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Topic: Forsythia Questions

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Subject: Forsythia Questions
Date Posted: 3/27/2008 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 1,248
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I have two Forsythia bushes planted around a stump in my yard.  One of them has been there for two years, the other I put in last Spring.  They are both blooming this year and they have both put out new shoots this year, but all of the blooms are at the tips of the branches and they currently have very few leaves and all of the leaves are out at the tips of the branches.  This makes them really scraggly looking and not very pretty.  So my questions:

1)  Should I prune them back?  Would that help them fill in better?  How short should I prune them?  How long will it take them to get tall if I did that (or in other words how many years of pruning will it take before they would be filled out and I could let them grow)?  When should I prune them?

2)  Should I fertilize them?  If so, with what and how often, etc.

The first one I put in died so this is my second and third attempt at this, but I really don't know what to do to make them look better.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2007
Posts: 1
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I have always pruned my forsythia after they have finished blooming in the spring.  They bloom on new growth, so you don't want to prune in fall or winter.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 2,433
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Whatever you do, don't prune them into little balls. :) They're supposed to have a sprawling nature, but it sounds like yours might need some lopping back. Are they in a position where they get decent light? Sometimes they get leggy and bloom sparsley, like you described, when they're not getting enough light.

Just some thoughts.

Date Posted: 3/27/2008 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 1,248
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They get light all day.  They are in the middle of my yard with no shade anywhere in sight.  I think I'll try cutting them back some this year after the blooms are gone.  I'm so jealous of the ones that are so beautiful.  I know mine are young and aren't very big yet, but I still think the blooms just aren't spread like they should be.  So I'll give the pruning a shot!

Subject: pruning
Date Posted: 4/5/2008 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
Posts: 101
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I bought a house that had established plants that were put in around 1952.  One of them was a forsythia.  It was pruned into a shrub shape about four feet tall and about 5 feet wide.  It was a beautiful shrub, the first to bloom in the Spring and the foliage was very dense.  It looked beautiful.  I like sprawling plants but the forsythia actually looks better if you trim them right after blooming. 

Date Posted: 4/8/2008 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 472
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I always prune mine into a "little ball" in spring after it blooms and again in the fall, if I dont the get as tall as the house and I hate that.... but  mine are always full of blooms.