Forcing Spring Branches: Tulip Trees

Tulip Tree

 

Come mid February, I am always so happy to see the buds on my tulip tree start to form.  At least where I live, they are one of the first flowering trees to bloom.  After a bleak winter, it is always so amazing to see beautiful blooms on the trees.

tulip tree 2

The blossoms on my tree are more open than most and look like these.

tulip tree 3

 

I once saw them in a Pottery Barn catalog arranged in a vase, so I was thinking about cutting some branches off my tree and forcing them to bloom inside.

Here are the steps you can follow to force any spring branches into bloom indoors:

  • CUT branches 12-24 inches long using sharp pruners.  Look for branches that have interesting curves.
  • A GOOD HAMMERING:  Use a hammer to gently mash the cut end of each branch.  This allows the branches to suck up plenty of moisture through the cut end.
  • A LONG SOAK:  Soaking the branches overnight in room temperature water helps them to break their dormancy.  Afterwards, bring the branches out of water, and let them drain by standing them upright in a bucket of water.
  • A COOL WAIT:  Place you bucket in a place that is cool, but has some sunlight.  Examine your branches every few days until you notice they are beginning to swell.
  • A WARM ROOM:  When color appears on the buds, it is time to arrange them in a vase.  Don’t wait until the blossoms are fully open.  Keep them in a warm room until the blossoms open and you have a lovely flower arrangement.
Have you ever forced branches indoors?  Was it a success or an epic fail?  What are your favorite spring branches to force.  
I am in the mood for a serious dose of Spring, so I can’t wait to see my blossoms bloom!
xoxo

 

 

 

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