Monday, April 11, 2011

Forcing Blooms Indoors!

I've blogged about forcing blooms before.  It's one of those awesome things those of us in snowy climates can do to make it through the looooong end of winter/beginning of Spring.  Any woody shrub that blooms early in Spring made the flower buds last fall.  The buds are sitting there, waiting for warm weather.  If you prune them and bring them inside - they will bloom for you!  I quite often do this in March; I am a little late this year but our heavy snow fall made it hard to get into the garden.  Kathy, over a Cold Climate Gardening, usually does hers in what she calls 'mud season'.  She's got an excellent post about pruning her forsythia here, for gorgeous golden blooms.  I've pruned my double flowered plum (Prunus triloba 'Multiplex'), and in about five or six days I'll have gorgeous, frilly pink blooms in my vase.  As you can see from my photo, with a back drop of snow, the bare branches are still quite dormant.  Good pruning rules apply - cut side branches back to the branch where they join, or cut just above a node where leaves will come out:  don't leave big, ugly stubs.  This will work on plums, eating and ornamental apples and crab apples, almonds, pears.  I've had mixed success with lilacs: the flowers are often stunted but have decent fragrance.  Give it a try for a beautiful, free bouquet!

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