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Forsythia





What is Forsythia?

Forsythias are fast growing shrubs with brilliant yellow blooms that coat every branch in early spring. But, spring isn’t the only grand display for these deciduous shrubs. In fall the green leaves transition to yellow often with rich red to purple highlights. These low maintenance bushes have a cascading upright vase habit that adds interest to your home and garden. Great for vibrant hedges, bold borders, and as stunning single specimens or accents, Forsythia are versatile in the landscape and add bold pops of color. These sunny, happy shrubs will put a smile on your face with their vivid color and graceful shape! And you will love how quickly they grow will minimal effort!

How Fast do Forsythia Grow?

Easily growing over 2 feet per year, you won’t need to wait long for these showy shrubs to brighten your landscape! Forsythia shrubs have been known to have growth rates up to 4 feet in a single year under ideal conditions. Now that is one fast growing flowering shrub!

When to Prune Forsythia Bushes

Prune after flowering is over in spring to control size and shape. It is important to prune shortly after blooming has ended because Forsythia flowers form on old wood. This means if you prune at other times you may remove forming flower buds and miss a whole year of gorgeous yellow blooms!

How to Prune Forsythia

Pruning Forsythia isn’t necessary, however some pruning will help them stay healthier. These bushes tolerate extreme pruning well. In fact pruning them back to about 4 inches from the ground is best when dealing with severely overgrown bushes. If you want to maintain your Forsythia plant rather than letting it get to overgrown status, remove about ⅓ of the oldest branches all the way to the ground every year or 2. Trim back any awkward growth to neaten the appearance of your Forsythia bush if you prefer a clean look.

When Do Forsythia Bloom?

Forsythias bloom in spring before their leaves even emerge from dormancy. They are one of the earliest plants to flower. The exact time will vary in different climates and is dependent on the weather. In warmer climates Forsythia can begin blooming as early as late January, but March is more common. Late March to April is generally bloom time in cooler growing zones.

How to Grow Forsythia  

Forsythia care is easy once the roots are established a few months after planting. These fast growing flowering bushes are drought, deer, pollution, and salt tolerant and rarely have problems with pests and disease. Plant in full sun to part shade. Flowering will be heavier in spots with more sun, but this shrub does grow well in shade. Forsythias are very adaptable to soil conditions. Water deeply 1 to 2 times per week when newly planted. Once established, watering is only needed in periods of severe drought. Fertilize once per year in spring to promote the brightest colored flowers. Use a balanced slow release fertilizer.

How to Plant Forsythia

When planting Forsythias, dig a hole twice the width of the root ball and not quite as deep as the root ball is tall. Place the bush level in the hole. The top of the root ball should be slightly higher than the existing soil line. Backfill with the soil that was dug out. Water deeply until the water begins to pool on the ground surface. Apply 1 to 2 inches of mulch to reduce watering needs and eliminate weeds. Water daily for the first week, 3 times per week the 2nd and 3rd week, and 1 to 2 times weekly thereafter for the first 2 to 3 months until your shrub is established.

Featured Forsythia Bushes

Forsythia × intermedia 'Beatrix Farrand'
 
Sunlight: Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade
Mature Size: 8 to 10 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide
Growing Zones 5 to 8
 
The Beatrix Farrand has the largest, most vibrant blooms of any Forsythia. This heavy bloomer boasts 2 inch, deep yellow flowers. This flowering shrub is vigorous and easy to grow.
Forsythia intermedia 'Lynwood'
 
Sunlight: Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade
Mature Size: 8 to 10 feet tall and wide
Growing Zones 5 to 8
 
The flowers of the Lynwood Gold Forsythia are a lighter, buttery color and smaller compared to the Beatrix Farrand. This popular Forsythia variety is an extremely prolific bloomer and requires no maintenance once established.

Browse our flowering shrubs for more options.

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