Border forsythia plants, as the name suggests, are often used to demarcate property boundaries. They are also often used as a privacy fence for summer and fall, after they have fully leafed out.
Forsythia plants can also be used as specimens and for erosion control on slopes.
Forsythia plants do not need perfect soil, but will perform best when planted in well-drained soil that is enriched with organic humus.
So the addition of peat moss or processed manure or compost at planting time is really beneficial in getting the plant off to a good start. Since forsythia is a deciduous shrub they are best planted or transplanted during the dormant season.
However, with the advent of container growing many nurseries and garden centers now carry the plants year-round. Container grown plants can be safely planted at any time throughout the year if the ground is not frozen.
The forsythia plant is named in honor of William Forysth, director of the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1770, maker of the first rock garden in the UK and one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society.
The plant is native to China and was discovered there by Robert Fortune, a great eighteenth century plant-hunter.