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Cheat Winter: Force Forsythia Flowers & More To Bloom Indoors Now

If you’d like to brighten your winter home, see these easy tips on how to force forysthia bush flowers to bloom for winter decorating. It’s easy to force forsythia flowers, quince flowers, and many fruit tree blossoms. Bring an early touch of Spring into your home with my favorite stems to help cheat winter.

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

Y’all know that I’m all about budget-friendly decorating, so instead of spending money on fresh-cut flowers, let’s bring some bare stems inside and force some blooms.

Image of forced forsythia, quince, and fruit blooms in green bottles.
Photo Credit: Southern Living

What is the Common Name of Forsythia Flowers?

One of the easiest stems to force early blooms is the forsythia bush.

Many refer to the forsythia flowers as yellow bells because the plant produces small bell-shaped yellow blooms in early spring. Once the plant’s leaves form, the yellow bells fade and disappear until next spring. My mother always called them yellow bells, and I still do on occasion.

When Should You Force Forsythia Bush Blooms?

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

Most early-blooming plants set their buds in the fall. They must be dormant for at least six weeks before forcing.

How To Force Forsythia Flowers?

I have several forsythia bushes around the farmhouse, and I love seeing the yellow blooms inside the house during winter.

With these simple steps, you can easily force forsythia flowers to bloom and brighten your home this winter.

I was excited to be shared by

Seeing the Home BNC share this post on their website was an honor. You can see their article – Best Flower Arrangement Ideas.

This is the image they included when sharing my article.

Force Forsythia Flowers To bloom in winter.  Add forsythia bush stems a sap bucket with water and place in sunny spot.

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Steps to Force Forsythia Flowers To Bloom Early.

These are the steps to force forsythia flowers to bloom during the winter months.

Are you ready? Grab your pruning shears and bring a little sunshine to the inside of your home.

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

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

If the stem is woody, cut it upward and gently crush the end to allow more water absorption.

Cut off any branches that will be inside the container and 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. I’m using a large tin can inside the Vintage Sap Bucket.

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

Place cut forsythia bush stems in containers with water to force blooms.

As you can see, even the bare branches look lovely in the correct container. Continue to see the updates as they begin to bloom.

Where To Place Forsythia Stems To Speed Forcing?

Now that you have your stems arranged, let’s speed up the blooming.

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

This forsythia flower stems are getting lots of sunshine and will quickly begin to bloom to help decorate this corner for winter.

I’ve added a touch of Valentine’s with this DIY wooden heart swag.

Keep forsythia bush stems in a well lit, warm spot to help force blooms in winter.  To force forsythia blooms in winter.

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

Forsythia flower Blooms will start to form quickly. force flowers to bloom early.

After just two weeks and three days, the stems fill in with blooms. There are still several forsythia flower buds ready to open soon.

After two weeks, the forsythia flower branches are almost in full bloom.

Forced Forsythia Bush Blooms and More From Previous Seasons

A large ironstone pitcher is filled with forced forsythia bush blooms on last year’s winter table.

The lovely blooms make a great free centerpiece for the dining table.

Use forced blooms for table arrangements.  Forsythia flowers or yellow bell blooms in ironstone vase for winter table

Grace Prints are available here.

A vintage enamelware stock pot is filled with forced plum blooms mixed with buttonbush stems. They add a spring-like feel to the farmhouse kitchen and are budget-friendly as well.

Fill containers with cut stems for early blooms.  How to force blooms in winter

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

A vintage encyclopedia box is used as the coffee table centerpiece and holds forced forsythia flowers and concrete bunnies in anticipation of an early spring.

Mix forced forsythia flower blooms with other winter and early spring decor.

I love filling this corner of the farmhouse with amazing blooms each winter.

Forced Forsythia Stems in Sap Bucket in front of an antique barn door.

Forced Bulbs in Winter

In addition to forcing forsythia flowers to bloom, you can force bulbs to bloom in winter. Daffodils, Paperwhites, Amaryllis, and Tulips are all beautiful mixed with stems in Winter.

I love to force paperwhites for the holidays. They look beautiful as table arrangements and last into January.

I have placed paperwhite bulbs inside the greenhouse on a few warm days, and the three bulbs are showing their buds already.

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

Another great bulb that many force around the holidays and into winter is the Amaryllis bulb. Its beautiful flowers really brighten the house in winter.

Forced Amaryllis Bulb brightens the farmhouse in winter.

If you’d like to learn more about our greenhouse, you can read How to Build a DIY Greenhouse.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed this budget-friendly option for adding fresh flower blooms to your home during winter.

I look forward to sharing more budget decorating ideas and adventures with you soon.

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How to force stems for winter flowers.  Easy to force blooms of forsythia or fruit blooms.
How to force stems for Winter Floral Arrangements - Forsythia or yellow bells, quince, and bulbs


Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Ahhh. Spring in the house. Lovely.


Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Janis, Yes I agree. Happy New Year.

Kristy Mastrandonas

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

I’ve never thought about doing this, but love the idea! Thanks so much for planting the seed!


Thursday 9th of February 2023

Kristy, Thanks for stopping by. I do this every winter. It helps to brighten the house.

Wendy McMonigle

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Beautiful Rachel! You are so lucky to be able to go pick these stems.


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Wendy, They grow like crazy here.


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

I don't have the trees or shrubs to do this from my own yard but Kroger, Trader Joes and garden nurseries will have branches to buy. Sadly these can be expensive to order but Terrain has them as well if you wish to pay. Love your green house you created Rachel. One day maybe we will have the land to do that too. If we don't retire to a beach area as my husband wishes...thanks for reminding me to pick up some branches..maybe a bulb or 2? :0)


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Lori, You are welcome. I hope you find what you need. Also check with neighbors and friends.

Anne from Simply2Moms

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Okay. This is my reminder that I need to plant some flowering shrubs this year so I can do this!! Love how they look in your house!


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Anne, These do so well in the south. Come over and I'll give you all you need. Seriously.