Bring on Spring Flowers!

Dreary winter days got you down?  Today just outside of Cincinnati, we have 65 degrees with sun and clouds — that will likely be interrupted by even more rain — even tho it’s mid-January. Too warm and wet to ski at Perfect North Slopes, too muddy to ride horses, even too muddy to pull weeds that are growing already.

A warm winter day is ideal to prune your forsythia and bring it inside to bloom in a few weeks when we’re snowed in.  It’s so easy you won’t believe it.  Pruning helps bushes and trees.  Never “top” a tree, it makes it weaker. , Cincinnnati, forsythia

Solid vases won’t topple over with the weight of your forsythia twigs. Forsythia grows like crazy and trimming it back significantly will make your plant more attractive.

First, find some solid vases, mason jars or something that has some weight to it.

Then get your pruners.  First, trim the lankiest, tallest and branches that are sticking out into walkways or will poke you when you’re mowing.  Then keep trimming as it’s easier to get closer to your bush.

pruners to cut forsythia

Pick your favorite pruners to cut forsythia, scissors aren’t strong enough.

Forsythia grows rapidly and will get spindly if it isn’t pruned regularly. Trimming your bush will keep it easier to mow around and looking better.  I prefer an English garden look, rather than a severely trimmed 1960s shape.

Just cut branches back, and cut them back some more in a week or two.  Add some maple, red twig dogwood, pussy willow or other spring blooming twigs to give your bouquet more interest.  You can also add evergreen, scotch pine and other branches.

Fill your vase with water and add your twigs.  Let them sit in the house and keep and eye on them.  Usually, the warmer the room they’re in, the sooner they’ll bloom, but sometimes in rooms that are extremely warm, they won’t open at all.

Adding red twig dogwood, Serviceberry, pussywillow other branches will add interest to your “stick bouquet.” Red twig dogwood will leaf out and root if left in water, as will the forsythia.

Depending on the outdoor temperature when you cut your forsythia and the temperature of the place you leave it in the house, it may take several weeks for blooms to open. If the water starts looking murky or smelling bad, replace with fresh.

Keeping the water clean makes your arrangement look and smell nicer.

Maple buds add a different texture to your bouquet, but buds tend to drop off pretty easily indoors.

Natural blooming forsythia. Trimming will give a your bush a denser more colorful look.  I’ve started cutting forsythia as early as December, bringing batches in each week.  As they get closer to their natural blooming time, they open quicker.

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