Bring Spring Indoors

Blooming DogwoodAlthough the first day of spring is March 20th on the calendar, it doesn't always feel like spring in Minnesota that early. To bring a touch of spring indoors, gather branches of flowering deciduous shrubs and trees and force them to bloom or leaf out early in your home. Here are some easy steps from the University of Illinois Extension Service to help:

  • When temps rise above freezing in late February, cut branches that have many plump buds from trees or shrubs with a sharp blade.
  • With a pruning shears or sharp knife, carefully split the cut end up one to four inches. Place cut branches in a container of warm water and recut one inch from the base of the stem to help prevent air from entering the stem through the cut end, blocking water uptake. Remove any buds and twigs that will be under water.
  • Place containers in a warm room (60-70°) and change the water every few days. A packet of floral preservative maybe added to the container to control bacteria.
  • It may take from one to eight weeks for the blossoms to open.

Try any of the following flowering shrubs or trees:

RedbudStar Magnolia
Japanese or Flowering QuinceApple and Crabapple
Flowering Dogwood (pictured above)Flowering Almond, Cherry and Plum
Vernal Witch HazelEuropean Pussy Willow
Saucer Magnolia 

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