How do you grow Forsythia?

Come the spring and you will probably notice that every man and his dog is growing a forsythia in the front garden, and when you think about it it's not really surprising. They are one of the first of the truly ornamental flowering shrubs to come into flower in the spring and they do so with a huge abundance of showy blooms. So long as you like yellow, you may have purchased a dream come true. 

Unfortunately their omnipresence tends to lose their shine, but if it is possible to look at a well maintained Forsythia as though you have never seen one before then you will truly see what is a magnificent gift it is to Horticulture. 

Named after William Forsyth (1737 – 25 July 1804), a Scottish botanist, royal head gardener, founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society and Bruce Forsyth's great, great, great, great grandfather, the genus Forsythia is mostly a native to eastern Asia, although there is one species found native to southeastern Europe.

How do you grow Forsythia?
With something as exotic as a blooming Forsythia, one may be forgiven for thinking that they are difficult to grow. So how do you grow Forsythia? Well luckily for British gardeners, Forsythia environmental requirements are very similar to those experienced in the UK. This means that you can plant it just about anywhere, and in most soils, and still get a decent display.

However to get the best performance when growing Forsythia plant them in a position that will receive as much sun as possible although it will easily tolerate a partially sunny spot. With regards to soil conditions Forsythia will grow best in a fertile, well-drained soil. Poor soils can be improved by adding sterilized, blended farm manures and those which are known for water-logging can be improved by adding plenty of organic matter and, or, grit. In extreme conditions of water-logging consider planting within a mount or raised bed. If you experience periods of drought in its first year or two then apply water as required.

To promote flowering in following season, prune back your Forsythia after flowering to approximately 6-12 inches from the ground in young specimens and 1-2 feet for mature specimens.

Forsythias are rarely affected by pests and disease, however it is always good practice to sterilize your tool blades before cutting to avoid any pathogen transference. 

Consider an autumn much around the base of the stem, although avoid having the mulch touching the stem.

Main image credit - 松岡明芳 - 松岡明芳, CC BY-SA 3.0,

For related articles click onto the following links:


No comments: