The hardiest of Forsythia species are:
- Forsythia Suspensa – Look for Suspensa especially to espalier as it will easily spill over walls or can be grown as an arching shrub.
- Forsythia Intermedia – This hardy Forsythia is an upright type and is useful as a clipped hedge or can be used in shrub masses.
Forsythias By Height
Variety suggestions by height include:
- Forsythia ‘Fiesta’: 3 feet high
- Forsythia ‘Minigold’: 5 feet high
- Forsythia ‘Variegata’: 6 feet high
Forsythia Sun Requirements and Zones
Forsythia grows best within zones 6 – 9 and should be planted in full sun to partial shade. It will grow in shady areas but the blooms will be limited.
Companion Plants To Forsythia
- Smoke Bush
The branches of Forsythia can be propagated in both greenwood and hardwood form.
- In spring, use approximately an 8 inch cutting of the greenwood and in Autumn utilize approximately the same length of the hardwood branch.
- Insert into a deep box of sand and winter in a darkened area.
- In spring, plant directly outdoors in beds or grow in pots.
Blooms may be forced indoors by bringing branches with buds inside, placing in lukewarm water and keeping by a sunny window.
Pruning Forsythia Shrubs
Little pruning is necessary although the following steps will assure a vigorous return:
- Thin out branches during the blooming season (usually cuttings taken for arrangements satisfies this).
- After the Forsythia has flowered remove old or dead wood.
Disease and problems with Forsythia are unusual but can include the following:
- Nodular growths along the stem may indicate a bacterial issue (crown gall) that could kill the shrub. Cut off and destroy infected branches or destroy the entire plant if the nodular growths are widespread.
- Leaf spots are not serious.
- A fungal issue is most likely the culprit of dieback. Prune all affected branches.
Little Known Forsythia Facts
- Forsythia in the language of flowers means “anticipation”.
- Forsythia is native to China and for centuries has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of colds and viral infections often combined with honeysuckle flowers. Forsythia fruit is steamed and dried and is used in teas, capsule and extracts.
- In modern Chinese medicine it is prescribed as a broad spectrum antibiotic and has no reported side effects.