Please Help Me Help My Fiesta Forsythia!

John Day, OR

I am in dire need of some advice. I have three Fiesta Forsythia plants and they are truly one of my favorites in the garden. This past year they took a lot of abuse from lack of my attention and the overcrowding of invasive plants. I just finished uncovering them today and found them in pitiful (read shameful) condition. What I found is long stringy stems with tiny leaves. I am just sick. What can I do to save them and return them to their once gorgeous condition??? Can I cut them way down to encourage them to grow strong? Or, should I bite the bullet and put them out of their misery? I greatly appreciate any advice given.
Thanks so much,
Sburt

Thumbnail by sburt Thumbnail by sburt Thumbnail by sburt
Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I wonder if they are just taking a "time out" some plants do that.

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

My dad has cut his down to the ground several times and they always put up new growth. I would just shape them up some and let them grow back. They do respond to pruning.

How long have they been in the ground? Having transplanted a few pieces of forsythia, it seems that they need a year or two to settle in and then they'll grow like crazy.

John Day, OR

Is there a method to the pruning?They get lots of sun and have thrived for the past 3 years. Problem is, this past spring-summer I was deep into a project away from home nearly 24/7. I knew I needed to re-locate a few invasive perennials that were covering these much loved plants.Thanks to each of you for taking the time to respond to my "sos"!

If I remember correctly, pruning is done by taking out the older canes to the ground but I don't think you're at that point yet. I don't follow that rule too much myself (although I really should) however, I do cut back canes if they're touching the ground since they root so easily. I don't need extra plants at this point.

John Day, OR

Quote from CindyMzone5 :
If I remember correctly, pruning is done by taking out the older canes to the ground but I don't think you're at that point yet. I don't follow that rule too much myself (although I really should) however, I do cut back canes if they're touching the ground since they root so easily. I don't need extra plants at this point.


Cindy~thanks for the advice; I am a bit new at this gardening thing, but am finding I love to see what I create with combinations of colors, textures, etc. I have to ask you, what part of the plant is the cane?

Perhaps my advice was inappropriate as I see that 'Fiesta' is more of an upright shrub than a traditional forsythia. 'Fiesta' is not the arching shrub I'm familiar with so I'm guessing the pruning technique will be a little different. Best practices will have you remove any crossing or dead branches. Any pruning should be done right after it blooms. I think shaping the shrubs will be based on your preference. Some want a more trimmed, manicured look while others like a more natural form. Give your shrubs a year to recuperate and put on some growth and determine your preferred shape after the shrubs develop some volume. Browsing the internet can sure help you define your goals for the shrubs.

Sapphire, NC

I was wondering if you pruned your Fiesta forsythia and how it turned out?

I'm also curious if I could get some cuttings next time you decide to trim it? I have a trade list you could check out or I could Paypal postage.

thank you
Sharon Cash
Zone 7 and a Fiesta Forsythia Fan :0)

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