Let Spring In! Forcing Branches

Whenever I get the winter blues, I always like heading outdoors, braving the cool air, hopping on my bike and looking for wild botanical branches I can bring inside and force a little spring.  Recently I came across some quince branches (Chaenomeles speciosa) with buds and brought a few inside.  Quince, along with Forsythia is one of the first blossoms that happen here in the Pacific Northwest, and which I can usually find mid February. I love their white and salmon-coloured blooms which always bring new hope to what can be a very grey month here.

The process to force any spring branch is so simple, and it only takes about 3 to 5 days for the buds to begin to pop open. Here's how I force mine.

Step 1.
Once you bring the branches inside, give them a fresh snip (a longer diagonal cut seems to work best).

Step 2.
Using a mallot, or perhaps a heavier heel of a shoe, smash the bottom of the branch where you just snipped, to open up the branch to allow water to be pulled through them quicker.

Step 3.
Place in vase filled with fresh water.

Step 4.
Wait. In 3 to 5 daysor so, the buds should begin to pop open!

Replace the water every couple of days and your blossoms should last for quite a bit of time (between 10 to 14 days. This process can be done with any type of spring blossoming branch.

Enjoy and happy spring!

Jan Halvarson

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