How to Grow Forsythia


When you see the bright yellow blooms pop out on a forsythia bush, you know that winter is over and spring has arrived. Forsythia is an old-fashioned shrub but still just as versatile in today's gardens, and it takes to both rural and urban life with aplomb. Taller strains of forsythia can be trained to climb over a fence or garden wall, but shorter types make a colorful and effective deciduous hedge, offering privacy during the spring and summer blooming season.

Step 1

Purchase a young forsythia plant at a garden center or greenhouse. Consider your choice carefully, because forsythia is available in a range of sizes. Some strains can grow to be quite large and will require considerable growing space. Although forsythia do best in full sun, partial shade is acceptable.

Step 2

Work some manure, peat moss or compost into the planting site, and plant the forsythia. Keep the forsythia slightly moist but don't allow it to become waterlogged.

Step 3

Prune the forsythia immediately after it finishes blooming. Pruning is secret to a beautiful forsythia, so don't be afraid, because forsythia are forgiving and nearly impossible to kill. Remove any old wood and shape the shrub as desired. If the forsythia has been neglected or seems out of control, give it a drastic pruning clear to the ground, and it will come back beautifully.

Things You'll Need

  • Forsythia starts
  • Manure, peat moss or compost
  • Pruning shears


  • Care and Cultivation of Golden Bells Plants
  • Growing Forsythia
  • About Forsythia
Keywords: forsythia, root cutting, hedge

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.