Winter has surely arrived. Frigid temperatures and icy sidewalks have made this apparent. But don’t despair; creating a spring haven inside your home will brighten cold, dreary winter days. There are a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs that will start spring early, when brought inside.

Forsythia, Cornelian Dogwood, Red Maple and Pussywillow are all reliable trees and shrubs for indoor forcing. Simply cut a few healthy branches with ample buds (preferably when temperatures are above freezing) and place in a container with water. While the branches are submerged, cut the stems at a slant just above the original cut. Change the water periodically and occasionally mist the branches to prevent drying. Keep the container out of direct sunlight and be patient, bud break may take a few weeks. Have a bit more patience? Crabapple, flowering Cherry and Quince will also bloom indoors but require a few more weeks to break dormancy. The sunny yellow of Forsythia or the delicate pinks of Cherry trees is a welcome sight indoors, perfect for a winter “pick me up”.

Enjoying early spring indoors doesn’t have to stop with trees and shrubs. Many spring bulbs can be forced to make an appearance inside, long before emerging outdoors. Tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and crocus are just a few examples of bulbs that provide beautiful color, indoors and outdoors. There are special requirements for forcing blooms indoors. Click here for more information.

Spring will arrive, but there’s nothing wrong with starting it early indoors. Spring color is a delightful occurrence, sure to brighten any winter day. Hope for warmer days to come with a colorful indoor display!

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