Friday, January 25, 2013

Winter Twigs

I knew several days ago that we would have freezing rain and wintery mix and because of the unusual warm temperatures in this area, some of our spring bushes already have buds on them. This is at least one month early.  I did not want the freeze to get these beautiful flowers so I did a little research on forcing buds into bloom indoors and went about snipping a few twigs.  This 1st photo is the Flowering Quince in my back yard and it is just beautiful.  The next  few photos are the twigs I took off the bush and put them in water on my kitchen counter.



I love this man vase.  He looks cute with all sorts of plants and flowers for his hair.  The twigs will continue to bloom for a couple of weeks.
  
Instead of waiting for warm weather,  you can hurry the season along by forcing some twigs. Forcing is when you cause plants to flower earlier than they would in nature.  The best way to force twigs is to cut long branches from a flowering shrub or tree, bring them indoors, and place them in water.

Good plants to try include forsythia, dogwoods, pussy willows, apple, cherry and flowering quince, peaches, and crabapples.


It is better to use a floral additive to make sure you do not get any nasty bacteria in the water and it is easy to make your own.
In a gallon of water put
4 tablespoons of real lemon juice
2 tablespoons of sugar
½ teaspoon of  bleach

You will need to  change the water at least 2 times a week.

I posted some photos I found online of beautiful flowers others have forced indoors.

It's so cute to use a mason jar as a vase and the lip on the jar holds the twigs upright in a good position.

I also love to force bulbs on the counter.  My brother-in-law gave me paper whites at Christmas and they were just beautiful.  You can force just about any bulb indoors and they are so fun to watch grow.


This is the vase I used to grow my paper whites.  The bulb fits perfectly into the top and it is neat to see the roots growing in the water.  Try forcing bulbs or twigs yourself, you'll be pleasantly surprised.