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Plant Profile: Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia)

Nothing announces the coming of spring better than the blooming of forsythia. Even in dead winter this tough shurb is ready to go as soon as a warm spell comes along. The bright yellow flowers that cover the gracefully arching stems bring a burst of warmth to even the grayest landscape. And you can bring the stems indoors and force them into bloom if the warm spell doesn’t come when you want it. But please give it plenty of room to reach its full potential beauty; and don’t prune it as though it was a boxwood topiary! Let it grow naturally so its lovely form can be enjoyed.

Type: Deciduous shrub.

Outstanding Feature: Early bloom.

Form: Upright with arching branches.

Growth Rate: Rapid.

Bloom: Bright yellow, star-shaped flowers on arching stems in late winter to early spring lasting 2-3 weeks.

Size: 8-10’ H x 10-12’ W.

Light: Best flowering in full sun but will tolerate some shade.

Soil: Prefers light soil but is tolerant of considerably less.

Fertilizer: Fertilize with general fertilizer after flowering.

Hardiness: Zones 6-8.

Care: Cut back oldest stems after flowering; every few years the plant can be rejuvenated by cutting the whole plant back to 15”.

Pests and Diseases: None of importance; occasionally crown gall can be a problem (remove galls immediately).

Propagation: Cuttings.

Companion plants: Redbud, Yoshino cherry.

Outstanding Selections:

    ‘Kar Sax’: large, golden flowers.
    ‘Lynwood Gold’: Very heavy bloomer with flowers that open very wide.
    ‘Arnold Dwarf’ : Reach about 3’; may not produce as many flowers as standard forsythia.
    ‘Fiesta’: Variegated leaves with deep yellow centers.

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