Forsythia Plant: Everything About the Forsythia Shrub

A forsythia shrub in a garden

It’s hard to get enough of forsythia in the garden. Not only is their yellow bloom bright, but it is also early and seems to mark the “official” start of spring.

In this article, I have gathered for you all the information about the forsythia plant, its main characteristics, and what you need to know to plant and grow it.

Characteristics of the forsythia plant

Scientific nameForsythia x intermedia
OriginChina, Japan
Rusticity-20°C (-68°F)

The forsythia is a fast growing shrub, 2 to 3 m high and 2 m wide. Its bearing is initially erect then more spread out with the age. The flowers are numerous, luminous yellow, placed on the still bare branches.

Some varieties are dwarf or compact, others – much less known – are intended for trellising.

How to grow a forsythia shrub

The forsythia grows in normal soils, even if they are not very rich, and preferably in cool soils.

The year of planting, it is advisable to prune it: the young plant is usually not very full. Reduce the length of the branches by two thirds, between November and March, which sacrifices the first flowering. In other years, prune the branches by half after flowering.

Tip: The flowering of the forsythia is unfortunately fleeting: plant bulbs, annuals or perennials at its foot to brighten it up for the rest of the year.

How to grow forsythias in pots

Reserve this method of cultivation for varieties with small development.

Re-pot in a mixture of potting soil and garden soil in equal parts, to give the mixture some consistency.

For a foot, use a pot of 30 to 50 cm of side and depth.

How to trellis a forsythia

One does not expect the forsythia in this register, yet the flexible branches are easily guided. Preferably choose Forsythia suspensa, with its more sarmentose stems, which measures 1.20 to 1.80 m in height and 1.80 to 2.40 m in width.

Stake it on a trellis in the manner of climbing roses, and cut the branches in half after flowering.

Every 4 or 5 years, remove the oldest branches.

Where to plant a forsythia

They are best planted in groves, as they look stunning when planted in multiples.

They can also be planted in shrub beds, making a great backdrop for other plants.

Forsythias can also be used as medium or low hedges, providing a lovely border for a garden.

They can also be planted in pots, making them a great option for smaller spaces.

To ensure that your forsythia is healthy and blooms abundantly, make sure to plant it in an area with full sun.

Combine it with dark green foliage shrubs such as viburnum or oleander.

Our selection

Yellow forsythia flowers

The choice is directly dictated by the use.

For pot culture

  • Golden Tide‘: 60 cm high and 1,20 m diameter, lemon yellow, early.
  • Mêlée d’Or‘: compact ball shape from 1 to 1.20 m, light yellow, early.
  • Goldilocks‘: dwarf compact ball of 70cm height by 1m width, golden yellow.

In ground cover

  • Paulina‘: 1 m tall by 2 m wide, yellow.
  • ‘Arnold Dwarf‘: 50 to 80 cm high and 1.20 to 1.50 m wide, yellow.
  • ‘Tremonia‘: 1.50 to 1.80 m high and wide, yellow.

For a medium hedge

  • ‘Weekend‘: 1.60 m high and 1.20 m wide, bushy and branched, golden yellow.
  • Spectabilis‘: 2 m, vigorous and compact vegetation, golden yellow.

In isolation

  • ‘Fiesta‘: 1,80 m in all directions, abundant golden yellow flowers, leaves slightly mottled with green.
  • ‘Karl Sax‘: very vigorous, 4 to 6 ft. tall and 6 to 8 ft. wide, very cut foliage, yellow.
  • Spring Glory‘: 6 to 8 feet tall in all directions, pale yellow blooms.
  • Goldzauber‘: 2 m, vigorous, large golden yellow flowers.

In a nutshell

Forsythia is a beautiful flowering shrub for any garden. Its vibrant, sunny yellow flowers are sure to bring a little cheer to any outdoor space. It is easy to care for and can be pruned to keep the shape and size of the plant. If properly cared for, forsythia trees will provide beautiful blooms for many years!

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