Forcing Branches

 WInter Shrubs as Cut Flowers

The last time we had no snow on the ground this year, was about the third week in January. So about two weeks ago I collected some woody stems for forcing.  Easy to cut were the Chaenomeles  (Qunice),Forsythia and the Hamamelis (Willow) . My Pussy Willow ( Salix discolor) catkins were in tight buds when I cut them.       

Today, Jan 31, we have another  lull in the snowy weather , so apart from watching the Super Bowl this weekend  you could go out and cut some branches. Place the branches into warm water and add a packet of cut flower food that came with your last purchase of flowers from the grocery store. Keep the branches in a cool place and indirect light until the buds begin to swell. This will be between two to six weeks. If you have too much heating in your home you can mist the branches to help to stop the flower buds drying out. Check the water level and change it at least weekly. Once the buds start showing color , move them to an area where you can enjoy Spring in your own front room.

Pictures of shrubs good for forcing: