Greenlife Gardens

Blooming Buds in Winter Woes

Winter can feel like it drowns on, particularly when snow is scarce and temperatures are below freezing. Its at this time that those of us that garden or enjoy a good plant get a little anxious for spring. To help alleviate the stir crazy feelings you can do a few things to bring spring indoors. You can force bulbs or spring shrubs and ornamental trees into blooming early. The best part is that with a little patience, its one of the easiest things to do.

  • Gather supplies: Pruners, display vase, plant fertilizer
  • Pick the spring blooming shrub or ornamental tree in your yard you enjoy the most.
  • Then, with a set of pruners snip off twelve + inches of branch at the end in 3 different locations where you can see the tiny buds. Ideally you want more than a foot of branch as you will be trimming it once more inside and you want it taller than the vase you will be using.
  • Bring all three + branches indoors and prune out any dead dried up pieces of the branches.
  • Prepare your vase, filling it with cool water and fertilizer.
  • Then at an angle, make a new cut at the bottom of the branch and place it in the vase. This allows the branch to drink up the water you are placing it in.
  • Place the vase in a warm sunny location near a south facing window.
  • Now wait. Within a few days you should see the buds start to get bigger and begin to open.
    Keep your water fresh with a little fertilizer and enjoy the bloom!

Forcing bulbs is similar. The difference is that bulbs require 12-14 weeks of chill or cold temperatures to prepare to bloom.  Storing the bulbs in a cool, dark and dry location can achieve this.  Plant the bulbs root side down in a shallow flower pot and cover with soil and moss if you prefer.  Once chilled place in the warm sunny location, water and watch grow!


Andrea Shaw
Andrea Shaw
Andrea Shaw