chic
+ Ways to Display Hyacinth from The Art of Doing Stuff