Forsythia Shrub Care - How To Care For Your Forsythia Plant

Forsythia branch in the sun
(Image credit: Oleh Lysenko / 500px)

A forsythia plant (Forsythia spp.) can add dramatic flair to a yard in the early spring. Forsythia bushes are among the first plants of spring to burst forth in flower and in order to get the most from their brilliant yellow flowers, you need to make sure that you take proper care of forsythia in your yard. Keep reading to learn more about forsythia shrub care.

Basic Care of Forsythia

While forsythia bushes are easy to care for, there are a few things you can do to help them perform their very best for you. 

First thing for forsythia shrub care is that forsythias enjoy full sun. Make sure your forsythia bush gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. While it can tolerate less than this, your forsythia's ability to flower will be reduced if it does not get full sun. 

Next, forsythias need to be grown in well-draining soil. Overly wet, marshy, or swampy soil will not grow well. Also, the soil should be rich in organic matter. Mulching around your forsythia shrub will make sure that moisture is retained in the soil, weeds are kept down under the shrub, and that new organic material has a chance to work its way into soil that the forsythia plant is growing in. 

While forsythia bushes like well-draining soil, they also grow best if watered regularly. Forsythias should receive at least 2 inches (5 cm.) of water a week. If enough rain does not fall to provide this amount of water, you can supplement with water from the hose. However, if you are worried about water conservation, forsythia plants can tolerate periods of decreased watering.

You should also fertilize when caring for forsythia. Use a balanced fertilizer once every two to three months in the spring and summer. Do not fertilize them in the fall and winter.

Good care of forsythia also requires that forsythia bushes be pruned yearly. Without pruning, these fast-growing shrubs can quickly get overgrown. The best time to prune forsythia shrubs is right after they've finished blooming. The care for forsythia bushes is easy but necessary.

With proper forsythia shrub care, your forsythia plant will reward you with a brilliant display of yellow flowers in the spring.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.