Forsythia: when and how to prune?

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

My forsythia is about 5 years old, it was about 1 foot tall when I got it. It has grown to 4 or 5 ft. and has never been pruned. Please tell me when and how to prune it. Should it have several stems comming from the roots or just one? Should it look kind of weepy or more upright? Thanks, I knew someone would have the answer.

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

The best time to prune the forsythia is immediately after it has flowered. You don't have to prune it except to take out wayward stems, or diseased stems. You can't hurt it by pruning, just in case you want to keep it at a certain height, but in my book I like to see things growing the way nature intended, so I just let it keep on growing :-)

Homer, NY

I have the same problem my forsythia is about 6-7 ft tall i called the local nursery and they told me as soon as they are done blooming then prune. well the taller they get the less bloom, for my variety any way, i think i only had one flower on all three of my bushes

Dutton, AL(Zone 7a)

When you cut them back they grow to twice the height in the next year. I'd just trime around the edges, like louisa said. If you want to propagate them all you have to do it take a cutting and put it in the ground, depth at least two nodes and it will root. I've done this with great success.


MD &, VA(Zone 7b)

Check out plant amnesty's pruning info...


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Karma, that's what I always understood, too, although I've never had one long enough to have them get really unruly. (That's the best way to do it - plant them and move away, so somebody else gets to take care of them in their old age, LOL!!!! Just kidding - it's like leaving a part of me when I've had to leave my garden behind.)

But seriously, I've always pruned out about 1/4 to 1/3 of the oldest canes each year to encourage new growth. Was that a bad thing to do? They say everything comes back full circle, and now I've inherited a tall and rather unruly forsythia in my new garden. I've got my pruners and loppers standing by, ready to start snipping.....

Fall River, MA(Zone 6a)

Take a look at my main page (karenmarie) and check out my "standardized" forsythia. It was planted in 1987 and got to be about ten feet across -- way too big for my small space, and I was threatening to remove it completely but a friend suggested whacking it back to a standard, which I did, and wow! People stop by all the time and ask me what it is because it is such an unusual treatment. It is blooming now and looks like a pretty yellow cloud floating above the bed.

Olympia, WA(Zone 8b)

Another way to do some light pruning is cut some for flower vases. I hack at mine all during the bloom period and it is LOADED every year. Also to answer Mary E's question, yes it should be weeping and several branches from the base rather than one.


Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.