What am I seeing? Forsythia

April showers bring forsythia.


Many gardeners find this shrub’s somewhat scrubby summer appearance
too high a price for the spring show–but I challenge that. We need this harbinger of warmer days after months of cold, and the stems of dainty lemon Jell-O® flowers are a balm to the soul in temperamental April.

Introduced in 1982 by the University of Minnesota and hardy to minus-30 degrees, ‘Northern Sun’ is fast growing and can reach 10 feet.

Forsythia loves full sun and will tolerate less than ideal soil. Consider interplanting forsythias with other shrubs, or plant them in masses to have a greater impact after their flowers fade.


The best lesson I learned in fostering forsythia is to buy reliably hardy varieties from Northern sources. I panted a hedge of mail ordered stock 20 years ago that never flowered above the snow line. Not a good look!


Like a pot of pansies, the forsythia is a spring garden must. Carve out the space for one in your little corner of the world.


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