80411It is a shame that forsythia is not more popular here. Years ago, there was a commonly perpetuated myth that winters were not cool enough for it, as well as lilac. We now know that both lilac and forsythia are happy to bloom here. Now, some might insist that there are so many evergreen shrubs that bloom nicely right through winter, that there is no need for deciduous blooming shrubbery.

They might not say so after seeing how spectacular forsythia is in bright yellow bloom as winter becomes spring. It uses the same tactic as the flowering cherries that bloom at about the same time, by dazzling spectators with profusion, before foliage develops to dilute the brilliance of the color! The flowers are tiny, but very abundant. Plump buds on bare stems can be forced indoors.

Forsythia X intermedia is the standard forsythia, although a few other specie and variations, including some compact cultivars, are sometimes seen in other regions. Mature specimens should not get much higher than first floor eaves, but can get twice as tall if crowded. The simple opposite leaves are about two or three inches long, and can turn color where autumn weather is cooler.

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29 thoughts on “Forsythia

  1. Forsythia and pussy willows were the signs of spring during my years growing up in Iowa. Everything you say about its virtues is true. We used to bring branches in for forcing, and it was one of my first experiences of paying attention to nature’s processes. Now, the only time I see it is when the stems arrive in the grocery stores — at $3 per stem, the last time I checked.

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  2. It is ubiquitous here , there is hardly a garden without it. I find it difficult to love, its bright egg -yolk yellow is not very subtle. We’ve already got daffodils everywhere, we don’t need all this yellow. I prefer the primrose yellow of Forsythia suspensa ‘Nymans’. Or the very early flowering Forsythia giraldiana is always welcome in late February.

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  3. It’s ubiquitous here as well but I still love it because of the tall arching or trailing branches when they’re left unpruned. The problem is people plant varieties that want to get much larger than the availablwcspace and ugly pruning ensues, often in late summer, resulting in no or few flowers. Such a waste!

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  4. I rooted pieces from my mom’s shrub. Hers was a really lanky kind that flopped everywhere . I think hers was about 10 years old when I did it. That was 40 years ago & it is still going strong. I read on lots of blogs how people hate them. I don’t know why because I absolutely love mine.

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  5. Forsythia grows abundantly in Ohio where the winters can be bitter . Here on the South Eastern coast I see that lovely plant only occasionally. It could be the sandy soil , the warmer winters , or the salty air or a combination. However Azaleas in many colors are so abundant here that we have a festival .

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    1. I am often reminded that the flowering deciduous plants are less popular here because there are many evergreen plants that bloom right through winter. I do not get it. Hibiscus are nice, but they do not compare!

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