Forcing Trees and Shrubs to Bloom Indoors

Promote Flower Bloom Indoors

Forcing Trees And Shrubs To Bloom Indoors-a magnolia-flower
White magnolia flower

Fill your indoor living space this winter with beautiful flowers by forcing both your trees and shrubs to bloom, this technique will trick your spring trees and shrubs into thinking it’s spring even though it’s winter. Having that color pop as you connect with nature indoors is pretty amazing, forcing your indoor plants to produce flowers is a great way to get a jump start on the season, especially during the winter months.

If you’re interested in knowing how this is done then continue reading as we discussed this simple yet effective technique that so many people are using even in the wintertime to brighten their days.

When can I start?

Begin collecting branches as soon as the flower buds begin to swell in mid to late winter, the branches that are chosen should be at least 12 inches long. Ensure however that the branches you’re forcing to bloom have several plump buds. With a sharp hand pruner that is sterilized and in good repair remove branches from the tree or shrub.

Forcing Trees and Shrubs to Bloom indoors

Take your branches indoors split or make a slit in the branch 4 inches up the branch, next trim an inch of the base. The next step is to submerge the branches in a container or bucket of warm water overnight.

The following day remove the branches and place them in a vase or whatever container has been chosen, the water in the container or vase should be warm. The flowering branches should be placed in a room between 50 and 70 degrees F. (10-21 C.).

Avoid placing your cuttings in direct light which can burn both the branch and the flowers, instead bright indirect light is ideal forcing your branches to bloom.

When will branches begin to bloom?

It normally takes anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks for branches to bloom indoors, depending on the tree or the shrub that the branches were taken from may take a bit longer. For example pussy willow and forsythia will generally take 1 to 3 weeks to flower, forcing magnolia to flower may take 3 to 5 weeks, crabapple and apple may take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. The closer it is to the plant’s normal bloom time or period outdoors the less time it will need to be forced to bloom indoors.

Additional information for forcing trees and shrubs to bloom indoors

1. Branches will bloom faster indoors when the temperatures are higher, however, lower temperatures will produce blooms that are of higher quality along with lasting longer.

2. Ensure that the water is changed often in the container or vase where you are forcing branches to bloom, this will encourage the flowers on the branches to last longer.

3. To keep your flowering branches looking healthy ensure the temperature they are growing in is always cool.

What tools will I need?

  • A sharp hand pruner in good repair should only be used a dull blade will rip the branches which will encourage disease.
  • Isopropyl alcohol- alcohol is used to sterilize your hand pruner because what you want to avoid is using an infected pruner on cuttings which may encourage disease. The alcohol can be poured onto a clean piece of cloth and then gently wipe the hand pruner’s blade or 2-3 tablespoons of alcohol can be added to a 32-0z bottle filled with water thoroughly and then sprayed onto the pruner’s blade and wipe clean.

Plants that bloom indoors from cuttings

Forcing Tress And Shrubs To Bloom Indoors-honeysuckle-fragrant-flower
Honeysuckle Fragrant Flower
  • Cherry
  • Flowering quince
  • Flowering almond
  • Magnolias
  • Horse chestnut
  • Honeysuckle
  • Redmaple
  • Redbud
  • Dogwood
  • Crabapple
  • Forsythia
  • Serviceberry
  • Pussy willow

The final word on forcing trees and shrubs to bloom indoors

Your winter months can be filled with lots of flower bloom by following this proven method, what I also love is this technique can be used year-round so you can always have a colorful interior as you connect with nature. If what you have read has sparked an interest then go for it you will be so happy with the results as you welcome the winter months.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

7 thoughts on “Forcing Trees and Shrubs to Bloom Indoors”

  1. Hi there Norman. I have just stumbled upon on your website and it is the best thing I have done today. I have been looking for a gardening website that can help me grow my gardening skills with indoor plants. And here I am on your website. I have just bookmarked your website to revisit this page when I am free enough and also so I can be stopping by every so often on your site to get more reliable information on gardening. Thanks for the useful information here. It’s really going to go a long way for me.

    • Hello Dave, Thank you so much for your kind words that are so encouraging, I am so happy to help. Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you find all the information here that you need. Wishing you the best of success with your garden project.

  2. I’m so glad you mentioned to sterilize the pruning shears. So many sites don’t talk about this. I’d like to add that in addition to the Isopropyl alcohol that you mentioned, you can also use a bleach solution, pine oil and trisodium phosphate (TSP). I always re-sterilize my shears when moving from one shrub to another as well, as this is the best way to avoid spreading harmful pathogens.

    • I am so happy to help, we should always sterilize our hand pruners and other tools that are used for pruning procedures after using on an infected plant. I am so happy to help and thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Hello, this article is very interesting. Personally, I never knew that you could force a plant to bloom indoors like that, and this information would have been very useful a month ago. It got really cold where I live and half of my plants died during a freeze. I will definitely be bringing some cuttings in to bloom inside and keep them growing. In your opinion, which plant is the easiest to get to grow without much issue? I have dogwood and crabapples alive still but my honeysuckle died. I’d love to see a dogwood tree bloom in my livingroom.

    • Hello, I am so happy to help, so sorry to hear of your plants that died but this method will give you beautiful blooms indoors. For some of the easiest branches to bloom indoors have another look where a few are listed. Wishing you much success with forcing your branches to bloom indoors.https://gardenofedengardencent

  4. This is a great article on forcing trees and shrubs to bloom in the winter. I’ve done this almost every year with forsithia stems. It’s such a treat to see bright yellow flowers blooming on a dreary March day! Thanks for all the tips on how and when to cut them. They will come in handy this week when I go looking for branches to cut this year!


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