Manual Forsynthia Fits In: Forsynthias First Day

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Posted by Vicki Lane at AM. Labels: forsythia , garden haiku.

Show Off Forsythia

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Oh, Spring!

Forsythia Propagation

Earth Day From My Collection We Have Pictures! My Blog List. Mary Maupin. All shrubs need pruning, but what do you do when you have totally overgrown forsythia shrub? Rejuvenating forsythia gives them a new lease on life. Basically, you take the plant right back to the crown, sacrifice buds for next year but the plant is much healthier for it. If you stay on top of pruning forsythia bushes you will be able to keep them well under control. But a neglected shrub can grow to quite an immense size in both height and width.

Remember that the plant throws up many new canes each year, and what once started as a pretty 3 foot shrub will become an overgrown monster that takes over the whole garden space in just a few short years. We all know forsythia as a perennial plant loved for its early yellow spring flowers and pretty arching growth habit. It is one of the earliest shrubs to flower in spring and can also be forced indoors very easily.

Alte Bücher als neue Kunstwerke

Sometimes the answer is to move the forsythia bush. See my tips for transplanting forsythia here. But often renovation pruning will do just fine. The best time for trimming most flowering shrubs is the in the spring, right after the plant blooms. If you wait until summer or fall, you will be cutting down on the number of spring flowers that you get next year. Forsythia blooms on old wood, so pruning too late will cut off the flower buds that formed earlier in the year. Annual pruning is a good idea to keep the shrub manageable in size.

My forsythia shrubs were a mass of yellow color this spring. Little did I know that my lack of pruning the last couple of years, while giving me great blooms, also gave me a plant that is pretty unruly this year! The rule of thumb, when it comes to forsythias, of cutting about a third of the canes is only for yearly pruning where you plan to remove just a few of the branches.

In the case of renovation pruning or hard pruning, other factors come into play. Think of a house renovation. When you talk about renovating a house, you are doing perhaps one room at a time.

The same idea goes for plants. Renovation pruning thins out a plant by leaving most of the plant but removing the oldest and weakest branches. It gives the plant a chance to grow new branches that are more healthy and vigorous. Hard pruning cuts the shrub right down to its base and allows it to regrow into a new shrub. Renovation pruning of shrubs leaves you a better looking plant temporarily, which may still flower the flowing year.

Red Bush is a good example of a plant that can easily be killed if its cut back too far — Ask my husband. I used both bypass pruners and long handled tree pruners for my pruning job. I used the long handled pruners for the larger canes and the bypass prunes for the smaller branches that were unhealthy looking or took up too much center space.

The long handled tools give more leverage and make the job of cutting the thicker branches much easier. They also gave me a cleaner cut. I have forsythia bushes that grow along one side of my garden.

Forsynthia Fits In: Forsynthias First Day.

They all started from one plant which got dug up and divided into 7 individual shrubs. That was four years ago. They are so large now, that the chain link fence is totally hidden good but the plants in front of the forsythia are getting lost. The shrubs are not so overgrown that they need to be chopped right now to the ground. But they really do need to be resized so that they fit better into the garden bed where they are planted. Most of the shrubs still have quite a nice shape, but are just too large for the location and dwarf the other plants growing nearby. The branches are growing into the fence and need more than a light pruning , but not so much as to change the overall shape.

Once a forsythia is quite a mature size as in like mine , this should be done each year. The oldest branches will produce less and less flowers over time, so they are the ones to remove. How on earth do you get close enough to the inside of the shrub to remove them? Forsythia are such leafy shrubs that it is very difficult to see into the center to decide what to cut back, unless you prune in the winter when the leaves are gone.

My answer was to use car roof tie down ratchet straps to tie up the whole bush so that I could see the base. It was then easy to figure out which branches to remove without poking my eyes out. I cut the oldest and thickest canes while the plant was tied up and then removed the straps so that I could thin to get the shape I wanted. Water newly planted forsythia often. In the absence of rainfall, irrigate when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil has dried out.

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Once established, the shrub can be watered weekly. Fertilize forsythia in the early spring with a well-balanced, organic fertilizer designed for flowering plants. Prune forsythia immediately after flowering. Cut back to shape and remove spent blooms. Avoid pruning back by more than 25 percent.

If you prune later in the season, you may cut off buds, which will affect flowering the following season.

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