Bring Some Spring Inside – Forcing Forsythia

The countdown to spring has started. But if you’re wanted to bring a little spring into the house, forcing forsythia branches to blossom is a good way to do it.

Forsythia Branches

Forsythia Branches

This is one of the easiest late winter projects that you can do. All that’s required are forsythia branches and a container filled with water.

If you have a forsythia bush in your yard (or a friend’s yard), cut some of the branches and bring them into the house. The size of the branches doesn’t matter – cut them to whatever size works for your home.

After collecting the branches and before you put them in a container of water, you’ll want to make a new, clean cut at the base of the branch. The old technique was to smash the bottom of the branches with a hammer and then put them in water. This was believed to help the stems absorb water. In truth, all smashing does is damage the tissue of the branches and cause a lot more bacterial/fungal growth in the water. Instead of using a hammer, just cut the ends of the branches with sharp pruning shears or a knife and immediately place them in water.

When the branches are in a container and arranged to your liking, you can place them anywhere in the house. I like to put them near a window but it’s not necessary because the forsythia buds have already formed and the nutrients to get them to emerge are present in the branches. The only recommendation I’d make is that if the water starts getting cloudy, take out the branches, make a fresh cut on the end of each branch and put them back in the vase after cleaning it and replacing the water.



Within a few weeks, depending on the temperature in your home, the forsythia branches should blossom. The bright yellow blooms are a great pick-me-up for a dreary, late winter day.


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