Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Forcing Branches if you can not wait for Spring

I clipped a few Forsythia branches about a week ago and brought them indoors to force into bloom. I just soaked them right away in a sink filled with warm water and then placed them in a vase of water. They cheerful yellow flowers just started to open yesterday.

Fine gardening had this great list of branches that will work for forcing.

Top choices for forcing

Branches won’t flower until they’ve had a proper cold period, usually about six weeks. If you try to force a particular plant into bloom and it doesn’t work, it may be too early. Try it again in a couple of weeks.

Earliest cutting time
Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas)
Filberts – for catkins (Corylus spp. and cvs.)
Forsythias (Forsythia spp. and cvs.)
Fothergillas (Fothergilla spp. and cvs.)
Witch hazels (Hamamelis spp. and cvs.)

Late January/early February
Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’)
Cherries (Prunus spp. and cvs.)

Mid- to late February
Beeches – for catkins (Fagus spp. and cvs.)
Birches – for catkins (Betula spp. and cvs.)
Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Lilacs (Syringa spp. and cvs.)
Magnolias (Magnolia spp. and cvs.)
PJM rhododendron (Rhododendron ‘PJM’)
Quinces (Chaenomeles spp. and cvs.)
Red maple (Acer rubrum)
Serviceberries (Amelanchier spp. and cvs.)
Willows – for catkins (Salix spp. and cvs.)

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