How to prune forsythia for upright growth?

steve22802(7a VA)March 26, 2009

I have several well established forsythia plants that I would like to prune this spring after blooming and I would like to encourage them to put out long straight new branches specifically to use as cut flowers next year. Is there a specific way to prune forsythia to encourage an upright habit? Would it work to just cut them all the way to the ground immediately after blooming?



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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

absolutely.. up to 1/3 of the plant per year ....

though you probably couldnt kill it if you tried ... lol ... so you can probably cut the whole thing down .. not many plants i recommend doing that on.. but this is one ...

whether or not you get a great flower show next year ... is questionable on many variables... so maybe do half and half.. flowers will be maintained on the older branches ..

NEVER cut a branch at length .. always trim this shrub at the ground ...

since you have more than one.. try differing versions on each ...

since there will be no interference to the roots.. you might be amazed how fast these things regenerate ... have no fear ...


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 4:30PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

Why is it that you say I might not get flowers next year? Around here (Shenandoah Valley of Virginia) lots of people prune forsythia after it blooms in the spring. The plant then has the whole summer to put out new branches which always bloom the following spring.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 10:00PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

I agree. I have some forsythias that I have cut back to the ground for several years. One summer's worth of growth and they put out long branches that are covered with blooms the next spring. Of course, this could be affected by how well established the plants are when this is done to them. They tend to be practically indestructible plants.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 4:42AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the only reason i qualified it.. was because sometimes.. all good intentions aside.. and even though you had a plan to do it minutes after flowering ended ...

sometimes you dont do it until july or august.. and then wonder why it didnt have time to grow and set buds for the next year ....

sounds like you will do it pronto .. go for it ...

a neighbor once trimmed an 8 to 10 foot severely overgrown forsythia down to about 2 foot.. in august .... moved it to my yard .. not prime moving time anywhere ... the darn thing refused to die ... the height was left just to facilitate movement ... and it lived.. if you can torture this plant like that and not kill it ... there is little you can do to harm yours... except for missing a flower show on year, if you time it wrong..

good luck


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 9:59AM
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