By March, we’d all agree. We’re eager for winter to end. While we patiently wait for Mother nature to gift us with spring, let’s bring springtime to our homes. Forcing flowers indoors is the process of causing a plant to flower before its natural season.
The first step in forcing flowers is to determine which plants are good candidates for the procedure. Early-blooming, woody plants are best to force. Begin with forsythia bushes and pussy willows. February and March are the best months to force flowers inside. By the end of March and beginning of April, they are ready to burst open outdoors, naturally.
With pruning shears in hand, pick a day that is above freezing. Cut forsythia stems in 2 foot lengths. Bring the stems inside and put them in a bucket of warm water. With your pruning shears, cut another inch off the bottoms of the submerged stems. This second cut, on an angle, performed underwater where air cannot act as a drying agent, will promote water intake. Allow the forsythia stems to soak up the warm water for several hours.
Change the water and add floral preservative, if you have it, in the warm water. Once again, re-cut the stems, on an angle, underwater. Place the stems in a high-humidity, sunny environment to speed up the process. (Warning: forcing flowers may become habit-forming as you bring a bit of springtime to your house. Confession: it has become an annual rite of spring for me!)
For more gardening tips, join us at the Optimist Hall, 7-9pm on March 15 to hear Adam Chamberlin, Haldimand County Project Manager Forestry “What is Happening to Our Tree Canopy in Haldimand.” As well, Dan McKay will provide a short update on the Thompson Creek Project undertaken by the Dunnville Horticultural Society & Garden Club (DHS). Doors open at 6:30 pm. Refreshments are served and the evening is free to members and non-members. Contact Debbie Thomas, President (905) 774-3064 firstname.lastname@example.org or Vice-President Deb Zynomirski email@example.com. Visit our Facebook page and website at: www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.