A really easy to grow, popular garden shrub with bright, golden yellow flowers in early spring Forsythias are commonly seen flowering in gardens around March and April. The flowers appear on the branches before the leaves as can be seen in the top left image and the flowers are very attractive. After flowering the shrub comes into leaf.
Growing Forsythia is easy, just plant and neglect. Forsythia is deciduous and so in the winter the branches are bare and the flowers are followed by small fresh green leaves. Forsythia is grow and flower best in full sun. Forsythia is a very common spring shrub and does produce a really cheerful bright yellow display.
Forsythia is compact up to about 2 metres and fully hardy. Two varieties with RHS merit award are Lynwood and Arnold Giant. A forsythia can be pruned if it is getting untidy or out of shape. Forsythia will grow more or less anywhere in most aspects which is why they are so popular coupled with the fact Forsythia require no real attentions from one year to the next. Although Forsythia are not fussy they will grow best and produce the most flowers if grown a sunny spot with fertile well drained soil. To keep in shape the weaker stems can be pruned which should be done immediately after flowering although it is not necessary to prune Forsythia and will flower happily if left alone. Forsythia is really easy to grow and a trouble free shrub so definitely a green wheelbarrow. Forsythia can also be planted and pruned to make a hedge to great effect.
White Forsythia Abeliophyllum.distichum
Some gardeners find the bright yellow of the Forsythia a bit too brash, in which case consider the related White Forsythia. Abeliophyllum. distichum is a white form commonly known as forsythia, which originates from Korea and bears fragrant white flowers spring. A very attractive shrub growing to about 1.5m fully hardy but only as H6, and the flowers can be damaged by frost which can turn the emerging tips black. For this reason, although fully hardy, it is best planted in sheltered spot and in full sun. It will grow on acid and alkaline soils and can be trained up a south facing wall.
In common with the yellow variety, prune immediately after flowering as it flowers on last year's growth. If you prune after flowering it will give more time to create growth and flowers for next year. Both varieties are can a bit untidy and benefit from pruning. The white Forsythia is illustrated left, and you can see it's similarity to the popular yellow Forsythia.