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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Forcing Spring Twigs for a bit of Color

In a hurry for spring to arrive? Try cutting branches from flowering shrubs and force them to bloom a little early in the warmth of your home. Enjoy yellows, whites, pinks and purples!

This is a fun project to spark an interest in children to the wonder and beauty of our natural world.

During the months of February and March cut one to two foot long branches from such shrubs as:
pussy willow, dogwood, forsythia, redbud, plum, cherry, wild crab apple, apple, lilac and wisteria.
You can try tree types but shrubs tend to bloom much easier.
If you wait till March and the buds are starting to swell you'll get faster results.
Cut the branches on the diagonal.
Using a hammer, bruise the ends to allow the branches to soak up the water faster.
Put the branches in a vase and add water. Change the water every few days.

Below is a chart from the Farmer's Almanac as to the length of time you can hope to enjoy the blooms.

Buckeye5 weeks
Cherry4 weeks
Cornelian dogwood2 weeks
Crab apple4 weeks
Deutzia3 weeks
Flowering almond3 weeks
Flowering dogwood5 weeks
Flowering quince4 weeks
Forsythia1 week
Honeysuckle3 weeks
Horse chestnut5 weeks
Lilac4 weeks
Magnolia3 weeks
Pussy willow2 weeks
Red maple2 weeks
Redbud2 weeks
Red-twig dogwood5 weeks
Spicebush2 weeks
Spirea4 weeks
Wisteria3 weeks


Red Bud
Pussy Willow