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Forsythia Bush: How to grow and Care for Your Forsythia

Add a Forsythia bush to your yard to add colour in early spring

Having a Forsythia bush in your yard adds a bright punch of yellow in early spring.

Forsythias are sun loving plants that are among the first plants to flower in April and they signify that winter is almost over.

The bright yellow flowers grow right on the branches of the plant and the leaves will start growing later in spring once the flowers start to die off. 

The flowers can also be used as cut flowers adding that bright yellow to your home. About February you can cut the branches and bring them inside, forcing them to flower early. They need to have a dormancy period and I have tried doing this in January but that wasn't a long enough dormancy. 

Pruning Your Forsythia

Some types of these fast growing bushes can put on 8-10' of growth each season, I would not recommend pruning in the fall for loss of flowers for next spring.

NOTE:  Flower buds will start to develop around July so any pruning done after the end of June will take away flowers for next year.

If your Forsythia is to large or overgrown, or just isn't looking it's best any more, you can give it a hard pruning back to about a foot or so from the ground once it is done flowering in later spring which will give it a new rejuvenated look and will also create better flowering for next spring.

There are many different varieties to choose from. Here are a few I have around my landscape that I offer in my plant nursery.

Types of Forsythia Bushes

Weekend (Forsythia x intermedia 'Weekend') 

Weekend (Forsythia x intermedia 'Weekend')

With longer lasting flowers this bush gets to about 6-8' tall and wide. Full sun is best but it can tolerate part shade and it is pest and disease free. It tends to have a weeping form.

Lynwood Gold (Forsythia x intermedia 'Lynwood Gold')

Lynwood Gold (Forsythia x intermedia 'Lynwood Gold')

Growing up to 9 feet tall, this shrub is low maintenance, pest and disease free. 

It has a very upright form and will grow best in full sun but if planted in part shade, it might not get as many flowers. 

Gold Tide (Forsythia x intermedia 'Gold Tide')

Gold Tide (Forsythia x intermedia 'Gold Tide')

The smallest variety as it only grows 1-2' tall but can get 4' wide.

If you love the spring colour but don't have the room to grow the bigger varieties, this would be a perfect chose.

Kumson (Forsythia viridissima var. koreana 'Kumson')

Kumson (Forsythia viridissima var. koreana 'Kumson')

A 4 season variety with the stunning yellow flowers in spring followed by green leaves with clear silver veins. Branches are purplish that adds winter interest.

Size is about 6' tall and 5' wide.

Forsythia Bush

Driving around in early spring and seeing all these bushes in full bloom with all the bright yellow flowers will brighten your day and make you think of the coming summer.

And just think about having one in your yard that you can see out your window every morning. It will start your day with a smile.

Using a Forsythia Bush in Your Garden

Here are a few ways to use this shrub in your landscape

  • Hide an a/c unit or other thing you don't want to see
  • lining up several in a row makes a great hedge
  • to break up a long wall
  • cover up a fence
  • large specimen bush
  • in the background of your garden

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