Growing Forsythia: Tips at a Glance
Forsythia, with bright yellow spring flowers, is a useful fast-growing hedge or specimen plant. Give it leave plenty of space (it grows 24 inches a year).
- Type Deciduous shrub
- Lifespan 50 years
- USDA Zones 5-9
- Light Full or part sun
- Water Well-drained soil
- Companions Evergreen boxwood
- Design Tip Unruly shape
- Form Hedge or screen
- Peak Season Yellow spring flowers
Forsythia: A Field Guide
When forsythia bursts into bloom, the news is good: spring is around the corner.
A woody shrub that looks like an untidy bunch of sticks until early spring, it suddenly reveals its raison d’être with an explosion of brilliant yellow flowers. Beyond its dramatic springtime presence, forsythia is useful in the garden as a fast-growing hedge or specimen plant. Expect it to grow 12 feet wide by 10 feet high and leave plenty of space; it will gain as much as 24 inches in a year.
Forsythia is one of those plants, like crape myrtle, with such a beautiful natural form that it is extremely important to prune it correctly. It flowers on old wood so pruning needs to be done soon after flowering before buds begin to form for next year’s flowers. Experts advise removing about a third of the canes each year.