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National Gardening Day - Forsythia

Happy National Gardening Day! Check out some quick facts about the beautiful plant, forsythia! 

The Forsythia is a yellow flowering, multi-stemmed blooming deciduous shrub. It is a member of the olive family (Oleaceae) and blooms in mid-April.

The forsythia is not a difficult plant. A full sun location is ideal and will do well in a light shade. however, a sunny location produces more blooms. The forsythia is a very forgiving plant. It will tolerate clay soil, moderate drought, and even wet sites. The plant is also relatively free of disease or pest problems and is deer resistant. 

Like other shrubs, forsythias will need occasional trimming. Forsythia should be trimmed right after blooming. Pruning then encourages more branching and compact growth. 

One thing to remember when trimming forsythia is that forsythia blooms on "old wood". Old wood are those branches which are produced after flowering. If you do cut these branches in the fall, you will cut off next spring's flower buds. So, trim a forsythia immediately after the blooms fall off

Another reason forsythia may not bloom is the result of sever winter cold. The extreme cold of a "polar vortex" can kill forsythia flower buds. Symptoms of this damage include no blooms at all or flowers only on the lower portion of the plant. This problem can be easily corrected by purchasing forsythia cultivars adapted to our zone 5 or 6 climate zones. Forsythia cultivars "Northern Gold" or "Northern Sun" are excellent choices for our area. 


Additional Information:

Berlin, Beth. “Forsythia.” UMN Extension,

John Nash, Porter County Master Gardener Hotline: (219) 465-3555.
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