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How to Plant a Forsythia Bush

By Heide Braley ; Updated September 21, 2017
Forsythia blossom
forsythia image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

Forsythia blooms are a sure sign that winter has passed and that spring has arrived. They tend to be one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the spring. Forsythias form graceful branches that can reach 8 to 10 feet in length, covered in little yellow blossoms. You can plant forsythias as a hedge or as a stand-alone bush in your landscaping. Once you have planted a forsythia bush in your yard, you will not have to do much besides prune it each year.

Give your forsythia bush a good watering before you plant it. If it is small enough, you can sink it into a bucket of water to make sure the roots are thoroughly saturated. This will help reduce the shock of transplanting. The best time to plant forsythia bush is in the late winter before the blossoms have started to open. Let the roots soak while you prepare a planting hole.

Dig a hole for your forsythia in a place where it can get full sun. It will tolerate a partly shaded area, but it will grow a little leggy and will not get as bushy as one grown in the sun. Dig the hole as deep as the root ball and about twice as wide. Set the dirt aside to use later when you fill in the hole. You do not need to amend the soil for forsythia bushes, except for organic matter to heavy clay soil to provide better drainage.

Remove the forsythia bush from its container and loosen the soil around the roots. You want the roots to spread out in the planting hole so break up the ball with your fingers. Place the bush in the center of the hole, standing it up straight and spreading out the roots.

Fill the dirt back in around the roots, tamping it down well as you work your way up in layers. Water the area well. The ground might settle around the plant after watering, but you can fix that by adding more soil. Mulch around the plant to keep weeds from crowding in around the trunk as it grows.


Things You Will Need

  • Forsythia bush
  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Mulch

About the Author


Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.