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Forcing Spring

February 4th, 2010

Earlier this week I cut a few forsythia branches and brought them in. I put them in an old canning jar filled with water and put them on the old dresser that serves as a sideboard in my dining room.

Forcing forsythia is actually quite easy. You need to wait till Feb so that they’ve fulfilled their chill time. Cut branches less than 3 feet long on a day that is above freezing. Place them in warm water and put them in a bright warm place. If they get sun they’ll open quicker than if they don’t. Change water occasionally to keep it fresh.

Next time I got to my mom’s I’m planning on cutting some pussy willows to force as well, and I’ll probably cut a few more forsythia for other places around the house. I can’t wait for the yellow sprays to brighten my dining room.

Do you ever force blooms or bulbs?

19 Comments to “Forcing Spring”
  1. Mija on February 4, 2010 at 8:33 am

    This is sooo great! I’m doing it today!

    Reply to Mija's comment

  2. kristin @ going country on February 4, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Yup. Soon as we get a day above freezing, I’ll be cutting some forsythia. It might be awhile though . . .
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..Car Dancing =-.

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  3. kitsapFG on February 4, 2010 at 9:59 am

    We used to force pussy willows all the time. They are not common in our current homestead area so have not done that in a long time. Both Forsythia and pussy willows just shout “spring time!”.

    Reply to kitsapFG's comment

  4. Rachel on February 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

    love to force forsythia. I will probably cut some this weekend.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..SBKA or summit county beekeepers association =-.

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  5. Sara on February 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

    What a neat idea! There’s so many amazing things you can do with plants.
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..BBA Bread #23: Pane Siciliano =-.

    Reply to Sara's comment

  6. Janine at Rustic Kitchen on February 4, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I’m inspired! Yet another hint that spring might finally come. My Michigan forecast calls for 36 degrees over the weekend, so I’ll be digging out my pruners!
    .-= Janine at Rustic Kitchen´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – brunch at Mary’s =-.

    Reply to Janine at Rustic Kitchen's comment

  7. Sara on February 4, 2010 at 11:27 am

    PS, can you do this with azaleas/rhododendrons? I’m not sure of all the landscape plants we have (we’ve moved in a year and a half ago and I’m only just learning) but we have a lot of those.
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..BBA Bread #23: Pane Siciliano =-.

    Reply to Sara's comment

    • Susy on February 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Not sure if you can force azaleas, perhaps you can try. I’m sure if you search around on-line you should find. I think most people do forsythia & pussy willow because they’re so easy.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. misti on February 4, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I haven’t forced many bulbs, had a crappy time with paperwhites, but I’ve always wanted to go forsythia.

    Reply to misti's comment

  9. Marie on February 4, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Yes! We always have an Amaryllis for Valentine’s Day (red, pink or striped). We start it before Christmas and we usually have lovely blooms in February. We bring forsythia in to grace our tables for St. Patrick’s Day every year and sometimes grow little pots of clover to leave around for the leprechauns. And we used to grow pots of grass for Easter…until the cats discovered how very tasty they are!

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  10. Jennifer Krieger on February 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    We moved to southern California years ago and I miss forsythia and pussy willows and other Spring flowers.

    Reply to Jennifer Krieger's comment

  11. stefaneener on February 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    There’s a red flowered bush around here whose name escapes me. I’d force that if I could find any. . . a little unauthorized pruning, perhaps.
    .-= stefaneener´s last blog ..About the Eggs =-.

    Reply to stefaneener's comment

  12. Allie on February 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    We don’t have any forsythia around here, unfortunately. I used to force narcissus bulbs sometimes, but I’ve heard they are bad for cats, and my cat is a plant eater.
    .-= Allie´s last blog ..Things that make me happy =-.

    Reply to Allie's comment

  13. Joe on February 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    What a great idea! Yeah, almost every winter I force a few amaryllis bulbs – they’re colorful and they grow like wildflower, blooming in about 4-6 weeks.
    .-= Joe´s last blog ..Bishop’s from Cerro San Luis =-.

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  14. Debbie on February 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I love forcing spring. We have a beautiful forsythia in our backyard. Will be cutting some just as soon as it warms up a little. It’s been cold here in Ontario.
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..One small Change – February =-.

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  15. Amy WK on February 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I love to force bulbs and flowers (and I have a collection of blue canning jars I often use too), but this year El Nino is doing it for us here in the Northwest. My plum tree is blooming almost a month early, and I actually have a few forsythia blossoms open already in the yard.

    Reply to Amy WK's comment

  16. Dave on February 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I don’t usually force blooms because I don’t want to take them away from outside where they will bloom but I have been tempted!

    I have a question for you. I was on Blotanical looking to see if anyone lived near Canton, I just found out today that my sister-in-law and her husband are about to move there. I was curious about the area and I saw on the map at Blotanical that you are very close. If you wouldn’t mind sometime sending me an email so I could ask a couple questions I would appreciate it! (thehomegarden [at]
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..2010 Seed Selections =-.

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  17. Andres Stell on February 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    A great idea, I’ll have to go and cut some branches!
    .-= Andres Stell´s last blog ..Lemon Blueberry Skillet Cake =-.

    Reply to Andres Stell's comment

  18. Forcing Forsythia | Chiot's Run on February 13, 2010 at 4:47 am

    […] those forsythia branches I brought inside last week to force? They’re blooming and bringing a little bit of sunshine into my dining room. I thought I’d […]

    Reply to Forcing Forsythia | Chiot’s Run's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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