How to force your branches into bloom this spring

There’s no better sign that spring is here than the blooming of beautiful shrubs, trees and bushes in your garden.

Not only to blossoms add a beautiful pop of colour to your garden as it awakens after the cold winter months, but it also provides a food source for all kinds of insects, including bees and butterflies.

If you choose your shrub or tree type right, you’ll even be able to prune branches which you can place in vases to bloom and decorate your home.

The best plant type for Spring pruning

If you’re going to force branches from your blossoming trees and shrubs to blossom inside, then you need to pick the ones which will do so effectively.

Among the best options for early spring are magnolias, mountain laurel, lilacs and mock orange. These species adapt well to the indoor climate and add a beautiful pop of spring colour to a room.

The forcing basics

Choosing your branches

    One of the most important things to remember when selecting branches to remove from your tree or shrub is to only take the ones which will not affect the shape or look of your existing tree.
    It’s all very well picking the best looking branch for your favorite vase, but if it leaves your tree looking sparse and lop-sided, it’s probably best to leave it where it is!
    Equally, you will need to select branches which are suitable to be forced indoors. The best sized twigs are generally those between 12 and 24 inches long which have a good number of buds along them. Try to avoid the twigs with few buds, as these won’t look as effective in a vase as they will on the tree!
    When you’re cutting these branches, you will need to use a sharp hand pruner to make an angled, clean cut. Once you’ve collected your twigs, they should be immediately submerged in water.

Preparing your branches

    Once you’ve brought your selected branches inside, it’s a good idea to decide on the vase that you intent to display them in. Use the vase as a guide to see how much of the branches will be submerged in water.
    Once you’ve determined this you will need to use a suitable garden knife to remove any buds or leaves from the part of the plant that will be submerged in water.
    You’ll also need to enhance the water absorption to keep your pruned twigs healthy. You can do this by using the same knife to remove the top layer of bark from the bottom of the twig and smashing the base with a hammer.

Treating your branches

    Place your prepared branches into a container and submerge them in tepid water for at least 10 minutes to absorb as much water as possible- once the branches have been cut from their nutrient source they are more susceptible to drying out.
    Then, wrap the branches in wet newspaper and place them in a clean bath of lukewarm water. Move the bath to a cool and dark area and change the water each day for a few days.

Displaying your branches

Once you’ve done all the hard work it’s time to enjoy your spring bouquet! Fill a vase with plenty of fresh water and arrange your blossom to your liking. Place the vase in a well-lit area which is cool and out of direct sunlight for optimum bloom!

For more information about spring gardening and spring gardening equipment, make use of our free advice service or contact one of the Lawnmowers Direct team.