Forcing Forsythia

Forcing Forsythia
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Spring is in the air, but for those of us who are too impatient to wait for spring to arrive,

allow me to show you how to force it to arrive a wee bit early for you!

Have you ever FORCED budding branches? It is so simple and the brings beautiful color into your home during winter!

Forsythia on Piano

Below on the left is one of my forsythia bushes in the back yard. Forsythia is a fast growing vase shaped bush, with arching branches.

My plant is relatively young, but you can see it stands over 7 ft. tall. The pic on the right shows the one lonely bloom and tons of small green buds.

To FORCE forsythia, choose a day that is ABOVE freezing. Start by trimming long branches from your bush. I cut around 3 foot lengths.

budding forsythia bush  Forsythia buds

Next you want to have a tall vase ready with warm water in it. In a large bowl trim each branch, cutting in an angle, UNDER water.

To move the branch to the vase I placed my thumb over the cut end and quickly placed the branch in the warm water vase.

This prevents any air bubbles from forming, allowing maximum hydration.

The more hydration your branches have, the sooner the buds will swell and bloom.

Cut stems underwater

Set your vase aside, out of direct sunlight. In about 4-8 hours, recut (under water) and place back in your vase again with fresh water.

Repeat cutting and refreshing of water once a day. I cut my branches on a Sunday (left pic) and 5 days later they looked like this (right pic)!

Branches in Vase  Forsythia close up

How gorgeous is this? Use your forsythia branches alone or combine with other fresh cut flowers for a dramatic arrangement.

Forsythia with mirror

Have you forced before?

I’d love to hear from you!

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  1. Beautiful…I never thought to force branches…just bulbs. Thanks for the tips on how to do it!

  2. how long will they bloom for inside? I have a beautiful plant that I would love to force inside, but I also want to enjoy it outside.

  3. OC Design- Hmm, good question.It will stay in bloom for at least a week. If you keep trimming and refreshing the water it should last longer.

  4. How wonderful to see those yellow blooms! I am going to have to trespass on my neighbors lawn to cut some Forsythia 😉

  5. Great advice, Kim! First to plant a forsythia……

  6. I had no idea you could even “Force” flowers at all! Thanks for the tutorial. 🙂

  7. Thanks for the tutorial Kim! I’m wondering if I could do this with branches from my cherry tree? (For cherry blossoms) Do you know if this works for most types of branches that flower?

  8. Mindy-Yes you can! My lovely friend Kate over at Centsational Girl forced Cherry Blossoms this past year! Click the link below to read more.

  9. Anonymous says:

    OK- I am trying your suggestion and am going to attempt forcing forsythia branches. Do you think it might work with Sandcherry branches too???

  10. I have not but I always mean to try! Those are just lovely… I am sure I have something on my property I could bully into blooming for me!

  11. Amazing Kim! I love this, they are so so pretty! I have never forced but thinking I may have to try this!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I forced branches last year. Had a little bit of spring through out the house.

  13. Audrey Plunkett says:

    This is amazing! I’ve been looking for some unique indoor gardening solutions because I live in an apartment and I’d really love to bring more of the outdoors inside. I’m very glad I came across your site!


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