How to Grow and Care for Forsythia Bush Bushes

Forsythia Bush

About Growing Forsythia Bush Flower Bush in Your Yard

Looking for a fast-growing low-maintenance bush, that bursts into brilliant color early in the spring.? Growing Forsythia bushes is for you.

If you have a Forsythia bush in your yard, the question is not “how to grow Forsythia?” Rather…. “to prune or not to prune, that is the question.”  Pruning often is a necessity. The decision to prune this bush, or let it grow naturally, is a matter of personal taste. Also, it’s a function of where you’ve planted the bush. If grown in the yard singly or in small groups, they look stunning, when left to grow naturally. If grown as a hedgerow, or along a foundations, pruning your forsythia plant maintains a neat and orderly appearance.

Forsythia bushes are among nature’s earliest spring bloomers. Forsythia bushes are great used as hedgerows or planted singly.

You can force blooms indoors in winter. It will brighten up any room on the greyest and snowiest of winter days.

Other Names: They are also called “Golden Bell and the Easter Tree.

Flowers Bloom: Early Spring

Flower Colors: Bright yellow

Plant height: 2 to 10 feet tall.

Plant Hardiness Zones: 5 – 8

Genus: Rhododendron

Forsythia Hedge

Forsythia Plant Propagation

Forsythia bushes are grown from cuttings. Select cuttings from new growth. Cut a three to six-inch branch, and place the end into moist soil. Keep the soil moist to aid rooting. Rooting should only take a few weeks.

Transplant rooted cuttings anytime. However, transplanting established plants is best done in winter while the plants are dormant.

Forsythia Plant

How to Grow Forsythia Bush Bushes

Fast-growing Forsythia bushes are easy to grow.  Established plants require little or no care. Grow Forsythia plants in full sun to partial shade. They will grow well in most soils. 

Soil should be well-drained. In wet or soggy soils, the roots can rot and kill the plant. Water plants during extended dry periods as needed. 

Fertilize plants once a year in early spring. Use a high phosphorous fertilizer to promote bright blooms.

People grow forsythia in a variety of arrangements. Let it grow naturally, like in the picture at the top of this page.  Or, grow them singly. In addition, they look great, growing as a hedgerow.  

Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 8.0.

Pruning Forsythia Bush Bushes

Importantly, the flowers form on the prior year’s growth, not new growth. So, prune them immediately after the flowers have bloomed and died off. You can cut back old growth to about four inches from the ground, if desired.

Don’t hesitate to be aggressive in pruning these fast-growing plants. They will grow back quickly.

Forcing Indoor Blooms

Forcing Forsythia to bloom indoors is a fun winter activity. Simply cut off a few branches and bring them indoors. Put them in a vase with water. A couple weeks later, the branches will burst into bright cheerful, golden yellow blooms, right in the dead of winter.

How to Force Blooms

Insects and Plant Disease

Insect and disease problems are infrequent. Treat with insecticides or fungicides only as needed.

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