Sunrise Forsythia

As low as $59.49 was $69.99
Availability: In stock

We've all been there. Your eyes get so hungry for color after a long, hard, winter season! Finally, you start seeing the sunny yellow blooms of Forsythia here and there around your town. Rejoice! Spring is finally here again!

If you are wishing to introduce that marvelous spring show into your landscape, you should take a good look at the semi-compact Sunrise Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia 'Sunrise'). It's one of the best hybrid cultivars for use in your home garden, or in commercial landscapes.

With a tighter growth habit and an unexpected deep-maroon blush to the leaves in autumn, Sunrise offers good looks all year round. Even when the leaves have fallen for winter, the plant grows with graceful arching branches adding to its visual charm.

This is a cold-hardy selection that was introduced by Iowa State University. Sunrise is a deciduous shrub that is well-known for its excellent early, frost-hardy spring bloom, so you'll enjoy reliable flower power each year. Sunrise produces flower buds that are able to withstand temperatures of -20 degrees, unlike all other Forsythia varieties. This bright yellow display is unhindered by an occasional late freeze so common in zones 4 through 6!

Sunrise Forsythia actually gives you a jump-start on happiness with a vivid yellow bloom time that starts in late winter. It's a true harbinger of spring and is one of the earliest to bloom. The bright, bell-shaped flowers cover the bare branches before the leaves appear.

They last a long time, and can even be forced a bit earlier inside your house for a special winter treat. Just cut a long branch or two once you see the buds swelling. Place inside in a tall vase, and change the water daily. Enjoy the blooms indoors, weeks before you see them outside on your shrub.

Sunrise features a compact habit and standout dense form. You'll like the pretty green leaves that grow along each arching branch for an easy-care shrub in the summertime. The leaves deepen to deep purple for fall color interest in colder climates. In milder climates, fall color delivers a range of hues from yellow to purple tones!

Planting and Application:

Get ready to see cars slow down past your property. Everyone craves that fabulous color! Please give these special shrubs plenty of room to achieve their full height and spread. There is perhaps nothing sadder than the sight of a glorious Forsythia crammed into a too-tight space or trimmed into an unnatural shape.

When mature, Sunrise will display quite an elegant presentation in your landscape with its arching branches that tend toward a fountain-like appearance. These shrubs develop into a fantastic free-form shape all by themselves. Consider them living sculptures, and you'll have a better sense of how to use Sunrise Forsythia.

Use a single specimen at the corner of your house to anchor your foundation planting. Plant it at least 10 feet away from your home's exterior to allow access for painting and repair. Or, use that concept at the corner of your garage to soften the transition to the side yard.

Sunrise Forsythia can easily become a wonderful feature in the lawn as well. Use three in an informal grouping. Vary the spacing from 3 - 5 feet apart on center. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next and create a loose triangle for the best results. Don't prune or shear them and enjoy their natural beauty as an informally kept natural hedge!

You'll love looking out at your sunny plantings from your picture window, or from your deck or patio. Create a year-long view by adding columnar Juniper and rounded evergreen Arborvitae shrubs. Punch things up with a facing row of summer-blooming Spirea and Hydrangea shrubs. Take time to plan it out on paper. Go bold with a large planting bed and plenty of plants to make the biggest impact!

Grow in mass to create a dramatic spring display of color. Sunrise is great for erosion control on banks and steep slopes.

Consider running a long hedge along the length of your fence. Tighten the spacing to 3 feet apart on center and you'll have a brilliant solid screen. Plant as a natural hedge where the plant can be allowed to grow to its full height and allow it to spread naturally.

This also works as natural signage on commercial properties. Everyone will remember your storefront with this kind of delightful springtime landmark.

Sunrise Forsythia has a semi-spreading habit but still manages a compact appearance. The plant makes a very effective backdrop for perennial borders as well as wildlife-friendly hedgerows and screening. Birds seeking shelter and the earliest emerging beneficial pollinators flock to this spring nectar boon! Enjoy it!

  • One of the Earliest Varieties to Bloom
  • Vivid Bright-Yellow Flowers
  • Dark Green Leaves
  • Welcome Late Winter/Early Spring Color After A Long, Hard Winter
  • Bring Branches Indoors in Late Winter to Force Blooms
  • Purple Fall Color, Huge Benefit of this Variety!
  • Hedges, Windbreaks, Shelterbelts, Spring Specimens & Privacy

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Plant easy-care Forsythia in well-drained soil. For best flowering, plant in a full sun location. Select a location with any type of well-drained soil, as long as it's not saline. It performs best in alkaline soils with a pH of 5.5 to 8.0. Although Sunrise is fairly drought tolerant once established, you should still plan to provide periodic supplemental water. This is especially important during extended periods of hot, dry weather. Give a good layer of mulch to keep the root systems cool and moist, especially in warm winter zones.

Learn how to prune these special plants. Please do not take electric trimmers and cut them into a ball or square. You'll lose so much of the charm. Instead, employ renewal pruning by removing the largest, oldest canes out at ground level right after the blooms are done. Do this every 3 years to keep your shrub rejuvenated and healthy. Open up the center of the plant to sunlight and air circulation. If any branch gets a bit wild or rangy, you can prune it back to your preferred length at any time. Do this by hand to achieve the best shape.

If you want to start fresh, you can even cut all the canes of Sunrise Forsythia back to the ground after blooming. New growth will emerge from the crown of the plant. A 3-4 inch thick layer of mulch all around the new shrubs to tie the look together and create a pretty garden bed.

Sunrise has no significant disease or insect issues, and deer tend to pass it by. It does best in full sun, but will tolerate a variety of soils and conditions, including heat and drought (once established). Overall, Sunrise Forsythia is a vigorous shrub that is easy to maintain!

  • Frost Hardy in Full Sun
  • Any Well-Drained Soil - Flourishes in Alkaline Conditions
  • Grows in Clay Soil!
  • Moderate Moisture Needs & Appreciates Mulched Beds
  • Prune After Flowering Only
  • Deer Tend to Leave it Alone & Tolerates Black Walnut Juglone

Frost-hardy yellow blooms and fall color? Begin and end your growing season with vibrant easy-care color! Sunrise is a very special Forsythia variety. Get an early jump on spring with Sunrise Forsythia from the expert growers at Nature Hills. Order yours today, you'll be thrilled with those beautiful blooms each year!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Sunrise Forsythia Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-8
Growing Zones 4-8
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Forsythia 'Sunrise'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 4 - 5 feet
Mature Spread 4 - 5 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well-Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Medium
Foliage Color Dark Green
Fall Color Burgundy / Purple, Purple
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time After Flowering