When to Prune Forsythia Shrubs & How to Keep Them Healthy!

When to Prune Forsythia Shrubs & How to Keep Them Healthy!

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Rays of sunshine and harbingers of spring, the golden-blooming Forsythia Bush is precisely what we all need to herald in the first warm days after a long dreary winter! Wonderful leafy green backdrops for the remainder of the growing season, these ornamental flowering shrubs go all out to usher in the first blooms of the year!

Learn all about these fantastic flowering shrubs and how to best take care of them here!

All About Forsythia Bushes two large full forsythia bushes

Also known as Golden Bell, this deciduous shrub is one of the first to bloom in the spring with elegant yellow, four-petalled flowers all along (nearly) the entire stems! Forsythia is a lovely native of Asia and named after William Forysth, one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society in Great Britain. Actually a member of the Olive family, Forsythia does have 'fruit' but in the form of a capsule.

Forsythia feature very attractive flowering branches that are liberally covered the entire length with incandescent flowers on an easy-care and low-maintenance shrub! The Forsythia flower blooms before its leaves appear, making the plant even more spectacular. The long slender green leaves are slightly toothed along their margins and look great all growing season. Many new varieties have fantastic fall color too! 

Fantastic Types of Forsythia Available at NatureHills.com!

Nature Hills has many fantastic varieties to choose from!

  • The dark reddish stems offer incredible contrast against the golden blooms of Show Off® Forsythia
  • Compact Gold Tide Forsythia bushes can line a tight side yard, be added at the forefront of a mixed garden bed, or can be used as an excellent, wide-spreading groundcover
  • Meadowlark Forsythia is a reliably frost-hardy cultivar, and it even has a burgundy fall color
  • Northern Gold Forsythia is an introduction by the University of Minnesota. It's a perfect height for a long, uniform Forsythia hedge along your property line
  • The jazzy foliage of Citrus Swizzle Forsythia for a zippy acid-green color and toothed texture. In cold fall weather, the foliage turns a purple display
  • You’ll love the dramatically elongated petals of the Arnold Dwarf Forsythia
  • Or plant a Sunrise Forsythia for an added bonus of burgundy fall color in colder years.
  • In a small space garden, you’ll appreciate smaller cultivars, like Dwarf Forsythia

forsythia bush varieties

Forsythia Bush Care forsythia infographic

Forsythia are very low maintenance and easy to grow! Watch them bloom prolifically and for many years when planted in the right conditions. These days, modern plant breeders are tackling Forsythia bushes, bringing compact and dwarf varieties to market.

Forsythia bushes are among the earliest of spring bloomers. The bold, bell-shaped Forsythia flowers are an early emerging pollinator's oasis after a long winter!

  • Plant in full sun or light shade
  • Adaptable to many soil types
  • Regular fertility for flowering shrubs
  • Moderate moisture needs
  • 3-4 inches Arborist bark chips
  • Prune immediately after flowering


There are a variety of reasons why a particular plant might not bloom. One reason your plant might not bloom well is that it received too much shade and not enough sun.

Another reason could be that your plant was given too much lawn fertilizer, which results in beautiful foliage, but a lack of flowers. It’s important to know that if the plants are pruned too long after bloom, it will eliminate the flower buds on that older wood! Always only prune right after the flowers finish.

Landscape Uses

Jump-start your growing season with out-of-this-world color! You’ll get it with the easy-care, happy yellow Forsythia for sale at Nature Hills Nursery. Welcome springs return with the vivid bell-shaped blooms of the revered Forsythia bush! Versatile enough to be used across your landscape! 

You'll make everyone in your neighborhood happy! What could be better? Forsythia bushes are the perfect choice for experienced gardeners and beginners alike.

These architectural shrubs help define your landscape. Forsythia shrubs make incredible accent plants for high-profile areas. Try one as a specimen plant in your front yard like a spring beacon. Plant a single Forsythia to decorate the corner of your garage.

Use several as a showy Forsythia hedge. These rugged Forsythia bushes look great in garden borders. They are excellent summer privacy screening shrubs. Or use a short row of them as a background plant placed wherever you want a living green wall all growing season.

Use the smaller, dwarf shrubs in containers to brighten your balcony or porch. Can you think of a more thrilling thriller plant?

Pruning Your Forsythia Shrubs pruning forsythia

We recommend that you give Forsythia plenty of space to reach its full glory. Doing so will eliminate annual pruning for size control. In addition, you'll love the graceful, arched form that a natural Forsythia bush exhibits.

While these rugged plants handle pruning like champs, wouldn't you rather do a small job every other year rather than a big task every year? 

However, if you do wish to prune your flowering shrub, know that these flowering ornamentals bloom on old wood. Wait to control them by pruning directly after they bloom. Let your Forsythia bloom abundantly for weeks and as soon as the flowering is done you can begin to prune. You can even cut it all the way to the ground and allow all new branches to develop fresh flower buds for the next year.

  • Blooms on Old Wood
  • Prune Immediately After Flowering 
  • Renewal Prune Every 3 - 5 Years

Regular pruning creates a bushier growth habit and more flowering! Every few years, rejuvenate your Forsythia bush by removing a few of the oldest, thickest stems at ground level. Reach down into your shrub to find crossing or otherwise damaged branches, and cut a long length off. 

Forcing Flowering Stems For Winter forsythia in vase

Force Forsythia stems by cutting a few stems from the interior of your shrub in late winter or early spring. These trimmings can be forced indoors and make great spring container accents and indoor floral bouquets! These stems need to go through a winter so they are exposed to enough chill hours to stimulate bloom, both on the shrub and when cut for forcing.

As soon as cut, plunge the ends into the water, the ends cut at a 45-degree angle. Bring them indoors in a warm room in a tall vase of warm water and enjoy the Forsythia flowers, which open over a few days.

Force Forsythia stems with the kids, and pair well with other flowering shrubs like Pussy Willow, Redbud, Flowering Dogwood trees, Serviceberry, Flowering Quince, Magnolias, and Crabapple trees too! You'll all love these gorgeous indoor arrangements! Mix and mingle with the flowers of your spring bulbs and ephemerals for a gorgeous show!

Welcome Spring With Golden Blooms!

Sunshine yellow Forsythia bushes help you welcome spring in a big way! These low-maintenance shrubs turn into electric yellow firecrackers in very early spring! Order yours today at Nature Hills Nursery and have more of a reason to look forward to spring every year with radiant Forsythia in your landscape today!

Happy Planting!

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