DIY: Force-Blooming Forsythia Branches — A Sadist’s Tale

First of all, I wanted to show you that I live in an uncurated blogging world.  In the name of full disclosure, the possibility exists that I am going to be moving in a few weeks and everything seems to have exploded from a normal semblance of order into full out chaos.  Granted, I’ll only be moving into a bigger apartment about 100 yards from my current one, but still.  It’s crazy here.

IMG_6475I went on a soup date with my friend, Peg, today — that, in itself was lovely and wonderful.  After she had to go back to work, I ended up wandering around a conveniently placed Whole Foods.  Because I am me, I ended up in the flower section, huffing and puffing as I do to get the maximum benefit of all the smells, when I saw forsythia branches for sale.  Believe me, if I had known there were forsythias anywhere near my apartment, I would not have forked over any kind of cash for them and I would have opted for stealing some in the dark of night instead.  But like I said, I don’t know where to find it and I was feeling particularly lazy earlier, so I decided to not be so deviant today.

Up to this point in this post, you’ve realized that I am both lazy and a slob.

Anyway, you can force bloom them in your home.  How ’bout them apples? First, make sure to take off all the buds that will be under the water line, as leaving them will only encourage rot.

IMG_6478Once you’ve made a complete mess of your kitchen counter, you will then cut the stems diagonally about an inch above the tip. I know someone already cut them once, but you don’t want the ends to dry out.  It’s the same reason they want you to cut your hair every 8-10 weeks.  You and I both know that a very small percentage of people actually do that (I usually wait until I can’t physically muster enough strength to pull a brush through my hair). But let’s all agree to treat our plants better than ourselves, shall we? Fun fact: Cutting diagonally encourages more water absorption… because science.


Now, your counter (and possibly your floor) should be positively littered with plant detritus.  Since we are feeling especially sadistic feelings with all the stripping and cutting, our next step will be even more violent.  Procure the nearest hammer (mine’s named Gertrude), and slam the shit out of the tip of the stick.  


What? What’s the point of that kind of wanton violence?  Remember that fun fact about science I just mentioned.  This causes the end of the stick to crack, enabling even more water to get sucked up into the branches and will cause it to bloom even faster.  This step is optional, but too damn fun to skip.  Do not to completely obliterate the stick, because too much damage will harm it and you won’t get your rental deposit back. It should look like the following:


Now stick it in a vase and you’re good to go!  Remember to change the water regularly and to repeat the cutting and bludgeoning every week , so it doesn’t get gross and stop the process. Give it a few days and you will start to see changes — buds will thicken and green, and that’s a good sign that you’re doing something right, despite all the rage you just siphoned into your plant art.

IMG_6484Have you ever force-bloomed anything? Do you also siphon rage into your arts & crafts projects? Let me know in the comments!


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