Without looking at the calendar, you can tell spring is here when the forsythia shrubs begin bursting into bloom.
The bright yellow blossoms appear before the leaves on these upright flowering shrubs and when we see yellow, sunny blooms any gardner begins to focus on spring planting. It’s nice to know that winter is holding on barely when the vivid yellow blooms of forsythia appear and the days begin to warm.
Our forsythias are just beginning to pop. We have both upright and compact hybrids to select from. Plus, many of our other flowering shrubs are just beginning to crack open.
Here are some care tips and planting ideas:
• Prune immediately after flowering; the following year’s buds are set in late summer.
• Prune out the oldest and thickest canes every two to three years.
• Rescue overgrown specimens with radical pruning: cut all canes 5″ to 7″ from ground level; after 6 to 8 weeks, thin the new shoots by half.
This is an upright-spreading, somewhat nondescript, green-leaved, deciduous shrub. It typically grows to 6-9′ tall and as wide. Ovate leaves (to 3 1/2” long) with toothed margins are dark green. Leaves turn yellow with purple tinges in fall.
Forsythia grows best in full sun and a well-drained soil. Very easy to maintain and require no special care.
Forsythia are often used to demarcate property boundaries, but can be planted alone as specimens for an especially striking sight as that beautiful spring bloom occurs. Forsythia are wonderful for erosion control on slopes.