Forcing Spring Branches to Bloom In Your Home

Are you ready for spring? Why not bring spring indoors by forcing flower branches around your home or at your local greenhouse. It’s so easy and beautiful. I’ll show you how…


Forcing spring branches is one of my favorite things to do! One of the sure signs of late winter turning into spring is the swollen buds on the trees that will burst into beautiful bloom soon. Why wait for Mother Nature, force them yourselves, and let them bloom indoors weeks earlier. Here’s how…

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With just a bit of know-how, sleepy buds on branches produce beautiful spring flowers to brighten up my home and remind me of how beautiful the new season will be! The dainty little blooms and tender green leaves are just perfect for getting into the spring mood! Let’s force some beautiful spring branches!!!!


Forcing spring branches is one of the easiest spring things you can do!

Salmon quince branches (Chaenomeles) are blooming in my home right now! I love the look of those outreaching branches just starting to show their flowers and little leaves.  And that pop of salmon color makes my heart beat a little faster!

I found my flowering branches at Terrain. If you have one near you, head over; they are worth the splurge. I found mine for $36 for a bundle. You can see them online Here, but they are double the price. However, for the beautiful spring show they put on, they are worth it. I did buy Magnolia branches but was very disappointed. Magnolias tend to drop their blooms quickly.

I’ve been watching the flowering trees in the yard, and I’ll cut a few branches for forcing this weekend.

What To Look For

Cutting and forcing branches from your yard could not be easier! Almost any tree that has leaves can be forced. If you want to force flowering tree branches, keep in mind the branches need five to six weeks of cold weather before they will bloom. They need a period of dormancy to set buds.

Select branches that will be pruned when shaping the tree so you don’t cut branches that are integral to the shape of the tree. Look for flower buds that are beginning to get swollen. They will be easy to force. You can tell the difference between leaf and flower buds because flower buds are rounder than leaf buds.

The closer to the natural bloom time of the flowering tree or shrub, the quicker they will bloom when forced indoors.

When To Cut The Branches

The best time to cut branches to be forced is when the temperature is above freezing. Depending on where you live, you can cut them as early as late January or late February. However, they can be cut just before they bloom, too. I cut Bradford Pear (Prunus) branches at the beginning of April, and they bloomed inside just before the ones outside in our front yard bloomed.

I’ve had quince branches in a bucket of water in the garage until I was ready for them to start blooming. Keeping them in a cool place and out of direct sunlight helps put forth their blooms slower. But now that they are inside, the warmth of the house and the light (not in the sun) from the windows will give them the boost they need to push out more flowers and eventually leaves!

Using Sharp Pruners To Cut The Branches


The first thing I did when I brought the quince branches into the house was to recut the cut end of the stem at a sharp angle. It helps if you can bruise the end of the branches by smashing it with a hammer. You can also cut a few inches of the bark away from the cut end of the branch. This promotes water uptake.

The end of the branch seals over quickly, within a couple of days, so it is a good idea to cut them again to promote continuing water uptake.


After you have cut your branches, put them in a container of warm water overnight. Then, they can go in a vase or container to be displayed in your home. I like to use a bit of cut flower preservative in the water. I love Flora Life cut flower preservatives.

If you don’t have flower preservatives, use one bottle (about 20 oz) of lemon-lime soda per gallon of water.

Arranging Branches

Branches look best if they are in a container that lets them spread out like they would be found on a tree.


Remember to change the water and prune the bottom of the stems every few days. Your budding branches will reward you with an early show of spring beauty.

Other Spring Blooms To Force

Here are more branches that can easily be forced:

  • forsythia
  • crab apple
  • lilac
  • Bradford pears
  • Cherry
  • pussy willows, once the catkins drop off
  • dogwood
  • witch hazel
  • wisteria
  • redbud (cedcis)
  • honeysuckle
  • tulip magnolia
  • dogwood
  • crabapple
  • Cornelian Cherry Dogwood (cornus mas)
  • Eastern Redbud (cercis)
  • flowering pear (pyrus)
  • viburnum
  • spirea

There are many other branches that will bloom in your home! If it blooms on a tree, give it a try!


Shop for Real And Faux Flowering Branches And Containers


Need ideas to add a bit of new life and spring beauty to your home. Spring is such a beautiful season here are some decorating ideas you can use in your home.


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  1. I haven’t done this in years and am now inspired to cut some branches to force. Mama and I used to do this together when I was a teen.

  2. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t see anything about when to cut the branches to bring in. I live in central Virginia and have forsythia and dogwood available.

    1. Now is the time to cut branches. Just check if they have any little buds on their branches.

  3. Kathy Menold says:

    Brought in some pussy willow yesterday. We don’t have snow to walk through but we do have mud after all our rain. Need to check our peach trees .They are so lovely for oriental arrangements when forced. Thanks for reminding me it is time.

    1. Peach branches and blooms are lovely! As I’m writhing this it is snowing. I get the best of both seasons with my blooming branches.

  4. Rachel Cargill says:

    Love bringing inside clippings from fruit frees, ornamental trees/bushes & grape vines too. This is an annual event we do between Jan & Feb.
    Arrange clippings in luke warm water (change out water 1 or 2 times per month), within 3 weeks (or sooner) you’ll notice pretty blossoms/leafing.
    Grape vines are stored in our second refrigerator, which they are wrapped in wet newspaper/paper towels (not drenched just wet), the vines with wet paper wrapped around vines, are placed in a large plastic bag then placed in fridge for about 3 months. After 60 days we check for roots then leave in fridge another 30 days or till it’s time to transplant in April/May. Discard any vines that didn’t root. (90-95% will root.)
    Plant clippings gives more produce & beauty on the farm & landscape, & saves us from purchasing plants from nursery plus your new plant clippings become acclimated to your earth/region & last a good 20-40 years (pending on variety).
    Annual clippings here at the farm are:
    Dogwood Ornamental
    Wisteria Ornamental
    Olive Tree
    Yellow Foresythia Ornamental
    Magnolia Ornamental
    Red Bud Tree
    Golden Leaf Tree
    Lylic Ornamental
    Cherry Tree
    Apple Tree
    Pear Tree
    Peach Tree
    Nectarine Tree
    Cranberry Bush
    Flowering Crab Apple Ornamental
    Flowering Cherry Ornamental
    Japanese Maple Ornamental
    Variety of Herbs

  5. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea. Fun project to try with the grandkids.

  6. Kim Gibson says:

    We are ready to start pruning the apple trees in my friends orchard…. I think I will try forcing some along with my forsythia and dogwood!


    I sure need this now. Thankyou for the idea. Have all the shrubs outside.

    1. Oh, how wonderful! I have lilacs in the back of our home and will give them a try this year.

  8. Oh my, what a perfect idea. I love it! Will be doing this to bring in tge spring-time into our home.