Forsythia Care and Pruning
From late April to late May Prune your forsythia. See the section on pruning below for more details. The best time is immediately after the flowers have faded.
In early May Feed your forsythia. A mulch with well-rotted compost is the best solution. If you have no compost, scatter two handfuls of bonemeal around the plant and gently fork it into the soil.
mid October Plant your new forsythia bush. At this time of year the soil will be moist but still have some of the summer warmth left in it.
late December Cut a few twigs of forsythia and bring it indoors. The warmth will force the flowers to come out in a week or so. A touch of spring even in mid-winter!
Bought online or from a nursery, your forsythia will probably come in a 3 litre pot. Dig a hole about the depth of the pot and about twice as wide. Mix a handful of bonemeal into the dug up soil.
Remove the forsythia from the pot. the way to do this is to place a hand over the soil in the pot with fingers either side of the main stem. Turn the plant upside down and ease it out of the pot. If the plant has become root bound, gently tease out some of the roots from the base of the root ball. Place the forsythia in the hole.
The top of the soil of the root ball should be level with the garden soil. Adjust the height of the plant by adding soil under it if needed. Fill in the hole around the plant with the dug soil. Firm the soil down as you fill in the hole to ensure the forsythia isn't blown over in strong wind. Water well to consolidate the soil
Timing is the important factor here. Forsythia flowers on branches grown in the previous calendar year. To give it the maximum time to grow those flowers prune it immediately the flowers have faded.
Forsythia grows at about 60cm (2 feet) every year. In addition to this, it can be cut back to 30cm (1 ft) from the ground and, as long as there are a couple of buds on the stem, it will grow back with even more speed! Given these two factors, don't be shy pruning forsythia.
To maintain a shape (a hedge for example), prune around 60cm (2 feet) every year. The same goes for forsythia growing as a specimen shrub. Prune to the shape and size you want. No need to prune the branches at any particular place, anywhere will do!
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