Forcing Branches to Bloom Indoors

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This time of year (right before Spring) is the perfect time to “force” blooms. You can do this by bringing trimmings of a tree or bush in from outdoors and placing them in water, essentially forcing the buds. For this to work though, it needs to be done soon before the tree would be in bloom naturally…January/February/early March.

There are a few ways to “force” a bloom, but this is what has worked for me.

To do this, you’ll need:

– Pruning shears or sharp knife
– Tree cuttings
– Vase filled with room temperature water


  1. On a warmer day (above freezing), prune branches from tree/bush. You’ll do this by taking your pruning shears and cutting as close to the base of the limb as possible.
  2. Once I get branches inside, I take a knife or pruning shears and cut the branches at a harsh angle to help with water uptake.
  3. Place branches in a vase filled with room temperature water.
  4. Move vase somewhere that receives lots of sun.
  5. Change the water frequently (I try to change it every few days). This helps keep bacteria from building up on the stems.

Blooms can take some time to grow. You’ll start seeing buds anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks most often! The changes shown in these photos happened within 2 weeks time.

forcing branches to bloom

Don’t have a pretty vase that you’d like to use? Check out my tutorial here for how to give any vase a beautiful makeover!

forcing branches to bloom

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