Enjoy cut flowers indoors

Can’t wait for spring to draw out the beautiful bursts of forsythia, crabapple, ornamental cherries and plums? You can fool Mother Nature by forcing cuttings from these and other flowering trees and shrubs to bloom indoors. They make beautiful arrangements no matter how or where you choose to display them.

Take healthy cuttings from shrubs that have experienced at least 6 weeks of cold weather.

Ideally, cut branches that you might normally cut in pruning, such as any crossing over other branches, slightly damaged branches, or those that are rubbing a roof or a wall. Make sure they are still alive. They should be somewhat pliable, with signs of green when the bark is scratched slightly with your fingernail.

Choose long branches that have interesting bends or curves, but take caution not to seriously disfigure the plant you’re leaving behind.

Take the branches inside. Lightly tap the cut ends using a hammer in order to splinter them, then soak all of the branches in water overnight. This will soften the buds and encourage them to open sooner.

After soaking, put the cut ends of the branches in a container of water and place them in an out-of-the-way spot that is cool and receives some sunlight but not directly. When you begin to see color in the buds, arrange the branches in a vase with water and display. Choosing a location that is cool with indirect light will lengthen the blooming period. Enjoy!