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Sunny splashes of bright yellow flowers are forsythia's calling card, announcing the return of spring. The blooms on this olive family member are slightly bell-shape and range from butter yellow to gold.
To nurture forsythia's graceful vase shape, careful pruning is required. Otherwise, new growth sprouts straight up into a "bad hair day" effect. The toothed leaves will deepen into purple tints just before they drop in late fall. To encourage the best flowering, plant forsythia in full sun and provide plenty of water during the growing season. For a spring spectacle, train forsythia against a warm wall as an espalier.
Cold-winter gardeners should look for cold-hardy cultivars to guarantee plenty of blooms come spring.
Part Sun, Sun
Under 6 inches to 20 feet
To 9 feet wide
how to grow Forsythia
more varieties for Forsythia
'Beatrix Farrand' forsythia
Forsythia 'Beatrix Farrand' bears deep yellow blooms in early and mid-spring on an arching shrub. It grows 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Zones 6-9
Gold Tide forsythia
Forsythia 'Courtasol', or Gold Tide, is a dwarf form that stays 2 feet tall but spreads 4 feet wide. Zones 5-9
Forsythia x intermedia 'Lynwood' features rich buttery-yellow blooms on a symmetrical shrub that grows 10 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
Forsythia 'Meadowlark' is an extremely cold-hardy variety from North Dakota. It forms a rounded shrub that grows to 9 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-8
'Arnold Giant' forsythia
Forsythia 'Arnold Giant' bears big, deeply colored blooms on a compact shrub that grows 5 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
'Northern Sun' forsythia
Forsythia 'Northern Sun' is an especially cold-hardy variety that produces clear yellow flowers. It grows 10 feet tall and 9 feet wide. Zones 4-9