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How to Grow Forsythia for Privacy Hedges

By Diane Dilov-Schultheis ; Updated September 21, 2017
Use forsythia to form a privacy hedge.

Forsythia or golden bells are known for the vivid yellow blooms that emerge all over the plants in the spring. This deciduous shrub is fast growing (1 to 2 feet per year) and can mature to heights of 8 to 10 feet with matching size spreads. Forsythias come in a number of varieties and grow well in various USDA hardiness zones ranging from 4 to 9. You can grow privacy hedges using forsythias. Choose specific taller cultivars suitable to your area.

Plant the forsythia in sunny locations for fastest growth. Choose areas with well-draining soil.

Purchase enough plants to space the forsythia bushes 10 feet apart in a row to create a privacy hedge. Space the plants closer together, if the variety you grow has a spread of less than 10 feet.

Cultivate the planting areas to a depth of at least 1 foot. Add peat moss, composted manure and/or compost to the area to enrich the soil.

Dig the holes for the forsythia the same depth as the containers holding the plants. Fill in the holes with the removed soil and saturate with water to settle the dirt around the roots.

Cover the area around each planted forsythia bush with a layer of at least 3 inches of mulch. Keep the are around the stem of the plant clear.

Supply at least 2 inches of water weekly to the forsythia hedges, if rainfall is less. Continue to water throughout the growing season.

Apply a fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 to each of the forsythia shrubs. Spread it out evenly around the area, keeping it at least 6 inches from the plants and water after applying. Reapply fertilizer every two to three months from spring until fall.

Prune the forsythia hedges after blossoms have faded, since new flowers will only appear on the growth from the prior year. Always cut away any damaged, broken or diseased branches, and shape as needed.


Things You Will Need

  • Mechanized tiller (optional)
  • Peat moss, composted manure and/or compost
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Prune one-fourth of all mature forsythia hedges' old wood back to within 3 to 4 inches yearly to maintain new growth each season for next years blooms.

About the Author


Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.