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How to Force Blooms For Winter Flowers

Who said we have to wait until spring to enjoy fresh blooms? There are many early blooming plants that you can bring inside and start enjoying the blooms Right now.

Here are some easy tips on How to Force Blooms for Winter Flowers. Forsythia, Quince and Fruit Blossoms are among my favorite.

Photo Credit: Southern Living

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It was such an honor to see the Home BNC shared this post on their website. You can see their article – Best Flower Arrangement Ideas.

Are you ready? Grab your pruning shears and get started bringing a little sunshine to the inside.

When to Force Blooms

January & February are perfect months to bring those bare branches inside and watch them bloom.
I’ve had great success with forsythia, quince and most fruit stems. This includes, peach, plums & cherry stems.

Most early blooming plants set their buds in the fall. They then need to be dormant for at least 6 weeks prior to forcing.

All you need is to cut the branches with pruning shears and keep them moist until you are ready to arrange the stems.

Once you are ready to arrange, you will want to make a fresh angled cut to the stem.

If the stem is woody, you will want to either cut upward into the stem or gently crush the stem.

Cut off any branches that would be inside the container under water.

Next fill your container with fresh water and arrange your stems.

If your container isn’t water tight, you can use another vessel to hold the water. Here I’m using a large tin can inside the Vintage Sap Bucket.

Replace the water every few days to keep the stems from molding.

Place cut stems in containers with water to force blooms.

As you can see even the bare branches look lovely in the right container. I will update this post as they begin to bloom.

Forced Stems and Forced Bulbs

In addition to forcing stems to bloom, you can also add bulbs to planters. Daffodils, Paperwhites and Tulips are all beautiful mixed with stems in Winter.

Force blooms during the winter by cutting stems or bringing spring bulbs inside.

Here are 3 Paper white bulbs already showing their buds. You can see more about the DIY Greenhouse Here.

Place Stems in a Warm Spot to Speed Forcing

Keep your arrangement in a warm area of your home. To speed up the process, you can place in a warm window that receives a lot of sunshine.

See the wooden heart swag tutorial here.

Keep stems in a well lit, warm spot to help force blooms in winter

After one week of forcing the blooms we are starting to see a few yellow buds.

Blooms will start to form quickly.

After just 2 weeks and 3 days, the stems are really filling in with blooms. There are still several buds ready to open soon.

After two weeks the branches are almost in full bloom.

Forced Blooms from Previous Seasons

Here you can see forced Forsythia blooms from last winter.

Use forced blooms for table arrangements.

Grace Prints are available here.

Here you can see plum blooms mixed with a button bush stem.

Fill containers with cut stems for early blooms

A great way to use forced blooms is to mix them with your seasonal décor.

Mix forced blooms with other winter and early spring decor.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

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Mary from Life at Bella Terra

Saturday 15th of January 2022

Rachel, I remember growing up with forced forsynthia branches! However they do not grow here in Phoenix. But I have forced peach and apple. Great post as usual!!


Saturday 15th of January 2022

Mary, Yes fruit tree branches work great as well. Thanks for stopping by.


Friday 14th of January 2022

Great post Rachel! Love forcing blooms in winter!


Saturday 15th of January 2022

Yes, It helps to brighten the house.


Friday 14th of January 2022

Hello, I am a new subscriber and I tried to look up on your blog the state you live in. We are in Minnesota and boy, oh, boy, no one here can cut branches to force blooms until sometime in April. When I read that a good time to do this is Jan or Feb, I had to laugh. Not "at you", but our current weather. It has been snowing for the last 7 or 8 hours and no one is giving a thought yet to Spring blooms. I appreciate your blog with ideas on how to bring life to old items. Please tell us what state you are from.


Saturday 15th of January 2022

Donna, Oh that's so interesting. I'm from North Carolina. I really appreciate your input. My research shows that you should be able to bring those branches inside to get them to bloom anytime after they have dormant for 6 weeks. I'm not sure if my sources are correct. I'd love for you to try it and see what happens. I'm so glad you found me. Thanks for following along.


Wednesday 20th of January 2021

This is such useful information Rachel. I love forsythia blooms in winter/early spring.


Wednesday 20th of January 2021

My mom did this every winter and I loved watching the blooms appear. Just the other day I was trying to think of a Forsythia bush in my neighborhood that I could clip to do this. I love getting free flowers to use in my home.

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Paula, Thanks for stopping by. I do this almost every year. Love the first blooms of Spring.