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Growing Forsythia

Growing Forsythia

Meadowlark Forsythia


Popular spring-flowering shrubs with attractive yellow flowers. Excellent for hedges, backgrounds, massing, screening, and as a spring accent. Also used as a cut flower. Hardy in zones 3 to 8. Plant bare root Forsythia in spring 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost in a hole 12 to 18 inches wide and deep amended with compost or other organic material. Set with the roots slightly deeper than when in the nursery.


Best in full sun, but tolerates part shade with reduced flowering. Prefers moist soils and tolerates heavy soils, heat, drought, and urban pollution. Responds well to pruning and shaping. Prune after flowering by removing up to a third of the shoots and all dead wood by cutting them back at ground level. Tolerates growing near Black Walnut trees and usually not fed on by deer.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use low rates of Gromax Fertilizer Tablets 20-10-5 (51165), Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085), or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221).

Alternative Products

Other spring-blooming shrubs include China Rose Tree, Flowering Quince, and Nanking Bush Cherry (20772).

Complimentary Products

A light feeder that benefits from occasional fertilization. Good in combination with spring-blooming bulbs like Crocus or Daffodil.

Forsythia Facts

Usually untroubled by pest or disease problems. Sometimes affected by crown gall or leaf spot. Forsythia Meadowlark (20478) is a very cold-tolerant hybrid developed in partnership between the Arnold Arboretum and North Dakota Agricultural Experiment station and introduced in 1986.

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