Named in honor of William Forsyth (1737-1804) the Scottish Royal Head Gardener, prominent horticulturalist and founding member of The Royal Horticultural Society, Forsythia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Olive family (Oleaceae). There are around a dozen species in the genus, originating mostly in the Far East.
Forsythia is a deciduous shrub which bursts into prolific bright yellow bloom in early Spring and largely before the emergence of its leaves. They are very easy to grow preferring places in full sun or partial shade.
Forsythia will tolerate most soil types as long as they are reasonably fertile and well drained. As with all shrubs dig a hole twice as large as the pot or bare root. Add in plenty of compost and mix in a handful of fish blood and bone meal. Water well in and be sure to keep the plant moist during it's first year or until its roots have established. This is especially important during the Summer months.
Forsythia requires very little maintenance. However this shrub is a fast grower, so care should be taken when choosing the location to plant Forsythia as it can become overwhelming in just a few years. It is likely pruning may be required to give the shrub some shape depending on its situation. This will be important if you intent to plant Forsythia as a hedge rather than a stand alone shrub. Pruning is best done straight after flowering in late Spring. It is essential that you prune the plant then if you want to have flowers the following season as Forsythia only flowers on growth from the year before. Pruning in Summer or Autumn will only cutaway next seasons blooms. First remove old dead wood. Trim the stems to shape as required and then every five years cut out around one third (30%) of the old stems right down to the ground especially if they have formed crowns from previous pruning. Feed and mulch as required.
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