Forsythia Facts: Brilliant Blooms at Eastertime

 

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Forsythias are popular early spring-flowering shrubs in gardens and parks.  Border Forsythia or, Forsythia x intermedia,  is a common cultivar.  It is the result of hybridization between F. suspensa and F. viridissima. There are other cultivars available that have been selected for their dwarf and compact traits.  Forsythia is a genus of flowering plants in the olive family Oleaceae. They are mostly native to eastern Asia.

This deciduous shrub typically grows to a height of 3 to 9 ft with rough grey-brown bark. The leaves are simple, opposite and range between 3/4 and 4 inches in length. Leaf margins may be serrated or entire. Color is medium to dark green color above and lighter on the underside.  The stems are squarish with prominent lenticels.

Forsythia is the earliest blooming shrub at springtime and is used primarily for its showy early brilliant yellow blooms.  It is especially prized because its lovely flowers are in full bloom before the first green leaf appears. Individual flowers are about 1 1/4 inches in size and may occur in clusters up to six.   Blooms begin in March and April and may last two or three weeks.

Forsythia is very hardy, is fast growing, and makes a good screening for borders and living fence.  Plant 4 feet apart for a dense hedge and 8 feet apart for a loose hedge.  After several seasons, be prepared to prune them back.  Occasional rejuvenation pruning may benefit older plants.

Forsythia Facts

Forsythia is frequently forced indoors in the early spring. You can make a long slanting cut at the end of the stem for better results.

Forsythia is hardy from growing zones 5 to 9.

These shrubs will tolerate full sunlight to partial shade but need at least six hours of full sun for vigorous bloom.

They are adaptable to many soils and are easily transplanted and established.

 

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