Category: Blog

Forsythia: Grow, Care For and Prune Forsythia

Forsythia flower bloom

That wonderful burst of color that delights gardeners as spring nudges its way in is often in the form of Forsythia, one of the first shrubs to beautifully bloom. In fact, there can still be a layer of snow on the ground when the stunning yellow flowers start to bloom. Forsythia is much-loved thanks to its versatility, happily taking center stage as a single focal point or contentedly being set as hedging or foundation planting.

This shrub can thrive in many conditions and the majority of regions allow for it to grow well. For northern climates, it is best to use hardier varieties since the flower buds can be damaged if the temperatures plummet too much. For urban lots or restricted spaces, the newer cultivars have been specifically bred for compact stature and also host interesting foliage and coloured stems that provide an aspect of interest within any landscape.


Zones: 3 to 9

Height and Spread: Upright and arching with a height of 1 to 20 feet and width of 3 to 10 feet.

Exposure: Full to partial sun but blooms will be better in full sun.

Bloom time: Early to mid Spring

Colour and characteristics: Normally grown for the yellow blooms in early spring which grow along the branch lengths before the foliage makes its appearance. The leaves are green or can also be variegated, they have a serrated edge with a point. Fall foliage may take on a tinge of yellow, purple, or red, although it is not a significant aspect of the shrub.

Toxicity: Forsythia is not toxic to cats or dogs (Read about more plants that are non-toxic to cats and dogs).


When should Forsythia be planted: It is important to avoid stress caused by heat or cold, hence planting should take place either in spring or fall when the climate is milder.

Where should Forsythia be planted: The location should be sunny, if there is shade it needs to be light shade only, the soil should be fertile, well-draining, and with the ability to retain even moisture.

How should Forsythia be planted: The soil should first be loosened and then compost needs to be worked in. Next, carefully take the plant out of the container, the roots will need to be teased out or if the plant is pot bound then slice the root ball in various places. Now, prepare the hole by digging it twice as large as the root ball, it needs to be at a depth where the top of the root ball is a little above or is level with the soil surface; don’t plant it too deeply. Now back fill the hole and use gentle pressure to press down on the soil at the base before watering well.

Spacing: This will be determined by the variety, however, make sure that there is enough air circulation so that the plants will remain healthy.


How to prune Forsythia: These shrubs grow quickly and need to be pruned regularly if they are to remain appealing in the garden. It is best to prune them so that they keep their natural arching shape.
Since the Forsythia flowers bloom on old wood it is important to prune them once they have flowered to ensure a full bloom the following year.

Annually: Once the shrub has finished flowering, remove all dead branches using loppers and shape if required.

Bi-annually or every 3 years: Thin out the old stems by a quarter or third making sure that you cut back so that they are close to the ground, this will open the plant center again and allow for better air circulation. Do this prior to the plant breaking dormancy in late winter.
If you trim back to part of the way down only, new branching will occur right below the cut, this will result in dense foliage and flowers that only bloom at the tips.
If they are pruned into a hedge there is a high risk that flowers will be lost and a dense growth habit will form, there is also more risk of fungal disease.
If the plant has become overgrown it can be lopped until just a few inches from the ground, this shod rejuvenate the plant well.

The Soil: Forsythias are very tolerant and can grow in a wide variety of soil types, however, their preference is for well-draining soil that has rich organic matter added. The best pH range is between 6.8 and 7.7.

Fertilizers and amendments: If the soil has been amended and maintained there will be little need for additional fertilizer. A slow-release choice can be used in early spring if desired, choosing one that is for trees and shrubs. Use organic matter to mulch an inch or two to keep weeds away and maintain even moisture.

Pests and diseases: If the conditions are optimal, Forsythia will present with few problems or none at all. Fungal diseases which may occur include leaf spot, yellow leaves, and anthracnose. Japanese weevil and aphids are the typical pests, as well as nematodes. By keeping the surrounding area clean it is possible to prevent such issues, as well as keeping overhead watering to a minimum.

Deer Resistance: Usually, deer will not bother Forsythia, however, when conditions are extreme deer can graze on plants that they do not normally have a preference for. More deer-resistant plants can be found here.


Forsythia can be added to the landscape in many different ways. Here are some ideas:

Let the green foliage act as a backdrop to colourful plants by setting them in the back or middle of a mixed border.

Use for privacy purposes by planting as a hedge along a property line

Use along with shrubs such as azalea and Bluebeard to plant around the foundation of your home to create a landscape that will bloom throughout the seasons.

Create a woodland border and add bulbs such as crocus and narcissus that will all bloom together.

Use as erosion control by planting in mass for ground cover along a slope.


Even when they are in the bud stage, they can be cut and brought indoors. This is how you will create a great winter bouquet:

Opt for branches that boast plump buds and are between 2 and 4 weeks from blooming

Cut the branches at a 45-degree angle and ensure the length is at least 12 to 18 inches.

Trim all lower buds and shoots that would be below the water level

Use lukewarm water in the vase and choose a bright location

Prevent bacteria growth by changing the water every few days

Have patience; the flowers may not open for a few weeks.

Planting A San Pedro Trichocereus Cactus Cutting


The Sand Pedro Trichocereus Cactus is an upright or columnar succulent that can successfully be grown from a cutting. This process is also called rooting and is used to propagate most cactus species. The most significant feature of this cactus are the stunning, fragrant flowers that it produces.

You can buy quality cuttings online to be delivered directly to your door. There are, however, a few steps that you need to take in order for the cactus planting & propagation process to be successful.

Step 1 – Wear Gloves

Cacti have spines and prickly bits so in order not to be harmed, I recommended you wear a thick pair of gardening gloves when handling the cutting.

Step 2 – Check Your Cutting

Make sure that the end of the cutting you have received has been dried out to stop the sap from leaking out. It is also best to ensure that the cutting is fresh. Don’t expect it to be in perfect condition – it may have some scars and blemishes but this will not affect the success of the propagation.

Step 3 – Check Your Soil

Your soil needs to drain well and be porous. Adding sand or gravel should give you the right consistency. Alternatively, check with your online cutting supplier or local nursery if they can provide you with the ideal soil for your cutting. Soil should be slightly moist but never wet.

Step 4 – Choose Your Pot

A medium to large size plant pot with drainage holes should suffice. Fill the pot with your soil, leaving a few inches of space at the top. Insert the cutting gently into the plant pot by pushing the dehydrated end into the soil. For tall or heavy cuttings, support with a stick so that it remains upright.

Step 5 – Finding The Right Spot

A dry, shady area, with minimum direct sunlight is ideal for the San Pedro Cactus to start taking root. Normally, it will take 3-4 weeks for the roots to begin taking hold. Gently pull on the cutting – if it comes loose, replace it and wait a few more weeks after checking if rot or other problems are preventing roots from growing.

Step 6 – Watering

I do not recommended you water the cutting until a root system is in place. Use a watering can to gently wet the soil, ensuring that it is draining well. Allow the soil to dry out entirely before the next watering. Keep in mind that wet soil is the enemy of cacti. However, your San Pedro Trichocereus Cactus will require water to survive and flourish. If you notice a lack of growth, rot or a lack of flowers, you are probably over-watering it.

I recommended you then move the cactus to a sunny area once the root system is thriving. Cacti love hot, dry and sunny conditions however, direct sunlight for an entire day may cause sunburn. I recommend you introduce your potted Trichocereus Cactus from shade to sunlight slowly to allow it to adapt.

Here are 10 Mistakes Beginners Make with San Pedro Cactus

Please contact me if you have any questions or need more help with this. I’d love to help you get started.